woman holding a like a boss mug, career developmentArticle by Anna Yukhtenko, Senior Games Analyst, Hutch

Changing industries at any point in your career can be a daunting prospect, and one that’s even more nerve-wracking as a woman.

From keeping yourself awake at night wondering whether you have the relevant skills, to feeling the fear of having to start all over again, there are many things that can put you off taking the plunge.

The challenge can be even greater for those trying to break into the technology industry. It still suffers from an outdated perception that it’s a man’s world.

But there are some key steps that women can take to remove that barrier, and cement their rightful place in the industry.

Educate yourself on the sector

Let’s start with the basics. If you really want to enter a specific industry, make sure you’re brushing up on what’s happening in it right now. It’s usually obvious in an interview if you don’t understand the challenges a business faces. Make sure to do your research, and make it a point to read relevant industry news on a daily basis.

If you’re interested in entering the world of analytics specifically, get comfortable with programming languages such as SQL, Python or R, brush up on your statistical knowledge and work on storytelling and your presentational skills.

Trying to choose between Python and R? Choose Python as it is more versatile and is more widely used than R. SQL is often a must-have.

Start researching the relevant skills

There’s no avoiding the fact that there will be some skills that you need to start learning before you can join a certain industry, particularly with a technology career. But you don’t always need to have mastered them. Some of these skills can be learnt in your spare time through reading and general research, while others might require you to enroll in a specific course. If you’re truly passionate about entering that industry though, it’s worth dedicating the time to give you a better chance of standing out when applying.

There are some skills that you’ll be able to learn on the job too, so make sure you showcase confidence and interest in your ability to develop them. Being keen to learn a new skill can only be a good thing and shows enthusiasm, a highly valued trait in technology roles.

Brushing up on fundamental skills, such as Excel, Word and PowerPoint, is also vital. It might seem obvious, but you would be surprised by how many people lack even a basic understanding of how to use these tools when making the transition into technology.

Finally, once you’ve landed your dream role, make the most of the time you have in between jobs to prepare before you join, so that you can impress from day one.

Allow yourself to get creative

You might not typically associate creativity with technology as there is an antiquated perception that it’s just spreadsheets and data. But you can get a lot more creative than you might think, and you can use this to your advantage. Let’s take analytics as an example.

Working as an analyst in retail means you’ll mostly be analysing sales, which can be quite formulaic and not that exciting for some. But in the video games industry, you’ll be diving much deeper into the games, allowing yourself to get more creative.

While your technical knowhow is important, it’s equally as important to showcase your creativity, particularly at the interview stage.

Be confident in your abilities

As a woman, there is a degree of added pressure when trying to enter the technology industry, but the most important thing is to be confident. Women typically need to work harder than men to prove themselves and get the same credibility as their male counterparts. It’s not fair, but it’s reality. At least for now.

While things are slowly changing, be prepared to face some situations where your opinions might not be considered as relevant. This is where you need to remain confident in your ideas, and really show them what you’re made of. Be nice and polite but firm, give people the benefit of the doubt, stand your ground and don’t use too many smiley faces.

Don’t be afraid to take the plunge

When it comes to making the transition into tech, don’t let the fact that you might not have the most relevant experience put you off. Apply for the job anyway, play to your strengths in your cover letter and start brushing up on the skills you think you’ll need for the position. The worst a potential employer can do is say no. But they might just say yes.

Anna YukhtenkoAbout the author

Anna has always been into data and numbers, and it was the switch from the retail industry to gaming that helped her fully realise her potential.

Her career in gaming started at Next Games as a marketing analyst, later transferring to Hutch, a mobile racing games developer and publisher known for free-to-play mobile games such as F1 ClashTop Drives and Rebel Racing, to be a full-time games analyst. Anna loves talking about analytics and strives to do so in a fun and easy way. 

 


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