The real job security these days is knowing you can get another jobFeatured

Have you ever felt the ground of job security shift beneath your feet? You’re not alone - here’s how to build your own safety net in tech.

I have been relying on these strategies for more than 3 years now in my career. They got me job offers for roles as Engineering Manager and Director for startups without even applying, interviews without a CV, and constant workflow/opportunities as a freelancer without chasing them.

First: Build a strong network

Networking does not mean meeting people randomly and hoping for something to happen.

It's not enough to just be there.

Networking requires effort. It means going the extra mile for people and being intentional about building relationships: who, when, and what to talk about.

The best place to start? Your current context/company

Get out of the bubble: go outside the circle of people you usually interact with:

  • Take ownership of an initiative that requires discussing and aligning with other teams and other stakeholders
  • Use opportunities like events, conferences, demos, parties, and remote coffee chats to meet people outside of your reach in the day-to-day work
  • A stakeholder is offering time to chat? - take it (most people don’t 😉 )

Second best place to start? Anywhere else

→ Events:

Don’t just be there and wait for the magic to happen!

Whenever I go to an event, I have one goal: talk to at least 3 new people. After that, I can enjoy the pizza.

Even if I go to the event with a friend, I tell them about my goal so I am not worried about leaving them alone.

Do your research on people!

Before every event, I think: WHO do I want to talk to?

Sometimes, I go to an event just because I want to meet a particular person – that’s it.


What can I find out about them online that I can use when reaching out?

TIP: usually, the speakers are the easiest people to approach. You already have a common topic: their talk - so tell them what you liked about it, something particular that stood out to you that you relate to (I usually write one thing down from each talk in my notes that I can use after).

TIP: That is why I also prefer to be a Speaker - makes networking so easy - people just reach out to me 😃

Keep notes

Don’t just rely on your brain to remember everyone! That is a big responsibility! Help yourself!

I have a list for every person I talk to: where we met and when, what their current role is and what company they work for, our common topics, and possible ways of working together.

→ Get out of your comfort zone and just reach out to people

I am always surprised by how willing people are to help when you are specific about your needs and make it easy for them to help you, even if you randomly connect with them at an event.

→ Communities

Being part of tech communities that support underrepresented groups in tech was a key amplifier of my visibility in tech and advancing my career.

How many should you join? In this case, less is more. When choosing a community, the key is to have a focus.

Check out a couple of them and find the one that fits you the most, maybe because you already know someone in there or you just like the vibe.

Then, invest in that community and make the most of it: organize events, mentor others, ask for help, and build meaningful relationships.

→ Your current network might be stronger than you think

I know a lot of people who got jobs in tech from friends who were not even in tech. So, if you are looking for a job, make it visible: tell people around (family, friends) where you are, what you are looking for, and how they can help if they want to.

Second: Build a personal brand

Inside and outside your work - you are more than your company 😉

Inside work:

  • Do that demo that no one wants to do
  • Facilitate a meeting
  • Use every opportunity to make your work visible: to your manager (1-1s are a great place to do that), your team, other teams
  • Build documentation - a great way to leave a trace
  • Prioritize high-impact projects and tasks that expand your visibility outside of your team

Outside of work

We all have things to talk/write about – those things that you think everyone knows, they don’t!

There is always someone in front of you but also someone behind that can learn from you 🙂

So, share:

  • Find a topic: what is something that you find yourself always talking about?
  • Experiment with what works best for you for sharing knowledge: random writing (LinkedIn), blogging (Substack, Medium), video content (YouTube), conference speaker, a mix of these.
  • Start sharing: build a routine to share - focus on building the habit
  • And now: patience, the results will come 🙂
  • The secret: define a long-term goal and then forget about it -> focus on actions, and daily habits that will take you there

Plus points:

  • Your self-confidence grows, This process forces you to reflect on your progress and challenges – things you don’t get much time to do in the day-to-day
  • You also grow in the process - you don’t really know something until you can explain it to someone else

Third: Keep on growing

The two strategies I mentioned before get you in the door (which is one of the hardest things I see people struggling with these days on the tech job market as there are so many people on the market).

You still have to prove your value once you are in the conversations, so:

→ Keep testing your value on the market

From time to time, do an interview just to test your value on the market. Even if you are not going to change jobs, this can help you:

  • Boost your self-confidence by showing you there are options out there and you might be more relevant than you think.
  • Target your learning. The interview process can help you identify gaps in your knowledge that you can address in your current role by being more intentional in choosing your tasks, which will prepare you if you need to change jobs.
  • Build your network. Keep track of all the people involved in the interview process - their roles, what interviews you have done. Anything particular about those people that you can use to connect in the future?
  • Think future-wise. Regardless of how far you get in the interview process, even if you refuse the offer, leave the door open. Mention that you are not ready for a change now but maybe in the future, so you can reach out to the recruiter/people when you need to. There is a high chance that they will just hire you or invite you directly to the interview, as trust has already been built.

→ Keep a Brag & a Challenges list

Track your work and the impact (who you impacted, how, and any numbers you can get to illustrate the impact).

Looking for a job process can get easily overwhelming. These lists are going to come in handy to boost your self-confidence and for interview preparation, if you need to be looking for another job.

→ Treat each performance review like a job interview

Use each performance review as an opportunity to practice interview skills - talking about your work and accomplishments as if the person in front of you doesn’t know you.

In conclusion, the most reliable form of job security in the tech industry isn't simply maintaining your current position - it's having the skills and network to confidently secure your next opportunity.

Through the strategies I've shared, drawn from both personal experience and the successes of those I've coached, you can see how enhancing your visibility and network can prepare you for future career moves and develop a proactive mindset in managing your career trajectory.

So, take a moment today to reflect on your career goals and the network you're building

  • Are you making yourself visible in the right circles?
  • Are you reaching out and making meaningful connections?

Start now by taking one small step toward enhancing your professional presence. This isn't just preparation for the future, it's an investment in a thriving career in tech.

Your future self will thank you for taking these steps now 😉

some very solid tips, @anemari! I like and agree with everything but what resonated even more was the focus on intentionality and going to events with an angle/goal! i love it keep up your great work :)
Thank you! :)glad to hear you liked it :)
Thank you for this encouraging insight! I feel validated by your perspective. I am a personal branding coach and I found this post to be full of valuable information.
thank you :)
Love this!
Thank you for writing this. This is a fantastic piece. I have one question: as someone who might be in the market looking for a gig or a better opportunity, how do you make use of your network to take the conversation to that level? This is where I have struggled: my network has been great but I am unable to utilize it for a tangible outcome such as an opportunity to work on something newer, bigger and better.Specifically, how do you take the conversation from who you are and who the company is, to how you can collaborate together? Do you simply say "it would be great to be able to collaborate"? or is there a subtle way to get on their map as a potential partner? I have always thought that asking out loud is perceived as a crass and desperate manner.
Hi :)Very good question!My advice would be to be as straightforward as possbile: tell people what you would want from them and how they can help People don't have time these days to guess and do a long dance.Also, the more you go around the subject the harder is for them to understand what exactly they could do.The clearer you are about the request: "I could use referal, I could use your help with my CV, ..." the easier is for them to say yes or no as they can estimate the effort it will take on their side.SO being clear is your best chance :)There is a risk some people might see it as desperate? yes - but in my experience those people wouldn't have helped anyway The other option (and the one that I invite you to consider ) is that some people will react positively and say - yes, I can help with that! - this require you to get out of your comfort zone and take a chance on people Remember: You don't need everyone to say yes :)2 more things that helped me with this approach:- always leave people a way out: is ok if you cannot help - mention you are happy to return the favour and help them at some pointLast thing for you to reflect on: what is the worst that can happen? what you are currently is obviously not working :(Hopefully this helps :)
Thank you for this. Yes definitely takes a bit of getting out of comfort zone but well, one gotta do what one gotta do.
Thank you for the tips, @anemari! As a follow up question: how would you recommend going about finding events to attend?
@hannahkleijwegt there are a couple of ways;through platforms:eventbrite meetupon companies website but the best way is through communities in tech they usually have a slack workspace with an events channel 😁
This is so helpful - thank you!