Tips on Getting Started in Tech Without Prior ExperienceFeatured
Two years ago, I quit my job at a digital marketing agency. I was unhappy with the routine and looking for career growth. I sent my resume to hundreds of companies, one of which was a Silicon Valley tech startup.At first, I didn’t think I was qualified for the job. I graduated college with a degree in Mass Communication, meaning I was on the prowl for mostly writing jobs in any work environment.So you can imagine my surprise when I actually got the job as a Content Strategist—only they didn’t give me that position. They opened a new role in the Marketing Department specifically for me.It was overwhelming during my first day, especially because I had no clue what anyone was doing. I didn’t even fully understand my role in the company. I was afraid to ask, thinking maybe if I did they might figure out that hiring me was a mistake.If you’re starting a career in tech without prior experience, don’t worry. It might seem overwhelming at first, but you’ll get the hang of it eventually.Here are some tips to help you navigate your way through starting a career in tech based on things I learned the hard way.Accept the jobIf you’re lucky enough to get hired by a tech company, go through with it even if you don’t have any or enough experience.Everyone starts somewhere. Allow yourself to learn the ropes of the job and take one step at a time.It might even help to remind yourself that you probably wouldn’t have been hired if your employer thought you were 100% incapable of doing the job.Ask questionsIf you’re unsure of how to do your tasks or projects, it’s okay to ask someone else about it.You don’t have to pretend to know what you’re doing! The point is to make sure you get the job done. If you’re stuck in a rut, ask for help.Nobody’s going to judge you for asking questions, not even your boss. In fact, your willingness to learn something new shows when you ask questions, even if there are a ton.Be open to constructive criticismSometimes, you’ll have to deal with countless revisions and on some of those days, it won’t be easy to keep your spirits high. Don’t take it personally, though. Constructive criticism is not a comment on your ability to perform a task (even though sometimes it might feel that way).Feedback is part of any job, whether you’re in the creative, tech, or any industry. It’s all about delivering the best version of your work possible.Changes will always be present, especially as you iterate or optimize projects according to experiments.Learn to adapt — and do it quicklyTech startups are fast-paced environments, and I mean really fast. Priorities can change swiftly, and it can be pretty overwhelming. You might even work on a project that might not be relevant next week!Most of the time, you might not get a say in the change of pace, so just brace yourself for when this happens and roll with the punches. Over time, you’ll get used to it. You might even like the pace!Take a breakA 9-to-5 structure doesn’t really exist in startups, so time can either fly by quickly or drag until forever. But because startups are fighting to survive every single day, the workload can take its toll on you, more often than not.Even though there’s so much work to be done, there will always be space for breaks. Mental health should still be your first priority, so when it’s time to take a step back and breathe, do it.I used to work from 8 AM to 7 PM, because I felt like I couldn’t fit all my tasks in eight hours. I would do it everyday because everyday I felt I wasn’t doing enough. In the long run, it taught me two things.Firstly, organize your tasks at the beginning of your day. List them according to priority, so you know which one you can put off tomorrow in case you can’t finish them all today. There’s always tomorrow.Secondly, don’t be too hard on yourself. You’re trying your best and you’re new to this. Take as many breaks as you need.ConclusionI had to learn these things the hard way when I first started. I don’t regret entering the tech industry even though I thought I wasn’t 100% qualified for the job because in the end, I realized I had come so far from when I began.Of the many things my job at a startup taught me, realizing that I could achieve anything I set my mind to was probably the most important.So go ahead and accept that job offer. You’ll meet some of the most brilliant minds at work. You’ll also learn so much about the tech industry, about people, and even about yourself in a small space of time.