A Wallflower’s Guide to Networking

Some tech pros love networking; they’ll merrily spend hours shaking hands and meeting new people. Others would jump through flaming hoops, while being pursued by tigers, in order to avoid attending a meet-up or industry get-together. For those who fall into the second group, here are some tips for dipping a toe into the big (and sometimes scary) world of professional networking: Start Slow: A massive network isn’t built overnight. If you hit two or three networking events in a… continue…

The Old-Fashioned Trick to Networking

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When people refer to their “network,” they often mean the dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of contacts they have on Twitter, Facebook, and other social-networking platforms. But when searching for a job, all those virtual followers don’t mean nearly as much as the (comparatively) few people whom you’ve actually met in the flesh. A hundred people on Facebook might see you post about your job search; but your former colleagues and current friends, answering your phone call, are far likelier… continue…

Be Careful With That Referral

Posted In Working in Tech
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When a job opens up in your company, it’s natural to want to refer a friend or former colleague. But when you do, you’re putting your own credibility on the line, and that can have all sorts of ramifications for your own relationships and work. So before you make an introduction, do your own due diligence to make sure the person is qualified for the position, and will fit with your company’s culture. No matter how well you know the… continue…

The Most Surprising Thing About Your Network

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When we think about networking, we usually picture talking to colleagues, classmates or former co-workers. But often, your most valuable “connections” may be people you don’t even know yet: the contacts of contacts of contacts. These distant ties can provide you with intelligence, strategies and opportunities unknown to those people closest to you—and they’re more approachable than you might think. Sound counterintuitive? It’s not when you think about it. Consider one of networking’s inherent weaknesses: We tend to know people… continue…

Daily Tip: Get Coffee With Somebody New

Posted In Working in Tech
In our professional lives, we tend to associate most often with those in our field—and only those in our field. Developers hang out with developers; designers with designers; marketers with marketers; and so on. Gaining knowledge from others in your profession is a vital way to boost your own skills and advance your career. But interacting only with those in your field can lead to a sort of tunnel vision, which in turn can cause problems when it’s time to… continue…

Jump-Start Your Tech Job Search in 2015

Posted In Looking in Tech
It’s a brand new year, and by all indications the economy’s doing pretty well, which means that a lot of people will begin looking for a new, possibly better job. If you’re one of those job seekers, here are some tips for jump-starting your search: Polish That Resume Whether you last updated your resume last month or five years ago, it’s worth taking another scan through before you send it to potential employers. Make sure to include strong verbs in… continue…

Job-Search Tips for Introverts

Posted In Looking in Tech
Most introverts are actually very good communicators who are uncomfortable interacting under certain circumstances. Unfortunately, those difficult situations often include business-related activities such as networking and interviewing. So what’s an ambitious introvert to do when in search of new employment? Prepare and Practice “When prepared, introverts do well in social situations,” said Karen Southall Watts, “professional encourager” and author of Networking for Introverts. “Plan for your networking events,” she continued. “This includes having an idea of how many people you’d… continue…

Using Your Open Source Work to Get a Job

Posted In Looking in Tech
So you’ve worked on an open-source project, and you want to place that experience on your resume in order to move your career forward. Fantastic! In theory, there’s no reason an employer should shun your experience, just because you did the project from home on your own time. But how can you actually leverage that project work to obtain a full-time job? The Entire Project Is a Reflection on You First, make sure that any project you present on your… continue…

Daily Tip: Keep in Touch

Posted In Looking in Tech
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So you steeled up your courage and attended a networking event; once there, you smiled and chatted and collected contact info from people who might prove useful to your career; after you returned home, you diligently inputted that info into the spreadsheet or address app of your choice. Now comes the hard part: actually maintaining those contacts. In our ultra-busy world, it’s difficult to keep in touch with all your friends and family, much less that professional colleague you met… continue…

Daily Tip: Networking for Folks Who Hate Networking

Posted In Looking in Tech
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Everybody always says that the best way to build out your professional connections is to network as much as humanly possible. But many shy people would rather walk over a hundred yards of broken glass than strike up conversation after conversation with strangers. Fortunately, a few simple tips can make networking a little easier for introverts and others who hate to schmooze: Smile: When you smile, you attract people to you. A smile suggests confidence. There’s even some scientific research… continue…