A Guide To Taking A Data Career To The Next Level
This post is for anyone looking to reach the next stage in their data career and who wants to achieve great things in a field that is in demand.
15:46 17 November 2021
There are many people that have entered a data science career in recent times. Some people have entered the field directly from school while others have transitioned from other areas, which is understandable as this is deemed to be one of the most up-and-coming roles and areas of business with high levels of demand. However, this does mean that there are a lot of people that are now in the early stages of their career in data, which can make it challenging to rise ahead of the competition and advance your career. Read on for some of the best strategies to try that will help you to reach the next stage in your career.
Up Your Efforts At Work
First, it is important that you are putting in the work and going above and beyond in your current position. If you want to stay, put, you need to become an invaluable asset to the business so that they will look to move you up when you let your intentions be known. Second, even if you want to move to a different business, it is still important to put in the work so that you can stand out from the crowd, have achievements that you can show potential employers, and develop your experience and abilities.
Let Your Intentions Be Known
Leading on from this, you need to let your intentions be known that you want to progress your career. You should raise this with your boss and then listen to what they have to say. They will let you know what you need to do to reach the next stage and may be able to help this happen much faster. It will also alert them to the fact that you are looking to progress and could look for a move away if you are unable to do this within the company anytime soon.
Work On Your Weaknesses
Anytime that you want to progress and move up with your career, it is important that you identify and work on your weaknesses. These will always be what holds you back, so it is important to address these and turn them into strengths. Sometimes, you will know what your weaknesses are, but it is not always easy to tell, which is why it is a good idea to seek feedback from your superior and those that you work with regularly. Improving weaknesses is never easy, but this is a highly effective way to improve your abilities and will help you to rise above the competition.
Show Leadership Potential
It is also helpful if you are able to demonstrate leadership potential in your existing role. This will always help you stand out and develop the abilities and mindset that is required for leadership roles in data. There are ways that you can do this, including taking the initiative, always going the extra mile, and supporting junior staff. This will also help to show that you are a team player and one that has the potential to be a good leader at some point.
Sharpen Your Technical Skills
When it comes to careers in data, it is important to continuously sharpen your technical skills. Learning programming languages, new software tools, and data visualization, and storytelling skills are all areas that require ongoing effort and will help you to improve your abilities, stay current and show your commitment to your craft. Data is going through continuous change, and those that are able to progress are the ones that put in the effort to stay current, sharpen their skills and improve their abilities.
Work On Soft Skills
It is not only your technical skills that need sharpening when looking to progress your career. Careers in data require soft skills, especially when it comes to communication and interpersonal skills. When you want to rise to leadership positions, you need to be an excellent communicator so that you can clearly present your ideas to decision-makers and build strong relationships. In addition to this, other key soft skills like leadership, teamwork, time-management, and problem-solving are essential and all areas that need developing. You can usually develop your soft skills with a combination of online research, courses, and practice.
Earn A Masters
A masters degree in applied statistics is one of the best steps that you can take if you want to advance a career in data. This course will teach you how to apply statistical theory to real-world situations, which will help you to turn data into valuable insights for organizations. You will also be able to sharpen your technical and soft skills and earn a qualification that will help your resume to stand out from the crowd. Applied statistics is one of the most in-demand career fields right now as companies realize the power of big data and how it can guide their company to new levels of success.
Update Your Resume
It is important to update your resume, especially if you have not done this since securing your last role. It is important to find ways to make your resume stand out from the crowd, and there is a lot of helpful information and even books that will help you to craft the best possible resume.
Create A Professional Website
A resume is important, but these days data professionals should also have a professional website that they can use as an online resume. A professional website allows you to go into more detail on your background, skill set, experience, and education, as well as include a portfolio of your work and quotes from employers and clients that you have worked for. You can then direct potential employers and people in your network to this website, which can be more impressive than a resume and could help you to stand out from the crowd. Crucially, make sure that you make an impact with your website and that it is easy to use. If you struggle with this, it could be worth using the services of a web designer.
Use Your Network
When looking for new opportunities, your professional network is often the best resource that you have. This is why it is important to network at every stage in your career and to continuously grow this resource both in real life and online. When looking for a change, you can then make inquiries into the network and find opportunities that might have been difficult to find otherwise and have someone that can put in a good word for you. This is what networks are there for, so do not shy away when the time comes for a new challenge.
Tailor Each Job Application
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when applying for jobs is firing off the same resume and cover letter to every company. While this allows you to apply to more companies, you will also find that it is very easy to see through this, and it will not help your application to stand out. Instead, it is worth spending the time tailoring your resume and cover letter to each job description paying close attention to the language that they use. This is worth the effort and should help you to secure many more interviews.
Use Recruitment Agencies
It is also worthwhile signing up to a recruitment agency, especially in data when it can be hard to go through all of the different job vacancies. You should be able to find a STEM recruitment agency in your area that will be able to find the best opportunities for your specific requirements and help you to secure work. This can take a lot of the stress and time out of a job search and allow you to find the right jobs for this particular moment in your career. You can also benefit from career advice that could help you to stand out from the crowd.
Contact Companies That You Want To Work For
It is also worthwhile getting in touch directly with companies that you want to work for, even if they are not posting any vacancies. This forthcoming approach can be highly effective and, even if they do not have a suitable position open now, you can register your interest as well as help to start building a relationship for the future when a suitable vacancy arises.
Get Feedback From Interviews
If you are getting interviews but struggle to get past this stage, it is important that you ask for feedback from your interviews and pay close attention to what they are seeing. It can be tough to hear, but this is the best way to improve, and many people make mistakes in interviews that they are unaware of. Additionally, be sure to practice interviews beforehand to prepare and reduce anxiety.
Hopefully, this post will be useful to anyone looking to reach the next stage in their data career and go on to achieve great things in a field that is in demand right now.