When it comes to reaching your goals and excelling in your career, the right mentor can be a key factor in helping you get there. If you’ve gone through a bootcamp and are now looking for someone who can offer support and guidance as you work to move forward in the field, here are seven tips for how to find a tech mentor!
Rethink what a typical mentor looks like
Oftentimes, when we think of “mentorship,” we have a rather narrow picture in mind — one person who’s much older and more established in the field, who maybe was assigned to be our mentor as an official role. But that’s not necessarily always the case. You might accidentally stumble upon a mentor while chatting with someone at the dog park. They might only have a few years more experience than you, but those few years can still count (especially since it wouldn’t have been too long ago that they were in your shoes). You could even have multiple mentors, with one person able to help you with coding skills, another able to help you hone your communication and public speaking skills, and so on. Mentorship isn’t one-size-fits-all, so avoid limiting yourself to only a single delineation.
Analyze your goals and values to find people who are aligned
What may be a great mentor for one person may not be for another. If you have a specific career trajectory in mind, try to find someone who’s where you’d ultimately like to be, so they can help you along that path. If there are certain aspects of tech you value most highly, seek out people who are aligned and can help you flourish in that capacity. By knowing what you want out of your career, you’ll be better equipped to find people who can help you get there.
Utilize alumni networks
Whether your school has official alumni organizations, there’s an informal “class of 2023” group on social media, or you’ve just kept contact info of people from your program, your school is a great place to find potential mentors. Reach out to previous graduates who’ve been in the field a bit longer — this way, they’ll have insight not only into the tech field, but also in how to navigate it as an alum of your program.
Reach out to former or current colleagues
If you enrolled in a bootcamp to switch fields from a previous one, that old job might still be a good resource for finding mentors. Maybe in your previous role you were a salesperson, but you had a good working relationship with a UX designer there, and they’d be willing to give you some advice as you enter the UX field yourself. You might even be staying at the same company as you switch fields, or you’ve started somewhere new but are hoping to find a new coworker to help you along, in which case you can reach out to current teammates. In any case, seeking out people who know your role, and if possible who know the company, can provide you with a wealth of insight and assistance.
Hackathons, meetups, conferences — there’s an abundance of opportunities out there when it comes to meeting other people in the tech world. Attending events like these will allow you to meet people face-to-face in various points along their tech careers, from those with decades of experience to peers starting out alongside you. Here, you’ll find people who not only work in tech but are fully engaged in the field, which is helpful when looking for someone to help you enter, navigate, and grow in tech.
Make use of existing personal connections
Does a family member or friend work in tech, or know someone who does? Reaching out to people with whom you already have an existing personal connection can be a great chance to find a potential mentor. Ask if you can pick their brain about their work, the field in general, and for advice on breaking into tech. When you already know someone (or know someone who knows someone), it’s much easier to make that initial contact.
Be active in online or in-person tech communities
From the aforementioned alumni groups and meetups, to sites like ClimbTalent’s career development platform for bootcamp grads, being active in tech communities can help enable you to find mentorship. By interacting with others on message boards and meetings, you’ll be able to reach potential mentors who you might otherwise never have encountered — they may even be on the other side of the country, but still able to help you advance in tech. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or to answer others’ questions, and contact people who you think would be a good advisor for you. At the end of the day, the key for how to find a tech mentor is putting yourself out there!
Attending a Climb partner computer science or business training program, and ready to get to the next stage in your career? Sign up for our free ClimbTalent career development platform to access job listings, resources and tools, mentorships, and more!