Data Careers Panel: CTRL + SHIFT + ENTER

Listen to this episode on Anchor FM

Are you struggling to move forward in your data career? In this episode of the DATAcated on Air podcast, Kate Strachnyi hosts a panel of experts in data careers. They discuss shortcuts for starting data careers, from data analysts to data analytics engineers, data scientists, and others. Listen to learn how to successfully shift your career to where you want it to be.

You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in...

  • Get to know the panel [01:41]
  • Is it too late to get into data? [11:36]
  • Beginning your data journey [14:12]
  • Gaining experience [19:26]
  • Overcoming imposter syndrome [24:43]
  • Personal branding [33:43]
  • Salaries and negotiations [43:13]
  • New data terms [50:39]

Getting started in data

Frequent concerns for those new to data science are lacking the experience to get a job, not knowing where to start, and picking a domain. The good news is that someone can gain experience before having a job in data. There are a lot of opportunities to leverage a current position or time doing a personal project. Ultimately, the goal is to get in the race and start a full-time job in data. The way to do that is to remember that a hiring manager is a person also. The manager wants to hire someone they can trust to do the job.

An excellent method to show trustworthiness is using opportunities in a previous role to do data projects. Other ways can be by taking the initiative and upskilling, doing a personal project, or connecting to people on LinkedIn. These experiences aim to show how someone can uniquely contribute with domain experience or data skills. Ultimately, the hiring manager is convinced that person can help solve data problems and offers that person the job.

There’s always room for negotiation

During the negotiation process, there is an opportunity for the applicant to show confidence that they understand what they’re talking about and can bring value. When should salaries be negotiated? There’s always room to wiggle for companies hiring where the proposed salaries can be raised a little. Many people try to use the trick of saying they have another job offer elsewhere, but people can tell when others are trying to play games. Being truthful, understanding one’s value, researching, and being open are essential to successful salary negotiations.

Salaries aren’t the only terms to be negotiated. Many people have become used to working from home, so work location has become an aspect of negotiations as well. Annual or sign-on bonuses are a couple more things to request. PTO is also a huge consideration. Asking may be awkward for a few seconds, but it shows one’s value, and the payoff is completely worth it. After asking for something more in negotiation, it’s important to stop talking. Those few awkward seconds will feel much longer, but it makes all the difference. If someone continues talking after requesting more, they will often negotiate themselves out of anything extra.

Gaining experience in data

A first step in gaining experience in data is to look back at one’s own experience and see how it can be recast or rebranded with an analytics lens. Some work experiences may not have been called analytics at the time, but essentially that’s what was happening. Another step would be to start doing work. There are thousands of platforms that can help people begin their data careers.

Brand building starts with defining what one wants to be known for as a point of reference when not in the room. Once that is determined, a plan can be made to build that brand. Being consistent and authentic resonates through time. Building a brand should be a long-term strategy for which the value shows up sporadically. If someone provides information or value at a regular cadence, people will follow them. There will always be people looking to learn from what that person knows.

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Kira Wetzel

Connect with Albert Bellamy

Connect with Michael Green

Connect with Greg Coquillo

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