Switching to Tech Career: How to Make the Jump

You shouldn’t be surprised to know that many people in tech didn’t start there. So many of the tech students we’ve met were teachers, marketers, or stay-at-home parents. In this episode we talk about how to identify transferable skills and how to leverage your network.


[00:00:00] Michael Jordan is one of the greatest basketball players of all time. But many people forget, he also played a little baseball.

 Changing careers can be intimidating, but fortunately we don’t have to leave all of our previous skills, expertise and learnings at the door. Michael Jordan played basketball for years before he tried his hand at baseball.

By comparison he was a novice compared to his expertise as a basketball player. But when you look at something like baseball compared to basketball, many of the skills transfer over. Hand- eye coordination. Working as a team. Training.

Expertise in one area does not mean that we cannot transition smoothly into another. Many of us face this problem. When entering into tech, we may have a different career and a legacy in doing something completely different and at face value, it can seem like we’re starting from zero. In reality, there’s a couple of things that [00:01:00] serve us very well, regardless of the work that we are transitioning into.

The first thing to keep in mind when transitioning into tech from some other profession, is there are many skills that transfer. Things like leadership, problem solving skills, even the idea of people management. All of these things are needed in technology. And if in your previous job, you develop them then don’t leave those out when it comes to applying for a job or recognizing the fact that you have value to offer.

Another thing that can be valuable when transitioning into tech is your network. The friends and connections and relationships that you formed in your previous career may not seem directly connected.

But in reality, every person has friends, spouses, family members, and others in their network that perhaps you can’t see right away, but can help you as you transition into tech. An exercise that I like to go [00:02:00] through is thinking through the different seasons of my life: grade school, college, each job that I’ve had. Who are people that I might not have spoken with recently, but would pick up the phone if I called would respond? To an email, if I sent it, how might I reach back through my career, through my life and re-establish those connections, there is more overlap than we realize.

We definitely are not all Michael Jordan and we aren’t necessarily transitioning from one sport to another, but it’s worth spending the time to figure out what are the things that overlap and how can I use those overlapping skills, experiences, and behaviors to smooth my transition into technology.

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