The 6 People You Need to Know to Succeed in Tech

by Geekgirl, August 9, 2016

As we grow up in our homes, we’re surrounded by a support system of family, teachers, friends, and coaches. But after college it seems like many of these supporters drop-off. You might be in a new place doing something you’ve never done before. In times like this, it can feel like you’re completely alone. That’s not how it’s supposed to be.

We need people to support us throughout our entire lives because we weren’t meant to be alone. Just like your previous support system got you through school and helped you become who you are today, you need to find the people who will help you do that in your tech career. Go through this list of people you need to propel your career and do the work to reach out and create these relationships. With a little effort, your life will be richer and your new support system will be in place.

1. The Mentor

It can’t be said enough how much a mentor is crucial to your personal development. Professionals with greater experience than you are full of life lessons and perspectives that could change the way you work. They know what you need to do to get where they are and what mistakes to avoid to steer clear of disaster. Getting your questions answered by a mentor is an incredible resource.

So where do you find a mentor? They are all around you. Think about what career goals you might be interested in and speak to someone who’s already reached them. And remember, as a mentee you also provide value. Your knowledge of your generation’s desires and livelihood can prove to be very informative to mentors of all ages. One of the best ways that mentorships evolve is just by reaching out a creating a relationship. There’s no need for formal names and strict formats. A mentor is anyone who does what you want to do or has had experiences you can learn from.

2. The Like-Minded Colleague

Employees and entrepreneurs alike can benefit from finding a like-minded colleague. These members of your support system are uplifting and encouraging. They understand who you are and what you’re going through. They’re a friend and someone you trust.

Even entrepreneurs need colleagues because this journey was not meant to be taken alone. Colleagues can be found locally in entrepreneur organizations or even virtually. These relationships provide accountability and bring a lightness to the work day.

3. The Collaborator

Two is often better than one when it comes to ideas and projects. Look for someone who you can bounce ideas off of and someone who you’d even be interested in starting a business with. The ideal collaborator is open, authentic, and creative.

You may not have your big idea yet, but when you have someone to brainstorm and talk about ideas with, finding the right one will come so much easier. Look among the people you work with or the people you meet. You never know who might turn out to be a perfect Co-Founder.

4. The Inspiring Manager

In the corporate world, every now and then you’ll find a manager who truly uplifts their employees. This is someone who does more than just fast tracks promotions. These managers make you into a better person and help you accomplish things you never thought possible.

If you’re in the process of finding a new job, remember to interview your manager. They make a huge difference in what it’s like to work for a company. Keep your eye open for that visionary manager who empowers employees to be more. Managers like that can be a great stepping stone to entrepreneurship or the executive suite.

5. The Challenger

We have a distinct point of view based on our own experiences and knowledge, but we aren’t always right. The challenger can help us see when we’re making assumptions and running on ideas that could be false. This kind of person isn’t quick to accept whatever you say, they challenge your notions and offer a unique perspective. The challenger loves a debate and often disputes ideas just for the fun of it.

The face of this person could take many forms. It could be a friend in a different industry, someone older or someone younger. The point of the challenger is that they aren’t just like you and they’ll open your mind to aspects that you wouldn’t have thought of.

6. The Optimist

While having someone who challenges your idea is important, you’ll also want someone who supports them. Women are often naturally critical of themselves, so having someone who builds up your confidence and reminds you of the good things you’re doing can be a huge driver of success. When doubts come in, the optimist is there to get you out of your spiral of worries and back into doing something productive.

The optimist can be family, friends, or someone you know through your work. You need to be able to trust them and share your fears with them without feeling anxious. Optimists are like your own personal cheerleaders, pushing you towards success.

Who has had a major impact on your career? What role would you categorize them as? Share with us in the comments below.