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4 extracurricular activities that will help land a digital tech job

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Are you looking for your first or next digital technology job? Then your extracurricular activities, those you undertake in your downtime outside of work, will be closely examined by employers. Why? Today’s tech employers aren’t just looking for someone who ticks all the boxes on a job description; they want to see people who see their role as a ‘craft’ that they nurture, develop and cultivate in their own time in order to keep their skills relevant and moving forward.

In a rapidly changing economy, it is more important than ever to stay up-to-date in your industry. Keeping up with the latest technology trends and developments is important if you already have a job, and it is imperative if you are looking to make your next career move. Employers are looking for candidates who show the dedication and devote their time to keep themselves current in the tech industry.

By improving your knowledge and staying up-to-date with the latest best practices, you will be able to advance in your current role or take advantage of new opportunities. However, we know this is easier said than done.

Here are 4 tips on the extracurricular activities that will help keep your skills up-to-date and employable in today’s rapidly advancing world of work:

Attend events (or even speak at one!)

Industry events are often the best way to stay on top of trends. Each event is different, with distinct topics and speakers so you are bound to sharpen your expertise and learn something new. Conferences, workshops and Meetups are a valuable way to learn about the latest technologies, industry trends and hot spots. It’s also a great way to network and get to know people in your industry. You can often get a really good idea of what’s new and important in just a day because the information provided is highly curated and relevant.

At Hays, we host, partner and sponsor a number of tech events every year where we network and meet with ambitious individuals looking to progress their career.

If you’re an expert in your field, why not submit a proposal to present at one of these events? Don’t be afraid to share your knowledge, no matter how general or specific your topic of expertise is. Speaking at events is also the best way to affirm your technical and presentation skills to potential employers.

Connect at a Meetup

If you’re after something smaller and less formal, Meetups are another way you can stay connected with the tech community and garner new skills. At a Meetup you will find a mix of tech professionals, employers and recruiters who get together to discuss all things tech related – innovation, challenges and solutions. It is a great opportunity to learn, network and make friends with other tech lovers. You can search for local Meetups in your area at www.meetup.com.

Be part of an online community

The most obvious benefit of joining an online community is the potential to pool experience and expertise with thousands of tech experts from all around the world. Some examples of popular online tech communities you could join include GitHub, where you can host and review code, manage projects and build software with like-minded individuals. Stackoverflow is another popular forum for developers. These platforms allow you to collaborate and share ideas with other developers, users and organisations and discover innovative solutions to your tech challenges.

Fine-tune your problem-solving skills at a Hackathon

What better way to get creative and showcase your programming skills than through participating in a hackathon with other programmers. Often these events are sponsored by big name companies, so it can also provide a unique opportunity to showcase your technical skills. You might even score an interview afterwards – it’s not unheard of. If you’re just starting out your career, participating in a hackathon will give you great experience and also help you stand out from the crowd when looking for your next role.

Whether it’s attending a conference, networking at a Meetup or problem solving at a hackathon, employers want to see you are taking control of your career and willing to turn it into a ‘craft’. These extracurricular activities will differentiate you in the job market and give you a competitive advantage.

  

Adam Shapley

Senior Regional Director

As a member of the Operations Management team across Australia and New Zealand, Adam is responsible for the strategic direction of the Hays Information Technology specialism across the region. His responsibilities include driving our growth within the sector across Digital Technology, Projects & Business Change and IT Operations & Support.

As Senior Regional Director for NSW, Adam’s additional responsibilities include managing the business strategy and operational performance of our NSW recruitment businesses including Hays Construction & Property, Hays Information Technology, Hays Energy, Hays Oil & Gas, Hays Logistics and Hays Manufacturing and Operations.

Follow Adam on LinkedIn