Have you heard of the September Surge? The five to six-week period following Labor Day presents a unique window of opportunity for professionals in the tech field as executives return from summer breaks and companies boost their budgets to bring in new talent. As the tech industry continues to evolve and recognize the need for increased diversity, there has been a significant increase in opportunities for Black women. In this article, we will explore seven essential tips tailored specifically to Black women, empowering you to make the most of this exciting time and maximize your chances of getting hired.
1. Showcase Your Unique Perspective:
We already know that Black women bring a wealth of diverse experiences and perspectives to the table. Highlight your unique background and the value you bring to the tech industry. Emphasize your ability to drive innovation, problem-solving skills, and your adaptability in navigating diverse work environments. Your perspective can be a competitive advantage that sets you apart in a rapidly changing industry. This is your time to brag and big yourself up – because if you don’t, who will?
2. Build an Online Presence:
Establishing a strong online presence is crucial for professional visibility and credibility. Create a personal website or portfolio that showcases your skills, projects, and achievements. Actively engage on professional platforms like LinkedIn to connect with industry leaders, share valuable insights, and participate in relevant discussions. Reshare thought-provoking and educational articles, adding your thoughts and asking questions to garner comments and increase your reach. Remember to maintain a consistent and professional brand image across all your online profiles.
3. Seek Mentorship and Sponsorship:
Identify established professionals and thought leaders in the tech industry who can guide and support your career journey. Seek out mentors who can provide valuable advice, share their experiences, and help you navigate potential challenges. Additionally, look for sponsors who can advocate for you within their networks and help open doors to new opportunities.
4. Stay Up to Date on Industry Trends:
The tech industry is constantly evolving, and staying up-to-date with the latest trends and innovations is essential. Regularly read industry publications such as Forbes, Fast Company, and Blavity to familiarize yourself with emerging technologies, industry insights, and success stories. By demonstrating your knowledge of current trends during interviews or networking events, you showcase your commitment to professional growth and adaptability.
5. Develop In-Demand Skills:
Acquiring and honing in-demand skills is vital for success in the tech industry. Identify the skills that are most sought after in your desired field and invest time in upskilling or reskilling yourself. Online platforms like Coursera, Udemy, and LinkedIn Learning offer a plethora of courses and tutorials to enhance your technical expertise. One helpful resource in particular is our Tech 101: Introduction to Working in Tech Udemy course.
6. Cultivate a Supportive Community:
Building a strong support system is essential for career advancement. Seek out professional organizations and affinity groups that cater to Black women in tech, starting with our Black Women Talk Tech membership community, Black Girls Code, National Black MBA Association, or Women Who Code. These communities provide valuable networking opportunities, mentorship, and a platform to share experiences and support each other.
7. Leverage Networking Events and Conferences:
Attending industry-specific events and conferences is a powerful way to connect with like-minded professionals, enhance your skills, expand your network, and stay up-to-date with the latest trends and advancements. Look out for events such as Unicorn Ambition, the Grace Hopper Celebration, Women of Power Tech, AfroTech, or the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) conference, where you can meet potential employers, mentors, and gain valuable insights into the tech industry.
The September surge in the tech industry offers Black women and men in all career stages an exciting opportunity to thrive. By implementing these seven tips, you can position yourself for success and make the most of this favorable hiring environment. Remember to leverage networking events, showcase your unique perspective, build an online presence, seek mentorship and sponsorship, stay updated with industry trends, develop in-demand skills, and cultivate a supportive community. Embrace this time of growth, and step confidently into the tech field, knowing that you have the skills and resources to achieve your professional goals.
Interested in learning more about the September Surge? Check out these articles:
“What is the September Surge?” – LinkedIn
“September Surge: How to Take Advantage of the Hiring Swell” – Career Contessa