Significant Other Tech Career Move Survival Guide: Part II

Posted on November 13, 2014. Filed under: Career Management, Consulting/Contracting |

toon-2097In Part I, we talked about the fine line between becoming the #1 supporter of our significant other’s career or the #1 impediment. It’s not something talked about openly in the career services field too often, but it is a big factor in how we progress in our careers because, like it or not, there is so much emotion/stress surrounding our personal relationships that plays into our career advancement/management.

In the tech career arena, it is especially important to understand because it is now such a competitive landscape.

These are fields where not that long ago many candidates didn’t even need a resume because they were often recruited from one opportunity right into another.

So to continue on from the first 8 ways you can both survive this next technical career move, I am now going to provide 8 more.

  1. Even introverts can be comfortable with personal branding. If your technical loved one happens to be more on the introverted side of things, even he or she can embrace personal branding, which should present him or her in an authentic, real way. We won’t shine them up into something that makes them uncomfortable. In fact, our goal is to focus less on them and more on what their target audience is looking for. After all, audience is the key to any type of effective messaging. The most successful job search works with the candidate’s personality, not against it.
  2. It takes more than just a good attitude to succeed in today’s technical job market. Sometimes we might think that our significant others’ attitude will be enough to get him or her where they need to go. And although optimism and good karma are nice things to have, the market is not that certain. This isn’t a pessimistic view, and it isn’t a defeatist view. Our goal is to have a good attitude AND be properly prepared AND do what works.
  3. It takes more than good connections to succeed in today’s technical job market. As a significant other, you might tend to think that because your technical leader has always risen through the ranks with relative ease before or because he or she is well connected that making this next career move will be simple, no matter what type of resume he or she tosses out there. But the truth is that although networking is still very effective, the great referral doesn’t necessarily carry all the weight it once did. And it can be a dangerous thing to take the “wait and see” approach, hoping so-and-so comes through.
  4. Technical career paths are rarely linear. We sometimes expect that a career should always be on a path up the proverbial corporate ladder, but tech is different in that way. Sometimes “advancement” is sideways, and sometimes it means taking risks with smaller startups. Sometimes it also means bucking the Fortune 500 system or changing divisions to round out experience. We need to be careful to set a strategy for each possibility and to make sure we aren’t trapping ourselves (or our loved one) into one type of environment.
  5. The 5% who thrive in today’s technical job market do so by creating pipelines. Besides building a resume portfolio solution and maintaining it, those who are succeeding in today’s market understand the importance of “pipelines.” This means they build network connections and recruiter/employer connections, and they invest in them to keep opportunities coming to them, well after this next career move.
  6. Corporate struggles to recognize and retain good tech talent. Although companies are trying to get better at their retention practices, generally, they are still pretty terrible at retaining tech talent, much less even really recognizing it when it is staring them in the face each and every day. So tech leaders sometimes need to work a little harder for that recognition.
  7. Career progression and protection has a short-term cost with long-term benefits. When it comes to other parts of our lives, we build in protections to help weather the various storms we face (or might possibly face), such as retirement, car insurance, our finances, etc., but when it comes to our careers and the job search process, we often go it alone with very little to help prepare and protect us along the way. Your technical leader has worked hard, and deserves experts to come alongside him or her to help build in some protections.
  8. Protecting careers protects families. We all bear a special burden for those who love us and depend on us, and our livelihood plays a part in that. Therefore, we all want to feel like we are doing the best we can to protect the careers we’ve built and to prepare for the market we are facing.

By doing your best to take some time to understand the market your loved one is facing and how you can best support him or her through it, you’ll find that you can come together more as a team with a clear strategy. All those other outside stressors might still be there, but at least you will both be moving in the same direction and can encourage your loved one to stay on track.

It’s no secret to us at ITtechExec and NoddlePlace that those with the strongest support systems get the best results from their carere moves primarily because they are not pulled off course by the extra stress and emotional burden that comes when a significant other is not part of (or supportive of) your career move strategy. So work together to build your “team” today!

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