We all have to start somewhere. Where are you starting? Are you shifting your career? Are you completely pivoting into a whole new direction? Do you want to go back to school? Do you want to find an entry level position or an internship that can get you started? Are you looking for a certain role? A certain income? A certain lifestyle?
Assess your skill set
What skills do you already have? Soft skills such as communication? Hard skills such as graphic design? This will help you know where to start and what you are starting with.
Research tech roles and pathways
See what is out there! Then you can begin to think about what is right for you and which way you would like to head.
Identify necessary skills and your skills gap
Once you have figured out what roles you are interested in, you are able to research the skills you need for an entry-level position. This will help you quantify your skills gap by examining the skills you have and the ones you need. This will inform the path you take to prepare for the role you desire.
Consider what you can learn on your own
There is sooooo much information available for free! Now you can learn from TikTok, IG, YouTube, and so on. Go explore the knowledge you can find on your own. This can even help you decide if you like working in that area before you make a larger commitment or investment.
Consider who you can gain knowledge and experience with
Are there people out there that you can reach out to? People you follow or look up to? People in your company or organization that you could shadow or help contribute to a project? Talking to people who are already in the role you desire will help you learn what it is really like and give you tips as to how to move forward.
Consider anyone already in your network that can help
Are there friends, family, or co-workers that can point you to the right person or place to begin your journey and further the steps you taken?
Consider educational opportunities to pursue
Do you want to attend a bootcamp, get a certificate, go to a university, or consider alternatives? Would you want to study online or in-person? Can you find an internship or volunteer opportunity to gain experience? What scholarships or funding is available to help you pursue your next step?
Choose a timeline
When would you like to switch careers? Are there life events that will affect your plan? How long do you have to learn the skills you need?
Name your goals. Be specific, but leave space for flexibility. The path into tech or any new career field can wind in many directions before you find the perfect place for you. A goal can be your north star as you explore.
Carve out availability
How much time can you dedicate to this journey? Do you have to study while also working full-time and/or juggling a family or other responsibilities? Be realistic. You don’t want to burn out before you get to where you are going. Create milestones along the way so you can be sure to celebrate your progress. Even your first step is a big achievement!