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Ask SheCanCode Anything: “Transitioning from law to tech”

Transitioning from law to tech.

ARTICLE SUMMARY

Today, we’re looking at transitioning into tech from a legal background, what routes to take and where to find advice and resources get started.

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

Fiona Hatton Coach at YoCo Studio

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.

ASK US ANYTHING

Hello there,

I hope you are good.

I hold a BA Law degree and I wanted to enquire which route can one take to transition into tech?

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Thanks so much,

LegalTech


HI LEGALTECH,

I have good news! You don’t need a technology-focused degree to work in the tech industry. And the fact that you have a law degree undoubtedly means you have some amazing transferable skills that will make you really attractive to an employer. 

There are also many tech roles that don’t require a degree at all. But although this means that there are probably lots of opportunities that you could start applying for right now, to make sure that your next move is a good one, I’ve got 5 questions to help you start thinking about the direction you want to take:

WHY DO YOU WANT TO WORK IN TECH? 

What is it about technology that interests you? Perhaps it’s the opportunity to be involved in new developments that could change the world, or maybe it’s that you love working with code. Is it the challenge of learning something new? 

Taking some time to understand what’s at the heart of this decision will help you to plan your next steps.

WHAT DOES SUCCESS LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?

Success means something different for everybody. Some people are driven by achievement and career progression, others see success in the kind of work they’re doing, and then others want flexibility and freedom. There are countless ways to measure success, and each one is valid. When you think of your success in a tech role, what do you see? And when would you realistically like to achieve this? 

Understanding where you want to get to and giving yourself a timescale, means it’s much easier to start planning a route. As you learn more about the tech industry and the careers on offer, you can go back to your goal and see whether it needs tweaking – and perhaps make it even more ambitious!

WHAT HAVE YOU DONE ALREADY TO KICKSTART YOUR CAREER CHANGE?

There are lots of ways to find out more about careers in tech and whether they’re for you – from speaking to other people who’ve made the move (there are lots of examples of women who’ve switched careers on the SheCanCode blog) and checking out job descriptions, to going to networking events and learning more about different tech companies.

Make a note of what you’ve done already and spot gaps – this will help you to plan your next steps.

WHAT OBSTACLES COULD STAND IN YOUR WAY?

Understanding potential blockers is really important, so that you can start to work around them. For example, it might be difficult to find the time to research the type of tech career you’d like. Perhaps consciously putting aside some time will be enough, or perhaps you need to block out your diary. What would work best for you?

Or you may discover that you’re currently missing some key skills to do the job you really want. By spotting that now, you can decide whether you’re happy to develop those skills and how you’re going to go about it.

HOW WILL YOU TRACK HOW YOU’RE DOING?

Just as you would with a work project, set yourself check-in points so that you can see whether the steps you’re taking are bringing you closer to your new tech career.

If you feel you’re not making the progress you imagined, revisit your goal. Does it need adjusting? Or perhaps you need to make some changes to the activities you’re doing? Whatever you discover, don’t be disheartened. Sometimes a career switch can take a bit longer than we imagine, but remembering why you’re making the change, can help you to stay motivated.

Making a change can feel daunting. Breaking it up into smaller, manageable steps can really help to get things moving in the right direction. Lots of luck – this could be the start of something really exciting!

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