Tips For Women In Tech: Juggling Family, Career, and Self-Care

Tips For Women In Tech: Juggling Family, Career, and Self-Care

COVID-19 has radically changed the working landscape in America. While working from home offers benefits such as protection from potentially contracting COVID-19 in the office and reduced transportation costs, it also brings about unprecedented challenges — specifically for working women. 

According to TrustRadius’ annual report that surveyed the impact of COVID-19 on professional women in tech, “women in tech are 1.6x as likely to be laid-off or furloughed than men.” In addition, women are still expected to assume a large part of the child care responsibility, and thus are “nearly 1.5 times as likely as men to report feeling a greater childcare burden due to COVID-19.” 

To avoid the effects of COVID-19 burnout, continue reading for helpful tips you can begin implementing in your professional and personal life to feel less stressed. 

.

Tip #1: Manage Expectations 

Routines are superb for accomplishing goals and sticking to habits. However, when you are juggling your career, your children, and personal care, strict deadlines and routines may go out the door faster than you think. Carve in an extra 10-15 minutes in between your important tasks of the day and allow yourself the space to be flexible. 

Tip #2: Set Clear Boundaries at Work

Now more than ever, checking Slack notifications during lunch time and answering late-night client emails in bed has become the norm. However, these habits can leave you feeling depleted and burned out.

If you find yourself working outside of normal office hours on a consistent basis, make it clear to your employer that unless it’s an emergency, you will be logging off at a certain time. Your employer does not need to know the specifics and if he/she objects, consider having a conversation about ways to streamline the work during the day or shuffling some tasks to other members of the team. 

Tip #3: Get Your Endorphins Pumping

Move your body throughout the day! Just 30 minutes of daily exercise can have a significant impact on reducing stress levels and raising your endorphins (the “feel good” hormones). If you can’t block out a chunk of time to workout, consider investing in a standing desk or a seated bicycle to keep you active during extra-long Zoom calls. 

Tip #4: Ask for Help

According to CNBC.com, symptoms of burnout can often manifest themselves in wanting to be alone. While quiet time for introspection is a great way of reducing stress levels, consider tapping into your support system and reaching out to friends, family, or neighbors to help alleviate feelings of stress or loneliness. 

Download and save on your desktop or phone for a reminder:).

March-blog-juggling-family

A final note on being a woman who works from home…

You’re doing amazing things with your career and the fact that you’re able to work from home, take care of the family, and have other obligations is astounding. If you haven’t heard it before, you are great, validated, and we love to see you thrive!

If you are a technology professional looking to connect to organizations that value your diverse background and the unique experiences you bring, click HERE to apply to work with a MinTech Agency recruiter and land your dream job!  

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2021 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Negotiating the Salary You Want

Negotiating the Salary You Want

Negotiating salaries or asking for a raise can be daunting. This is especially true for people who identify with minority groups and/or women of color (WOC). Research from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business shows that college-educated black men earn 20 percent less than college-educated white men, and the gap is 8 percent for college-educated women. Additional findings from this study revealed that participants who were racially biased expected black job seekers to be less likely to negotiate as compared to their white counterparts.

Therefore, it is critical to enter salary negotiations prepared. If you’re ready to take the next steps, MinTech Agency has put together 4 tips for prospective hires and current employees to ace their salary negotiations. 

Negotiating Your Salary as a Prospective Hire

Tip #1: What Are You Worth? 

Before entering any salary negotiation, survey the pay landscape for your specific industry and job title. With up-to-date information on the average pay someone in your position receives, you can be confident in knowing your salary negotiations are backed up by industry statistics. 

Tip #2: Prepare Yourself for Resistance

Once you’ve received a job offer from your hiring manager, take pride in the fact that you have presented yourself as a potentially valuable asset to the team or organization. That being said, salary negotiations can often be tense environments that new employees may be afraid or not willing to enter into. However, it’s all part of the game

According to the Harvard Business Review, “You need to prepare for questions and issues that would put you on the defensive, make you feel uncomfortable, or expose your weaknesses. Your goal is to answer honestly without looking like an unattractive candidate—and without giving up too much bargaining power.” 

negotiating-the-salary-you-want

Negotiating Your Salary as a Current Employee

Tip #1: Assess Your Accomplishments 

Before entering salary negotiations, inventory the accomplishments you have achieved during your employment. When your employers see the value add of your work to the organization, they are more likely to see the validity behind your ask. According to Glassdoor.com, “Your salary is more than a deposit to your bank account: it’s how your company shows you that they appreciate your work and value you and your skills.”  

Tip #2: Consult Your Peers or Career Advisors

In addition to researching the average pay for your current job title in your industry, it is beneficial to consult with career advisors in your field. Human resources may also be a valuable asset in helping you to determine the perks and benefits of your job, and who can communicate your desires for a pay rise to your supervisors. 

A final note on negotiating your salary…

Not every negotiation will result in a salary increase. If you ever come across a situation where the company will not negotiate salary, and you truly want to work with this company, consider negotiating other aspects of your job offer. For example, more time off, flexibility in your schedule (remote versus flex/hybrid schedule), or you just walk. The great thing about having the power of negotiation in your hands is that you are in control.

If you are a technology professional looking to connect to organizations that value your diverse background and the unique experiences you bring, click HERE to apply to work with a MinTech Agency recruiter and land your dream job!  

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2021 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Should you consider getting a second degree for your tech career?

Should you consider getting a second degree for your tech career?

If you are looking to boost your tech career by getting a second degree and don’t know why doing this would help you, be sure to keep reading this article!

Today, many specialties opportunities are rising in the tech industry. This is something that did not happen some years ago, as the educational field usually offered few degree options.

However, with the tech industry leveraging up pretty fast, getting a second degree may sound like a good opportunity for tech professionals to enhance their careers, change paths or find more job opportunities in other tech-related fields.

Should you consider getting a second degree for your tech career

How to choose your second degree? 

Before deciding which path to pursue, it’s essential to consider some things like:  

  • Your goals. When choosing a second degree, having clear goals about what you want to achieve is crucial to trace an educational path that it’s really worth for you. Therefore, define your goals properly before taking any steps. 
  • Your time. Consider how much time you have available to dedicate to it. 
  • The area of expertise you want to get in. Before choosing, also evaluate the market and opportunities in the new specialty you are seeking to enroll in. This way, you can verify if it’s really worth it. 

Degree options for tech professionals 

Check out some degree options you can pursue in your new specialty! 

Computer Science 

A computer science degree usually offers graduate and undergraduate degrees, meaning you can enroll in bachelor’s or master’s programs depending on your goals.  

In these programs, students can explore many fields like:  

  • Artificial Intelligence; 
  • Software Engineering; 
  • Software Development; 
  • Game Design and Development, among others. 

Educational Technology 

This field of expertise provides graduate-seekers the opportunity to contribute to the learning system in regard to technology studies.  

Professionals in this field can enroll in master’s degrees and search for job opportunities in educational, business, and other areas, in positions like: 

  • Consultant; 
  • Computer Instructor; 
  • Course Designer; 
  • Corporate Training; 
  • Project Manager, etc.  

Electrical and Computer Engineering 

This is a fundamental area of expertise in today’s world, and the students seeking a second degree in this field can find job opportunities as: 

  • Hardware Design Engineers; 
  • Project Engineers; 
  • System Engineers; 
  • Circuits Engineers; 
  • Controls Engineers, etc. 

An undergraduate degree will probably be required in this field. 

Information Systems 

Information Systems is a broad sector that deals with many issues related to the IT field. The degree-seeker can find job opportunities in the educational, business, government, and other areas. Some positions are: 

  • Systems analysts; 
  • Computer Programmers; 
  • Computer Support Specialists; 
  • Consultants, etc. 

Library Science and Information Studies 

This is a more unusual line of work in the tech field. However, many tech professionals are searching to enroll in a master’s degree in this field to explore studies like content management, chief information officer, library systems, and application development, among others.  

Master of Business Administration (MBA) 

MBA degrees can offer career paths in areas like marketing, management, finances, and administration. This can be a great opportunity for tech professionals who seek positions in the business field.  

Job opportunities are: 

  • Market Research Analysts; 
  • Chief Executive; 
  • Training and Development Manager; 
  • Financial Manager, etc. 

Techno-MBA 

Techno-MBA degrees gather a traditional MBA degree with the IT field and offer more high-demand job opportunities to tech professionals seeking to enroll in sectors like innovation, transformation, digital strategies, IT design, telecommunications, etc. 

Computer Animation, Graphics, and Multimedia 

These areas of expertise involve positions related to creativity, such as web productions and TV. Professionals in this field are responsible for creating visual pieces, computer graphics, animation, and visual effects. It offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees.   

Telecommunications 

In Telecommunications, the tech professional can explore fields like the Internet of Things, wireless networks, communications systems, and more. Tech professionals can enroll in advanced degree programs and find jobs positions like: 

  • Data analyst; 
  • Computer programmer; 
  • Systems manager, etc. 

Now that you know some possibilities and career paths, you are ready to take the next step in your tech career and enroll in a second-degree program to boost your skills!  

And if you like this content, be sure to keep following our blog for more!  

If you are a technology professional looking to connect to organizations that value your diverse background and the unique experiences you bring, click HERE to apply to work with a MinTech Agency recruiter and land your dream job!  

 

How to change your specialty in IT in 6 steps

How to change your specialty in IT in 6 steps

Have you been thinking about developing new skills or adding a specialty in IT and don’t know where to start this transition?

There comes a point when you think you are thriving in your dream job and will become professionally fulfilled, but you suddenly realize that your IT role was not exactly what you expected.

Or perhaps you even did it well for many years, but now you are looking for a new challenge with a different company.

Whatever the reason, in this article, you will learn 6 simple and effective steps to accomplish this goal! Check them and see how you can take the next opportunity in your IT career.

These are significant changes, so, before doing anything, it is essential to have a plan to follow. Check the steps!

How to change your speciality in IT in 6 steps

Think Small

Working for a small business is a great way to develop your skills. It can also help you get to know your field better. This kind of environment can translate into more flexibility and inclusivity. All of this together can be a great scenario for developing new skills.

Some larger companies may provide a wider range of opportunities, but smaller companies will allow you to broaden your skills outside of your specialty area. You can gain exposure to other domains at smaller companies as well since technical jobs are more flexible.

Prepare with personal projects  

No matter where you make the transition, you should be able to demonstrate your skill in your new field. You can prove your worth by developing a portfolio of personal IT projects in addition to training or certifications.

The key here is to organize your portfolio in a way that actually highlights your IT specialty. This allows you to prove yourself while also working in a business. And, therefore, improving your career on many levels.

Use industry knowledge to your advantage

Now that you have decided to change your specialty in IT, it may seem like you have to start it all over. But that is not true. You already have leverage in this field. So remember to gather your knowledge from what you already know in IT and train yourself in this new direction.

Once you get started, you will visualize better where you were and what you need to do to get where you want to be.

Work on getting your certifications

This step is very important to establish that you have changed paths and are going for a new specialty in IT. So, it is time to go after those certifications! Simply searching for “Top IT certifications” can get you many lists of what certifications are available for IT professionals looking to elevate their tech career.

These are a sure way to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise. And as much as the side projects, certifications are really important to raise your options when looking for a new job opportunity.

Plan it out before you begin

Switching credentials can be challenging. Therefore, establishing a plan can make the process more cohesive.  

In this case, you will know what you need to do next in order to get where you want to be. So make sure to be comfortable and prepared with the path and the position you are seeking.

Work with a recruiter who can guide you through the whole process

Recruiters have the inner knowledge of networks and contacts of who is hiring and for which positions.

This can spare you a lot of time and energy with job applications. It also can be a lot of help to have a partner who is on your side and can negotiate for a competitive salary and benefits package.

Are you ready? Now that you learned these tips, you can make your next IT career move with the right foot on the door!

If you are a technology professional looking to connect to organizations that value your diverse background and the unique experiences you bring, click HERE to apply to work with a MinTech Agency recruiter and land your dream job!  

 

You Have Decided You Want To Become A Tech Lead. Now What?

You Have Decided You Want To Become A Tech Lead. Now What?

Let’s say you want to become a tech lead. Now you must be wondering what to do, right?  

There comes a time in every career, including a tech career, when a person feels the need to take on more responsibilities and assume a leadership position. Meaning you will have to go through some significant changes in your professional life and take higher risks.  

Sometimes this happens naturally, as you start to become an expert in the tech job you execute, and then, one time, the opportunity bangs on the door, and you realize that you want to take a leadership role in the company.  

But what if you don’t feel ready to assume this new position? What should you know to execute your new role successfully?   

Don’t worry! If you don’t know what to do to become a tech lead, this article will definitely help you out. So, read on and check out some of our tips! 

tech lead technical leader leadership team soft skills tech career senior tech

Why is becoming a tech lead a great opportunity for you? 

Becoming a tech lead is an excellent opportunity simply because it allows you to develop yourself, both professionally and personally, by taking greater responsibilities and dealing with the other side of the job. 

But becoming a tech lead involves more than only overseeing the technical work of your team. It goes beyond, and it has to do with the interpersonal skills and management of your team.  

So, what to do so you don’t start your leadership role on the wrong foot? 

What soft skills should a tech lead have? 

A leadership position comes with big responsibilities. After all, you will be dealing with people, which means you will have to know how to handle your team effectively. And for that, we don’t mean only the technical stuff. 

Naturally, in order to take this new role in the company, you must have the technical knowledge needed and some experience in managing projects.  

However, it also involves other aspects like: 

  • Handle your team 
  • Effectively communicate with them and other parties involved in the project 
  • Be capable of making decisions that will keep the quality of work, etc. 

Therefore, developing soft skills, that is, skills related to emotional health and interpersonal relationships, are essential to execute a tech lead role. 

So, we have gathered four fundamental soft skills a tech lead should have (or develop) to execute a good job as a technology leader. 

Check them out! 

Interpersonal Communication

Have you ever heard the phrase that says communication is the key? Well, it is. 

To become an effective tech lead, you should communicate well with your team and with the other parties of the project.  

Since you will be in a management position, having communication skills is crucial. 

You must have clear communication with your team giving specific directions to them and hearing their questions and needs.  

Having effective interpersonal communication will only help you and your team to achieve good outcomes in the projects you work on.  

Empathy 

One of the most important soft skills a tech lead (or any leader) should have is empathy. After all, when you assume a leadership position, you will be dealing with people. 

Hence, you should be open to help your team. Hear them out, understand what is going on with your team, and try to put yourself in their place.  

In the end, you will realize that you may also have to go through some difficulties before you become a tech lead. And that it was nice to have a leader that was there to help you out.  

If you didn’t, well, just work on this to become the leader you wish you had! 

Project Management 

As well as knowing how to handle your team is essential to become a tech lead. Having some project management experience is also an excellent plus. 

If you want to become a tech lead, you must start considering applying to manage some projects to gain more experience in a management role. 

Having this kind of experience will help you understand important aspects related to the management of a team and the establishment of effective communication with managers. 

Leadership

At last, a tech lead cannot assume the role without developing leadership skills. As we said before, in the skillset of a technical leader, having leadership abilities is crucial to execute a good job. 

And that involves being confident and able to give clear directions to your teammates, gain their trust, being supportive and empathetic of your team, passing through the objectives and the vision of the business and simply be there to help and mentor them.  

How do you become a tech lead? 

Now that you know the skillset a tech lead should have, it is time to learn how to become one. Check some things you should do! 

Be transparent 

The first thing you should know is that you are not expected to know everything.  

Therefore, when you realize you don’t know how to do something or need clearer directions on a project to complete it. Just be transparent about it with your stakeholders. We assure you they will appreciate your honesty. 

Be proactive 

See a problem? Fix it! 

Taking a proactive attitude, proposing solutions, and simply making yourself notable as someone willing to do the necessary to solve a problem will definitely make a difference if you are considering a tech lead role. 

Be available

A new project comes up, and managers need someone to lead. What to do? Here is your opportunity to make yourself available! 

Volunteering to be a lead or co-lead on a project will make managers realize you want to take on more responsibilities and are ready to take a new role in the company. 

Seek a mentor 

Becoming a tech lead is a new challenge in your career. So, why not talk to people who already got where you want to be?  

Seeking mentors and creating connections with tech leads is an excellent opportunity to learn more about the job and be more prepared for when your time comes (and doing networking is never too much, right?!). 

Now you have everything you need to become a technical leader. So, take this knowledge and start looking for a tech lead role that will fit your abilities and fulfill your needs!  

If you are a technology professional looking to connect to organizations that value your diverse background and the unique experiences you bring, click HERE to apply to work with a MinTech Agency recruiter and land your dream job!