Working in a highly technical field, it’s easy to concentrate on growing your skill set rather than on building relationships. After all, technology evolves at a break-neck pace, demanding that IT professionals keep up if they want to remain successful. However, a healthy tech career is a well-rounded one. Today, over 70% of all jobs are found through networking. Even if you aren’t currently job searching, your career does not exist in a bubble. Building relationships with those around you can help advance your tech career in several key ways.
Helps Each Workday
At the most basic level, fostering real relationships with those you see each day makes your professional life easier. When you reach out to coworkers in genuine ways, they in turn become more invested in your work product and career. This creates a dynamic where people are more apt to help each other out in a pinch and be a sounding board for ideas as well as frustrations. Difficult or busy times at work become more bearable under a culture of caring. Each day is improved because you’re placed in the best position to succeed. Over time, this positivity adds up and can make you a better IT pro.
Boosts Your Long-Term Career
Traditionally, professional networking is thought of as something done with those in the same industry or niche. Of course, building relationships with industry peers is a surefire way to progress your career. You meet someone, talk about your skills and career goals, and when they hear about a position that matches them they might be able to recommend you. Considering 80% of job openings are never published, the more people you connect with in IT, whether they are peers, managers, or subordinates, the better.
When it comes to networking in tech, there are many options that make it easy to meet other professionals and start building new relationships. Conferences are popular in the field and usually involve ice breakers specifically designed for networking. For those looking to connect with other tech pros in a specific niche or specialty, meetups and user groups are abundant options that take place at regular intervals in every corner of the country. Finally, hackathons have emerged as a fantastic networking avenue whether you’re a competitor or simply joining the audience. No matter the method, opportunities for breaking ground on new IT relationships are plentiful and can boost your long-term career.
Any Connection Can Get You Ahead
IT professionals who excel in building relationships and networking understand that any connection could be the one who opens a career-defining door. While it’s natural to focus on relationships within your own industry, taking the opportunity to connect with any individual you encounter is an excellent strategy for getting ahead. Volunteering is a great way to get yourself outside your typical circles and meet new people while also making a difference. At ATR, we encourage our employees to give back to the community through our VTO (volunteer time off) program which gives them a week of paid time to use working at the charitable organization of their choice. Our employees have volunteered at Toys for Tots, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Women Helping Women, the Behailu Academy, and more. Consider similar charity work in your community to connect with new people in unique and rewarding environments. It just might help you find your next career opportunity.
It’s Easier (but More Imperative) Than Ever
The meteoric adoption of social media has made networking easier than ever before, but at the same time, it has made grooming a professional online presence a requirement for any tech pro. LinkedIn is the biggest focus here, where your absence could be enough to make a future hiring manager second guess calling you in for an interview. Stay active by participating in conversations, reaching out to other professionals, and keeping your profile current.
Additionally, the internet is more than just social media. There are many websites and forums designed specifically for technology professionals to connect with each other. When 41% of people desire to network more frequently but say they don’t have enough time, these online options for building relationships are easy and can be utilized in as little as five minutes at a time.
4 Reasons Building Relationships Helps Build Your Tech Career
There’s no single method for creating a successful and lengthy career in tech. Rather, your professional life is a collection of strategies and efforts that combine to get you where you want to go. Building relationships is one major piece of that puzzle that, when made a priority, can pay off handsomely by opening up the tech opportunities you’ve always wanted.
Ready to get connected to your next great IT role? Send us your resume today!