At What Age Is It Too Late to Change Careers?
I'm a big believer that there is no growth in comfort, and there is no feeling of discomfort quite like knowing that you need more out of your career. The dread of spending the next 15 to 20 years doing the same thing while knowing that you want something else feels like a betrayal to yourself.
But when you take a look and see that you are much closer to the retirement line than the starting line of your career you may be asking yourself, at what age is it too late to change careers?
As a career consultant, I can quickly assure you of what you may have been told already: it is never too late to start doing what you love. We have all seen the videos of people with advanced age getting their first degree, jumping out of airplanes, or becoming a Covergirl at 70. You did not sign a contract resigning yourself to dissatisfaction until you retire.
There is still time to do exactly what you want. So lLet's tap into figuring out what you want next and how to get it.
Establish What You Want
You know you're no longer satisfied with what you're doing, but do you know why? Now is the time to get clarity.
Are you looking to change jobs because your current role is too stressful? Are you looking to chase a long-held passion? Are you looking to learn something new? Get clear on why you want to make a change.
Next, establish the type of transition you need to make in your career.
- An industry transition will allow you to do what you are doing now but doing it for a different industry.
- A role transition will allow you to work in the same industry you already know but working in a new capacity.
- Or perhaps you're looking to start with a clean slate in a new industry and role, which would be a massive undertaking, but not impossible to accomplish. When you know the type of transition you need, it makes it easier to figure out what your next steps are.
Make a list of what you want and don't want out of your career. On your "don't want" list include tasks that you haven't enjoyed, skills you have no interest in developing, and roles that you feel would be a bad fit for you. Hate sales and no interest in IT? Write that down.
Write down a second list of every job you have been curious about and what interested you about those positions. When you think about those roles, how does it make you feel when you think about doing that kind of work every day?
Consider what a really tough day would look like in that role and industry (if you're not sure, now's a great time to leverage your network and ask someone who does!): does the job still appeal to you then?
Do Your Homework
Now that you are clear on the types of positions you are interested in, it's time to do some research. Start checking out the job descriptions and company pages for roles and companies that get you excited. See if they are aligned with your vision of what you need next in your career.
Salary isn't everything, but at this point, you should have a good idea of what you need as you approach retirement. When you look at the salary range of the positions that you are interested in, ask yourself if the salary will bring you closer to your retirement goals. Also, check the company's career page and see if they have retirement plans and stock options as benefits for employees.
When you look at the job descriptions for your ideal career path, how many transferable skills do you currently have for that role? If you are looking to make a role transition or switch both industries and roles, it's likely that you may not have all the skills and requirements that the job descriptions are asking for.
If the job you really want requires you to have more skills than you can apply to the position today, you should consider a "jump job," which is a job that is in between where you are now and where you want to be.
For example, if you have a background in operations but your dream is to be a Marketing Director, you may have enough marketing experience from side projects to apply for a Marketing Manager role as a jump job and can later work up to the Marketing Director position.
Regardless of the amount of transferrable skills you have, it's very likely that you will need some level of job-skill training. This can vary from joining some free introductory discussions and taking some assessments/training courses online, to moving towards a certificate or a degree.
Your time is important, so assess the amount of time that this training is going to take before moving forward with a career change.
Take a look at joining local conferences and meet up groups that focuses on professional development in the role you're interested in. Check out books and articles related to this position. The goal here is to quickly become a subject matter expert, which will elevate your personal brand and open you up for new opportunities.
Get to Networking
Networking continues to be the best way to get an "in" for a new job, so it's important to utilize and grow your network while you look to transition into a new role. At this point you should have a good number of contacts in your network, so now is the time to warm up and reach out to former colleagues and peers to let them know you are looking for something new.
Get smart about networking online. Getting your LinkedIn on point is vital when you are shifting your career. This will allow you to showcase the job skill training that you are working on and highlighting all of your transferrable skills.
Your personal brand is important so be sure that your picture is a current high-resolution picture. A dated or grainy picture tells people "I am out of touch," which is what we want to avoid.
Connect with younger generations that you've worked with as well. Do not count them out because they have less experience than you in the workforce, as they may have more experience than you in the new role you want to move to. They also may be able to keep you abreast of conferences, job-skill training and other events that could be beneficial to you in your search.
Your extensive history in your field and industry shows your loyalty, expertise, and dedication. Don't look at that as something that's holding you back, but rather as a springboard that you can use to jump into a new field.
Coupled with online courses, personal projects, and other kinds of job-skills training, you can show employers that you're someone worth taking a chance on because you have a demonstrated interest in learning and self-development.
There is always time to do what excites you and keeps you centered. To make the decision to change careers takes commitment and bravery, and your legacy is worth every bit of both.
According to a recent study, anti-Asian hate crimes have risen 150% since the pandemic started. But these acts of violence are not new — they are part of a much larger history of anti-Asian racism and violence in the U.S.
That makes celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (which was named a month-long celebration in May by Congress in 1992 "to coincide with two important milestones in Asian/Pacific American history: the arrival in the United States of the first Japanese immigrants on May 7, 1843 and contributions of Chinese workers to the building of the transcontinental railroad, completed May 10, 1869") this year all the more important.
As we reflect on recent events and how they fit into a much larger history of discrimination, we're also taking time to celebrate and acknowledge the many achievements of the AAPI community.
We asked several of our partner companies what they're doing to honor AAPI Heritage Month at work, and we were inspired by the range of responses, covering everything from campaigns to #StopAsianHate to educational events on AAPI history.
Here's what they're doing, in their own words:
Empowering authenticity - LogMeIn
"Our theme this year is AIM to Be Real. We are embracing our new company values and celebrating those who bring their authentic selves to work, who help create space to celebrate diversity of thought, and who give back to the API community. Our Asian ERG, Asians in Motion (AIM), is hosting several events: a discussion about bringing your authentic self to work with Jerry Won (Dear Asian Americans podcast); a refugee-led virtual cooking class; ERG Movie Club discussions featuring Bollywood films, and a virtual volunteer event where we will offer career development mentoring for young women across Asia."
Learn more about LogMeIn here.
Educating on current events — Raytheon Technologies
"Raytheon Technologies is honoring Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with an enterprise-wide global town hall event – Real Talk: Building CommUNITY Together. Organized by the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) employee resource groups across the company, employees will share their personal experiences and discuss ways to support Asian American Pacific Islander communities. The event will also feature prominent leading advocates from renowned civil rights organizations to provide insight into the national context surrounding recent events. We will also feature AAPI employees internally and on our social media channels."
Learn more about Raytheon Technologies here.
Encouraging awareness, growth, and learning — Moody's
"Moody's is encouraging awareness, growth, and learning during Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with the following activities, led by our Multicultural Business Resource Group and DE&I team:
- Weekly newsletters featuring AAPI employee profiles and cultural resources
- Video screening and small-group discussions supporting #StopAsianHate
- Cultural panel discussion featuring employee stories
- Professional development activities
- External speakers speaking about Asian leadership"
Supporting professional development — Freddie Mac
"Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month at Freddie Mac – Together, We Are Stronger
Freddie Mac supports the professional development of Asian and Pacific Islander employees while promoting an increased awareness of the value they bring to the organization and our local communities. Our InspirASIAN Business Resource Group is hosting various activities throughout the month such as:
- Personal development session on empowerment led by a coach from our Employee Assistance Program.
- "Stop Asian Hate" lunch and learn geared toward discussing the hurdles facing the AAPI community.
- Fireside chat about racial injustice with leaders from our InspirASIAN and ARISE (employees of the African diaspora) BRGs."
Fostering inclusion, learning, and belonging – Nestlé USA
"At Nestlé USA, the Pan Asian Network (PAN), one of our many employee resource groups that support our Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion initiatives, will host a variety of events to honor and acknowledge Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. These activities will foster greater inclusion, enhanced learning, and belonging for the AAPI community. PAN will highlight women's development in Asian cultures, Asian leadership and what their culture means to them, culinary innovation of Asian cuisine, intersectionality of LGBTQ+ and Pan Asian community, as well as an enhanced learning watch party of the PBS movie 'Asian American.'"
Learn more about Nestlé USA here.
Promoting cultural literacy – Relativity
The Community Resource Group at Relativity
"For Relativity, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is an opportune time to not only celebrate the rich AAPI cultures represented within our company, but to also foster awareness and allyship amidst the current rise of AAPI hate. RelAsians, our internal community resource group, has organized a few activities for May: a book club focused on AAPI heritage—because we feel it's never too early to gain cultural literacy, a weekly spotlight on AAPI Relativians, and a virtual event that takes attendees on a tour through an Asian grocery store, introducing native vegetables and staple ingredients for traditional home-cooked Asian recipes."
- Contribution from Neha Pant, Sr. Performance Engineer & Angie Ocasek, Sr. Specialist, Partner Enablement – Co-Chairs of the RelAsians Community Resource Group at Relativity
Learn more about Relativity here.
Creating transformative experiences – Facebook
"At Facebook, our APIs employee resource group's mission is to create transformative experiences for all APIs at Facebook, Inc through key cultural awareness and engagement highlighting the API community. To kick off APIHM, we will host a series of events and conversations for the community and its allies designed to support the API community around the theme, The SUM of Us, including:
- Letting Others In: a mindful discussion series that privileges intersectional voices, storytelling, feedback, and vulnerability as tools for building empathy and inclusion amongst organizations.
- Racial Healing Learning Session: specific to the API Experience focused on naming of experiences and emotional responses, understanding the body's responses to racial trauma, what the audience can do in the moment for self-care, and long-term strategies to overcome the effect of the traumatic experience.
- Bystander Training/self Defense Workshop"
Learn more about Facebook here.
Extensive and exciting programming — 2U
"At 2U, Inc. we'll be honoring Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with extensive and exciting programming coordinated by our employee-led Asian Pacific Islander Network (APIN). In a year marred by exceptional challenges APIN has centered activities around the ameliorating themes of joy, culture and wellness. Be it delighting in a ukulele mini concert, reading an interview highlighting an API coworker, winding down after too much screen time with a somatic healing session or engaging in a panel discussion with API tattoo artists, we have a packed month ahead with opportunities to support oneself and the API culture! Follow along @Lifeat2U on Instagram for more!"
Learn more about 2U here.
Amplifying voices and educating others – Smartsheet
"During APAHM, the API at Smartsheet community will be hosting several events and activities to educate others, amplify AAPI voices, and celebrate the AAPI community! We plan to kick off the month with a documentary viewing and discussion to learn about AAPI history, and hope to share personal stories from our AAPI employees throughout the month. We'll end with an opportunity for the community to celebrate itself by gathering together for fun and games, while eating food from local Asian-owned restaurants."
Learn more about Smartsheet here.
Rising together in sports and culture – NBA
"For Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, APEX is proud to present a multitude of celebratory activities, headlined by an NBA Family Virtual Town Hall and, with the NFL and MLB, an Asians in Sports & Culture Symposium themed "Together We Rise" featuring prominent Asian personalities from the sports world. We are also launching a PSA with an NBA star, honoring Eid-al-Fitr at the end of Ramadan, offering a bystander intervention training led by AAJC, and – because the celebration wouldn't be complete without food – hosting a sushi making class for our members."
Learn more about the NBA here.
Creating courageous conversations – Commvault
"This May, we are celebrating all our Asian/Pacific Islander employees, not just Asian Americans. We will spend the month learning about and celebrating the diverse cultures of Asia through weekly events and activities led by our Multi-Culture ERG. Vaulters and external guests will teach us the history of practices such as yoga, origami, and Asian cuisines. We will also discuss topics like the rise of hate crimes against Asian people and the recent spike in COVID-19 in India. These activities and courageous conversations will engage our workforce and create support for our Asian and Pacific Islander communities around the world."
Learn more about Commvault here.
Honoring history through virtual events – Collins Aerospace
"Collins Aerospace supports our AAPI colleagues not only in May, but all year. Our parent company Raytheon Technologies hosted a virtual Town Hall last month to provide a safe space for open dialogue about recent events targeting Asian Americans in the U.S. In addition to this entity-wide event, our Asia Pacific ERG at Collins is hosting events that educate and honor the importance of Asian Pacific American history such as virtual Lunch & Tours spotlighting South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, and India; and Thoughts & Support sessions. Site-specific events include virtual cooking class, and viewing PBS docuseries Asian Americans."
Learn more about Collins Aerospace here.
Highlighting new perspectives – MongoDB
"MongoDB will share daily historical facts, highlights of Asian American pioneers, and perspectives from our AAPI employees in a dedicated Slack channel. We will also be providing access to an Asian Pacific American Heritage Month webinar, organizing a trivia night, and holding Processing Together sessions for our internal AAPI community due to recent hate crimes happening across the globe. These sessions are a safe space for employees to share their stories and sentiments of what it is like as an Asian American in America today. (Read MongoDB employee Monica Lu's story about being an Asian American woman in tech here.)"
Learn more about MongoDB here.
Spotlighting diverse communities – Bumble
"At Bumble, moments like heritage month celebrations are often our anchor to ensure we are spotlighting diverse communities. In alignment with AAPI Heritage Month in May, Bumble is rolling out a series of thoughtful programming to encourage internal education and around how to support the Stop Asian Hate movement and better serve the Asian community globally. The lineup of initiatives include:
- BuzzWord DEI Discussion Series with featured guest speakers: This conversation will focus on the Asian community within the context of larger cultural issues such as dating app experiences, fetishization, masculinity, and representation.
- Bumble will be inviting employees to join a virtual Vietnamese coffee-making class. Created in partnership with Phin Bar, an urban brew-bar that offers Vietnamese-style steeped coffee combined with house-made ingredients, Bumble hopes to facilitate a deeper cultural learning and community bonding experience for the team.
- Bumble will also be activating channels across social media and our product to educate our community about bystander intervention and raise awareness around the importance of supporting the Stop Asian Hate movement."
Engaging in daring conversations – Procore
"In celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month in May, Procore recently organized an internal event to recognize and support the AAPI community. The event was hosted as part of our ongoing internal speaker series, 'Daring Conversations & Allyship,' to create space for an open dialogue around diversity, inclusion, and belonging. All employees were invited to tune in as employees from our AAPI communities shared their unique experiences, addressed anti-Asian hate, and discussed actionable ways to support our AAPI community."
Learn more about Procore here.
Taking action to foster change – SeatGeek
"This month the POC ERG will be meeting and hosting different activities to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. This includes creating a safe space to discuss current events, and what actions our communities can take to foster change, sending out a newsletter which will highlight the Asian community in every aspect, and lastly, we will be hosting a guest speaker.
We hope with these planned activities and meetings, we can highlight, and uplift the Asian/Pacific American community, as well as bring awareness to the horrible ongoing attacks they are facing."
Learn more about SeatGeek here.
Uplifting and inspiring the community – Okta
"Okta's People of Color (POC@Okta) ERG is planning to commemorate AAPI Month with a series of fireside chats and iconographical facts posted internally in the #poc and #all diversity Slack channels! These chats will feature Dion Lim of ABC7 News and Comedian/Actor, Ronny Chieng. We will conclude the series with a partnership with Pride@Okta featuring supermodel, TED speaker, and transgender advocate Geena Rocero. The goal of this series is to educate, uplift, support, and inspire! The Okta leadership supports its AAPI employees, customers, and community."
Learn more about Okta here.
Empowering cultural diversity and leadership – Quip
"Salesforce will be celebrating through multiple virtual events, such as a leadership panel on the power of cultural diversity, a tea tasting, a tai chi class, a haka workshop, and more! Members of the Quip team have also compiled an extensive list of resources to support AAPI communities, including ways to donate, take action, and learn more."
Learn more about Quip here.
Focusing on lived experiences – Mindbody
"The Mindbody United ERG focuses on a different heritage or history each month, with May devoted to Asian & Pacific Islander Heritage Month. This ERG seeks to provide a platform to both celebrate and learn together. This will manifest in two ways: As a newsletter and a Zoom meeting. The newsletter will feature contributions directly from team members, while the meeting will feature Assembly member Evan Low as our speaker. It is our goal to focus on the lived experiences of the AAPI community, address discrimination, and how to chase after the part of the world we can make better."
Learn more about Mindbody here.
Promoting harmony and unity – T. Rowe Price
"T. Rowe Price is aware and appalled at the recent spike in hate crimes against the Asian community. In response, the firm will center Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month efforts around harmony and unity, in alignment with the Hawaiian value, Lōkahi – Forward as One. To share best practices, successes and areas of opportunities, T. Rowe Price will co-host a Leadership Panel on Asian Leadership Challenges with Baltimore Asian Connect, a consortium of Asian business resource group leaders at local corporations. The firm will also host a book club and restorative listening circles for Asian American associates and their allies."
Learn more about T. Rowe Price here.
Celebrating Asians globally
"May is Asian Pacific American (APA) Heritage Month. Although traditionally a US celebration, at Autodesk we are celebrating Asians globally. The Autodesk Asian Network is hosting Innovative Leaders, including Lori Mukoyama and Jonathan Zee. Lori Mukoyama is redefining experience-driven design globally at Gensler. Jonathan Zee has an extensive portfolio of buildings that are helping to shape cities around the world at Goettsch Partners. Lori and her husband Jonathan combine design, architecture and engineering in their work while simultaneously manage a family together during this pandemic. This event is hosted by AAN, as part of a monthlong series of APA Heritage Month events."
Learn more about AutoDesk here.
3 Pieces of Advice from Working Moms at Pluralsight
Being fully committed to work and family is a challenge that many working parents have to take on. It can be exhausting and thankless pursuing a fulfilling full-time career, while taking an active role as a parent. Achieving a healthy balance can help keep you motivated and productive at work, while allowing you to be fully present when you're home.
We recently chatted with working moms at technology skills platform, Pluralsight, about their best advice for striking that elusive work-life balance. Here were their key points:
Stop trying to be a supermom
You are a wonder woman. You do so much! Even with the most supportive spouse, there are so many things to remember, so many tasks to do, appointments, events, plans, work projects, meetings, etc. that burnout is looming at every turn. Have grace for yourself. It usually takes someone else to point that out when we've hit our limit, so we must do our best to prevent that and remind ourselves regularly that we are only human and can only juggle so many things at a time. Plan and set realistic expectations for yourself. Planning conservatively will help get prioritized things done on time. It will help you be more efficient so you can perform at work while being present at home too.
Integrations Engineer, San Diego, CA
Set realistic expectations and embrace change
Just like in any relationship, you must understand how valuable you are in order to maintain a fair agreement between you and your employer. Understanding how valuable you are will help you gain the confidence required to speak up and ask for what will make you a happy and productive employee. You don't ask, you don't get. Some employers already understand the importance of a work/life balance for their staff, but if not, you may need to set firm expectations and boundaries (i.e. long hours, weekend work, workload, etc). When you make it clear what you are willing to do and where your limits are, expectations can ensure employers plan accordingly and you get the time you need for family.
Integrations Engineer, San Diego, CA
At 12 weeks pregnant, I had already read half a dozen books and countless articles on pregnancy and childbirth. My bag was packed with a cute after-hospital outfit, the birth plan was written, and I was prepared.
When my twin girls arrived a month early, the birth plan was the first thing to fly out the window. The books hadn't prepared me for the messiness of childbirth. The cute outfit stayed in my bag. But none of that mattered– I was now responsible for these tiny beautiful human beings who had become my whole world. I was part of something bigger.
This first lesson of motherhood– to embrace change and never lose sight of what's really important– has become invaluable in all aspects of my personal and professional life. In my two-decade career as a software engineer and leader, I constantly find myself throwing plans out the window and adapting to new situations. Being a working mother of five has taught me to use those messy moments as learning opportunities. A greater sense of purpose keeps me grounded and grateful through all the change. At home, it is my family. At work, it comes from being a member of an amazing team and building products that make a difference.
Sr. Director of Software Development, Flow Visualization, Durango, CO
Drop the guilt and give yourself grace
I honestly never envisioned myself being a working mom. It wasn't until I landed in a career that I truly loved, that I thought about how I could pursue both dreams of being a mother and continuing to progress career-wise.
When I first returned to work, it was really challenging. I felt pulled in so many different directions for how I showed up for both family and work. I found myself stretched thin and worn out. Ultimately I didn't feel like I was performing well in any area of my life.
It wasn't until I learned how to prioritize my time, and honestly, say no when others asked for things I couldn't commit to without over-extending myself, that I felt like I really succeeded.
I received some great advice from a mentor about the importance of setting realistic expectations of how much time I can give. At the beginning of my journey of working motherhood, I always felt like I was missing out on work stuff when I had to drop off/pick up my son from daycare. When I was put on meetings that went outside of regular working hours, I felt this pressure to listen in to every word. It made things stressful for both me and my son.
When I finally decided that I was going to spend that commuting time interacting with my son instead of trying to find ways to keep him quiet so I could listen to meetings, things changed for me.
I ask team members to take notes they can share with me following the meeting. Or in cases where there are more details I know I need, I ask for recordings of the meetings. And you know what? I usually find that I'm not missing too much. The business carries on. I'm able to perform my job function well. And I don't feel like my team sees me as less committed for prioritizing my family.
Demand Program Manager, Utah
Only you know what is best for you and your family. Will you be a better mom and wife if you provide financially? Would you make more of a difference if you were a stay-at-home-mom? I tried to be a stay-at-home-mom after being a working mom, and let's just say my impatient personality didn't make for such a positive experience. Also, missing my kids while at work helps me look forward to seeing them and gives me the reset I need sometimes. Each choice has its challenges, and even if you do not have the luxury to choose, just know that whichever way you go YOU ARE DOING THE BEST YOU CAN and that is all you can do. You can feel guilty either way, so choose to do your best and drop the guilt.
Integrations Engineer, San Diego, CA
Learn more about Pluralsight's open roles here.
When the startup Adriana Bosinceanu was working for got acquired, things changed fast.
She went from being one of eight engineers on a small team building a streaming service to joining a company that was five times larger and had a much bigger scope.
That company was Plex, where Adriana has been working remotely as a software engineer for the last four and a half years.
As her team grew from two people to ten, Adriana decided to lean into the opportunity to grow; along the way, she found herself deepening her technical skills, her self-confidence, and her relationships. We sat down with Adriana to learn exactly how she did that, and to hear the tips she has for other engineers experiencing growth opportunities on their team.
Seeing the good
When faced with the complete disruption of the way your team works, you might feel overwhelmed, pessimistic, or even scared.
While it took about a month to get used to working on a new, bigger team and supporting a growing product, Adriana quickly saw all of the positives of her new position—including and especially all the learning it set her up to do.
"I started working with two new colleagues, and they were both such good engineers," says Adriana. "I went from an environment where I was the most senior person, and didn't really have anyone to share things with, to this place where I was suddenly surrounded by senior engineers who were very good at what they were doing."
Again, that might sound like an environment ripe for causing feelings of inadequacy. But Adriana saw it as an opportunity to learn from the best people in her field. And she knows she's not alone in having that experience at Plex.
Since the media streaming company has always been all-remote, explains Adriana, who works from a small city in Romania, that means they can pull the best-quality talent. "Whenever they hire someone, they don't have to pick the best person in the city—it's always the best person out of a much bigger pool of candidates. That means that in general, the people at Plex are pretty great, and very culturally different, and it's just a nice atmosphere," she says.
She attributes a lot of that to Plex's culture. "Every company has their values, and some are more genuine than others," she says. "In our case, one of our values is to be kind and nice to each other, which sounds very simple. But here, everyone is actually trying to be kind and helpful. [And] when you start working with people who don't act in any way like they're superior or know more or have more experience, then you don't really feel overwhelmed."
Leaning into technical challenges
Soon after Plex acquired Adriana's former employer, her team was faced with a new project: to build out the content streaming side of Plex's personal media product.
Instead of a user just being able to access their personal home videos or pictures from all their devices, this new project would introduce streaming options, from podcasts to TIDAL to live TV.
"I've been in a lot of companies where people are scared by a big change or a big feature. They try to just do the smaller version instead. And our mindset has always been to not be scared of doing the scary, big feature," says Adriana.
Her team jumped all the way in, and it paid off. "It was super fun because I was there from the start," says Adriana. "From the first line of code committed to now, years later. It really helped my confidence to be able to make decisions, to see everything grow, and to figure out that it's okay to make mistakes and to rewrite, to adapt, and to be constantly evolving."
"My technical skills have definitely grown because before I had never worked on a product that had such a scale. I never worked somewhere where we had to deal with hundreds of millions of requests a day or with huge databases," explains Adriana.
Now, being in charge of vital parts of this huge project, Adriana can look back and recognize the impact that taking on a big technical challenge with a growing team had on her self-confidence.
"I feel that now I could do anything," she says. "I could be part of any tech project, where before, I didn't have the confidence to think about myself that way. [That comes from] seeing how I could start a big, ambitious project and actually code it from beginning to end."
3 tips for making the most out of growth opportunities
If you find yourself in a situation similar to Adriana's, whether that's experiencing growth on your team, joining a new company, or facing a new, challenging project, here's what she recommends you do:
- Get to know your team and understand its dynamics. "Whenever someone joins the team, the team dynamic changes," she says. "Sometimes it's very easy, sometimes you need to adapt." Pre-pandemic, she and her Plex colleagues kept up with that dynamic by meeting up for in-person off-sites at least twice a year. "When you get together with your small team in a foreign city for a week, you have time to talk about everything and to bond, and those have really helped us a lot," she says. They took those meetups online this last year, and while some of the magic is definitely missing, says Adriana, "a week of not coding and hanging out and talking still helps."
- Be patient with yourself if you feel overwhelmed. "A lot of people feel like they're not good enough or don't have enough experience and that's just not true. That's how everyone feels," says Adriana. That's especially true if you're trying on different technical skill sets to find the ones you like best, she adds. "Personally, I switched languages a bunch of times until I finally figured out what I like. I think it's hard to figure out without trying," she says.
- If you're not getting the opportunities you want in your current situation, seek them out. "If you're unhappy, you know, [gather] some courage and apply for whatever your dream job is," says Adriana. "If you're hardworking and you like it and you're into coding, I'm sure it's going to work out."
Your guide to preparing for virtual career fairs and making a great impression with recruiters
According to a LinkedIn survey, up to 85% of jobs are filled via networking. For job seekers, virtual job fairs make networking with recruiters more convenient. You can interact with potential employers from all over the world, ask them questions, and apply for jobs. Every event is different, but they most often include video conferencing features, chat rooms, and Q&A sessions.
Dilyara Timerbulatova, Virtual Job Fair Coordinator at PowerToFly explains that, "virtual job fairs have many benefits, namely connecting top talent and recruiters that would otherwise never cross paths. These events are a tool to help companies build well-rounded, diverse teams that align with the company culture and business vision."
10 steps to standing out at a job fair.
Virtual job fairs are different from the in-person experience that we're used to, so it's important to adapt and prepare for this new setting. Here are some key ways to put your best foot forward and make a lasting impression with a recruiter.
- Update your LinkedIn profile and resume. Start by making sure that your work history is up to date. Make sure to include any experience relevant to jobs you are applying for.
- Do your homework. Find out which companies will be attending the fair and learn more about what the company does, their mission and values, company culture, and skills they're looking for. At this stage, you can begin preparing questions for the recruiter(s).
- Practice your pitch. During the virtual job fair, you may have to introduce yourself to recruiters. Prepare a short pitch talking about who you are, your skills, and relevant experience. (Not every virtual job fair will provide an opportunity for this, but better safe than sorry. If you do get a bit of time to introduce yourself, you want to make it count.)
- Look the part. YES, you still have to dress professionally, even though this is all happening online. Plus, studies show that dressing up can increase confidence, which might be the boost that you need to score the job.
- Prepare your space. Find a quiet area with a strong wi-fi connection and do your best to make sure your background is clean and distraction-free. We recommend sitting against a neutral wall, preferably near a power outlet, just in case your computer battery runs low. Don't forget to turn your phone and computer on 'do-not-disturb' mode.
- Be on time. As they say, five minutes early is on time, and on time is late. Showing up early demonstrates that you are dependable and consistent. Remember to leave some extra time for potential technical difficulties or connection issues, and log into the fair a few minutes early. Who knows, you might get the chance to snag a few extra minutes with recruiters while you wait for the rest of the fairgoers to arrive.
- Use strong body language. Since the interactions between recruiters and talent are virtual, the ability to read a person's body language is limited. Introduce yourself with a smile, maintain focused eye contact, and nod your head in agreement (even when your microphone is muted). Using strong body language will help you demonstrate interest and confidence.
- Communicate professionally. One of the best ways for a candidate to stand out is through good communication and grammar skills. During a virtual job fair, a lot of communication will be done through written interactions, whether in the chat function or follow-up messages/emails. To make a great first impression, you'll want to demonstrate strong written communication and avoid using slang or excessive abbreviations.
- Ask the right questions. Come up with questions that can't be found on the company website. Think of questions that would allow you to get deeper knowledge about the organization's culture, learn about ways to move up in that organization, or discover what you might be able to contribute to the company.
- Follow up. Once the fair is over, connect with recruiters on LinkedIn and include a personalized message thanking them for their time and further expressing your interest in working at their company. Keep in mind that recruiters come in contact with many candidates, so you can use this opportunity to refresh their memory and remind them about why you're a promising candidate, or to properly introduce yourself if you didn't get a chance to do so at the fair. Try and offer a specific example of information they shared that you found valuable to jog their memory and make your thank you feel extra sincere! Don't forget #8 on this list! Always proofread your message before you hit send.
Ready to give it a go? Sign up for PowerToFly's upcoming Virtual Career Fair here.
Learn more about our amazing speakers and sponsors at our June 2021 virtual summit Diversity Reboot: Pride At Work, three days of conversations and panels plus an interactive virtual career fair.
Our Pride At Work summit certainly made us proud! PowerToFly was thrilled to present talks by members of the LGBTQIA+ community alongside some amazing allies. Our conversations ranged from leaders at the highest levels of government positions to visionaries in the worlds of business & tech to artists from the music and entertainment industry. If you tuned in, and celebrated our speakers, thank you! And if you missed the summit or would like to re-watch any of the talks, those conversations will all be available to watch for free on PowerToFly.
If you can, please consider donating to some of the amazing organizations we highlighted at the summit including GLITS, fighting for the health and rights of transgender sex workers; Garden State Equality, the largest LGBTQIA+ advocacy organization in New Jersey, with over 150,000 members; National Black Justice Coalition, a civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people, including people living with HIV/AIDS; and NYC Anti-Violence Project, empowering lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and HIV-affected communities and allies to end all forms of violence through organizing and education, and supports survivors through counseling and advocacy.
Plus, don't forget to visit our Merch Store and grab yourself some PowerToFly apparel. 100% of the proceeds from our sales will be going to TransTech Social, supporting transgender and non-binary people in tech.Finally, registration for our July 12th - 15th virtual summit Diversity Reboot: Tech For Social Impact is now open! Join us to learn about founders from mission-driven organizations and their social impact. Register for free here
Our Gold Sponsors
American Express is a global services company that provides consumers and businesses with exceptional access to products, insights, and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. We make it easier, safer and more rewarding for consumers and businesses to purchase the things they need and for merchants to sell their goods and services through innovative payment, travel, and expense management solutions.
Through our Global Diversity & Inclusion strategy, we're able to channel our efforts in specific ways. We aspire to continue to develop a talent pool that brings together unique perspectives, backgrounds and experiences. We foster a workplace culture where differences are valued and expressed freely and all employees have the support they need to take risks, learn, and collaborate.
The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) delivers world-class geospatial intelligence that provides a decisive advantage to policymakers, warfighters, intelligence professionals and first responders. Anyone who sails a U.S. ship, flies a U.S. aircraft, makes national policy decisions, fights wars, locates targets, responds to natural disasters, or even navigates with a cellphone relies on NGA.
S&P Global is more than just a place to work. It's a place to learn and grow, surrounded by the best and brightest. A place to challenge yourself and advance your career. If you're a pioneer or a thinker, there's a role for you to play in our mission to help accelerate progress in the world.
S&P Global provides essential intelligence for companies, governments and individuals to make decisions with conviction. Our legacy is built on an unwavering ability to deliver data and insights that are vital to the world's economy.
In 2005, Smartsheet was founded on the idea that teams and millions of people worldwide deserve a better way to deliver their very best work. Today, the company delivers a leading cloud-based platform for work execution, empowering organizations to plan, capture, track, automate, and report on work at scale, resulting in more efficient processes and better business outcomes.
Smartsheet went public on the New York Stock Exchange in April 2018 and currently enables collaboration, better decision making, and accelerated innovation for over 76,000 domain-based customers in 190 countries, including 96 of the Fortune 100.
Smartsheet is a passionate team of 1500+ employees spanning offices in Seattle, Boston, London, Edinburgh and Sydney.
Together we can create change. Together we can make an impact. And the only way we can tackle the challenges of a fast-changing world is with people like you. Powered by integrated digital tools of today, you'll provide services, build innovative products and technology solutions that will refine the ways we work and support our clients. The firm is committed to gender equality and focuses on creating an inclusive culture that develops our people to be future leaders.
Our purpose, vision and values are what connects the more than 284,000+ people across the PwC global network of firms and helps distinguish us in the marketplace and with our clients. Discover more about the firm including our impact on society, our commitment to creating a culture of belonging, and how we are investing in technology and our people. Our culture will encourage you to speak up and challenge conventional thinking, and our environment will offer you structured mentorship tailored to your professional development. The PwC experience includes an inclusive workplace community, a culture of flexibility, infinite learning opportunities and personalized coaching supporting career development. We care for our people and are committed to inclusion, understanding and respect for all. The only way we can tackle the challenges of a fast-changing world is with people like you. Explore our careers podcast hub and learn more about what it's like to work at PwC through the voices of our people.
Follow Raytheon Technologies To Get Updated When They Post New Roles On PowerToFly! Raytheon Technologies (NYSE: RTX) is an aerospace and defense company that provides advanced systems and services for commercial, military and government customers worldwide. The company was formed in 2020 through the combination of Raytheon Company and the United Technologies Corporation aerospace businesses, and is headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts. Our values span the enterprise and drive our actions, behaviors and performance. TRUST We act with integrity and do the right thing. RESPECT We embrace diverse perspectives and treat others the way they want to be treated. ACCOUNTABILITY We honor our commitments, expect excellence and take pride in our work. COLLABORATION We share insights, learn together and act as a team. INNOVATION We experiment, design, build and transform with speed and agility.
Diversity & Inclusion. A diverse company is a strong company. The people of Raytheon Technologies come from different backgrounds. We value our different perspectives and styles of solving problems. We leverage those unique voices to generate solutions for a united and singular purpose: to define the future of aerospace and defense.
Our Silver Sponsor
At Esri, we build cutting-edge geographic information
system (GIS) technology that our customers use to solve the world's most complex challenges: slowing climate change, stamping out disease, designing a better city, fighting crime, and much more. Our ArcGIS software is helping communities around the globe respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by monitoring the surge, managing testing sites, aiding essential workers in finding childcare, mapping food and essentials, and keeping residents informed and safe.
We believe having a diverse workforce makes us stronger as an organization. When employees of different backgrounds, cultures, nationalities, and perspectives come together, brainstorming and solutions are more diverse, resulting in innovative products. This also helps our employees feel a sense of inclusion and belonging. A number of employee-led groups exist for colleagues with similar backgrounds and interests, and their allies, to support one another. Connections are made via networking events, "lunch and learn" educational sessions, and the many channels of our internal communication platform. Some of the more established groups include Black, Hispanic, Asian, veteran, LGBTQIA+, and women in tech employee communities with others frequently being created.
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