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Ask SheCanCode Anything: “How to get ahead in my tech career”

Ask SheCanCode Anything - How to get ahead in your tech careerSeries(1)

ARTICLE SUMMARY

Today, we’re taking a look at what to do when you're ready for a new career challenge and how to position yourself for career advancement as a woman in tech.

To help us answer these questions is coach, Fiona Hatton.

As a coach, Fiona supports women to live a happier life: through prioritising their wellbeing, doing more of what they love, and focusing on what really matters to them. She has worked with women who’ve gone on to change career, leave a toxic workplace, and make big life decisions about where (and how) they want to live. 

Join the Yoco Studio community for free resources, useful tips and offers. Find out more about her coaching and yoga packages at http://www.yoco.studio.

If you have any questions for us – whether it be about work relationships, gaining confidence, or taking the leap into tech – you can ask us anything.

Dear SheCanCode,

I’ve been working in the tech industry for a few years now, and while I enjoy my role, I feel like I’m ready for a new challenge. How can I effectively position myself for career advancement within my current company or explore opportunities outside without feeling like I’m starting from scratch?

Any tips for navigating this transition would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!


Hello,

It’s very common to feel this way if you’ve been in a role for some time, when you’re familiar with the cycles and characters, and when you’ve settled into a routine. Before you start looking for the next step, take a bit of time to think about what that move might look like and why you want to make it. It doesn’t have to be starting all over again.

How would you like to be challenged? 

Some people really enjoy managing teams for example. Others prefer leading projects or having financial oversight. Perhaps you want more demanding work, turning around failing projects or stepping into crisis management.

Whatever it is that you’re missing now, consider what that new challenge will bring you: will it keep you interested? Pay you more? Or give you greater responsibility?

What are your skills and strengths?

Once you understand the kind of challenge you need and why you want it, it will be easier to spot opportunities. Notice what kind of experience is needed – how does it match your current strengths and skills? Which areas could you develop and how? 

What’s available in your current role? 

You’ve said that you don’t want to feel like you’re starting from scratch. So before you start looking for a new role, think about what’s possible where you are now. Could you mentor more junior colleagues for example? Are there opportunities to take ownership of an upcoming project? 

There are real advantages to doing this. It means you can try something different without making a wholesale change and you’ll have your existing network to support you.

Of course, you may eventually decide that you do want a different challenge in a new organisation. By boosting your skills and experience now, you’ll be in a much better position to make a smoother transition when the time comes.

Who can support you?

Telling other people about your goals can be really powerful. It can help you feel more accountable and more likely to work towards them. But perhaps more importantly, those people might be able to open up opportunities for you. If people don’t know what you’re working towards they might not mention the great new role in their team, or the promotion they’ve heard about.

So think about who is in your network and how they could support you as you start out on this journey.

How exciting to be thinking about your next step! I hope that whatever you choose is a good fit. 

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