New Year, New Job: Finding Your Tribe

I love January. Despite the cold I find it the most exhilarating month. While I do believe that September is the new January, and that New Year’s resolutions can be tough to keep, January still represents a fresh start. It’s a chance to pull up, review what’s working and refresh your goals.

If you’ve set a goal of restarting your career this year, you’ve come to the right place. Of course writing “Get a job” at the top of a blank piece of paper may feel a bit daunting. Where do you start? Like most big goals, it helps to break it down into smaller, actionable steps you can take.

All this month we’ll be posting ideas for strategies that work for returning moms. Hopefully these ideas will support you and empower you to make your goal of restarting your career a reality.

Today’s topic is on finding your tribe.

Yes, this is just another way to say “networking,” but it’s meant to convey something deeper and more meaningful. We are encouraging you to find groups of like-minded folks who understand where you are coming from and will support you on your journey. These communities can be found online and in the real world and both kinds are important for connecting you to opportunities and the people who can make those opportunities real for you.

Path Forward is one such community and hopefully you’ve already found ideas and inspiration here. If your skills need a brush-up, consider options like MotherCoders and Girl Develop It, and similar organizations that are geared toward women looking to restart their tech careers. The skills development they offer is important, but the connections you make with other students and instructors can be even more valuable. While they don’t offer training, Women Who Code is another fabulous organization for meeting women in tech.

Another way to develop your tribe is to reconnect with former colleagues. While they may not all be in the same career restart situation (though some may!) they are people who know you as a working professional. They are likely to have insights on how the market or industry has changed that you can immediately apply to your job search efforts. Also, hindsight may give them a perspective on you that they didn’t even have when you worked together – you may find conversations with former coworkers brings up ideas you never thought of about how you could apply your skills.

Lastly, just get out there. Meet as many people as you can in whatever ways you can. I realize that may sound broad and vague (and hopefully the rest of this post was more focused and specific!) but I think it’s important to emphasize the point that getting out and meeting people is the best way to restart your career. People hire people, not resumes.