Looking to land your dream tech role this year but wondering how the pandemic will affect your chances? Put yourself ahead of the curve and find out how you can secure a new job in 2021
With a national recession looming and thousands of jobs being made redundant, furloughed or cut, no one can deny that it’s been a difficult time in the world of work. Still, we’re optimistic as a society – we tend to view a new year as the opportunity to make impactful changes to our lives, including landing our dream job, and 2021 Is no different.
The ‘new normal’, as it was begrudgingly coined, was pushed upon everyone in 2020 whether we were ready for it or not. However, over the past few months, businesses have reflected, adapted and are changing their internal structures to bring about external changes. This includes more hiring for tech roles which bodes positively for those looking to make a career change this year.
Is it really possible to find a new role during a pandemic?
Short answer: Yes. Long answer: Still yes.
We know what you’re thinking - it’s hard enough trying to get a new role at the best of times, but how about in the middle of a pandemic? Whilst certain sectors such as retail and hospitality have been hit quite severely, others such as tech have seen an incredible boom in business and are eager to make new hires. This is where you come in.
Many companies who at first forcibly shut down their hiring pipeline are now actively wanting to gain new starters, especially for tech roles. Think software engineers, full stack developers, and more. So yes, it really is possible to find a new role.
That’s all well and good but what does this mean for me?
With advances in cybersecurity, AI, and engineering, opportunities are starting to spring up everywhere and many organisations have reprioritised their objectives and strategy. As they forge ahead with new technologies, this has led to a massive increase in the demand for people to fill these roles – so you’re actually starting on pretty good footing.
If you’re wondering how you’re going to start a new role this year, or what’s on offer, we’ve put together some of our top tips to help you stand out from the crowd and secure a job.
1. Build upon your skills: both technical and soft
This is quite common advice, but most people only focus on one side of their skills. Some people gain certifications and go on courses, but haven’t worked on their communication, creative thinking, adaptability or other ‘soft’ skills. Similarly, plenty of people will wax lyrical about their abilities to communicate but don’t have evidence of their technical skills. By building up both your technical and soft skills simultaneously, you’ll demonstrate a full-bodied approach that you can bring to an organisation, making you stand out from those who only focus on one side.
Practical ways to do this: Sign up to academies and accredited courses such as flatiron school or udemy for new skills, or if you already have technical skills then set yourself a deadline and build a project yourself. By building a project and adding it to your personal GitLab or GitHub, it becomes a personal portfolio for you to share with perspective employers. Go through your experience and evidence how soft skills helped you to achieve success in a project or role.
2. Broaden your search
Niche roles are exactly that – niche, but you can still maximise your opportunities by broadening your search in other ways. In an ideal world you would have your dream salary, dream title, less working hours and amazing benefits and perks. And whilst this is still possible, the pandemic has meant that you may also have to compromise on certain aspects. Don’t despair, this can still work out well for you. Create a list of your non-negotiables and then things you are more open to changing. For example, maybe you’d be open to a few days less annual leave if you were given more allocated hours within the working week to spend on personal learning and development opportunities.
Consider your core skills as well – can these be applied to other sectors or perhaps a different sized organisation to the one you initially wanted? You can also literally broaden your search — you may want to work in Huddersfield for example, but would you be open to a role in Halifax, Leeds or Manchester as well?
On the flip side – don’t feel as though you have to compromise everything just to have a new role. Whilst you may be desperate for a new job, it is better for it to be a job that can work out long-term and where you don’t immediately start off at a disadvantage.
Practical ways to do this: Look up profiles of companies that you would like to work in and also competitors. Make a table of what each company offers, location, salary etc and how willing you would be to working there.
3. Network, network, network! And sign up to hackajob
Before the pandemic when you could network in person, you might have had an excuse for not networking much online or signing up to platforms like hackajob. But now it’s time to make these methods work for you, and it doesn’t have to be stiff or awkward at all.
Do I really have to network? It’s definitely important to network whether online or offline but this time you can do it on your own terms and this can have its benefits. Consider reconnecting with people from previous roles or organisations or reaching out to any role models.
Or, for a quicker way to your dream tech role, signing up to hackajob is the easiest and most hassle-free way to get connected with companies that are hiring now and looking for people with your skills. With a plethora of really exciting companies and opportunities, you could have a new role in just weeks.
Practical ways to do this: Sign up, complete your profile here, validate your skills and sit back as the offers come in
4. Attend webinars and talks from the companies you’re trying to work for, or from candidates who were previously in your position
Webinars are a great way to learn from and engage with those companies whom you are trying to join. You can receive insightful knowledge from those who have been in your position, ask questions and have an immediate response, and learn more about the culture before you apply. These are incredibly helpful when you’re looking for a way to find out more about the company you’re applying to.
Practical ways to do this: hackajob hosts puts on informative webinars with a range of organisations - there's something for everyone. Sign up to hackajob here to receive exclusive access to our webinars, resources and of course – roles!
The pandemic has driven us to think, act, socialise and work in completely new ways, and whilst we are still a way from abandoning social distancing or not having to wear masks, there is hope in the world of work. By following these tips, you can take steps towards achieving your next tech role.