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6 Opportunities for Smarter IT Job Networking in the New Year

6 Opportunities for Smarter IT Job Networking in the New YearThe contacts you make today could improve your future career because you never know when you’ll meet your next boss, coworker, employee, or life-changing professional resource. Connecting with peers is not just for those who are currently job searching because it helps grow your knowledge base and sharpens your awareness of current industry trends. Here are 6 opportunities for smarter IT job networking in the New Year.

1.) Conferences

There are a number of great tech conferences across the country with various focuses. These semi-formal settings feature informative speakers sharing their expertise and perspectives with attendees, as well as ice breakers and activities designed to forge new relationships between industry professionals. The Women in Technology Conference that our team attended provided some great opportunities for growth through IT job networking. For specific skills, TechFest NW in Portland, the Mobile Growth Summit in San Francisco, Oracle CloudWorld in Washington D.C., and the Gartner Data & Analytics Summit in Grapevine, TX are just some of the many upcoming options.

2.) Hackathons

For a fun change of pace, hackathons provide an exciting environment to meet peers. Often competitive, they foster a fast-paced environment where getting to know others on your team is expedited and bonds are quickly formed. In addition to networking, hackathons also are a great way to keep your tech skills sharp while having fun and building something productive.

One great aspect of hackathons is that they can be found nearly anywhere, providing easy and continued opportunities for IT job networking. Many events feature a different spin on the classic model. Boasting the distinction of being the largest hackathon in Boulder, CO, HackCU is a great event held in April. If you’re looking for a more grueling challenge in the area, check out the T9Hacks 24-hour hackathon in late February that is known for welcoming newcomers.

3.) Charity Events

Always rewarding and often fun, charity events are an excellent place to meet like-minded workers. These types of events can range from dinners, golf tournaments, or soup kitchen volunteering, to the more unique and involved. Our team greatly enjoyed participation in the Startup Games, an Olympics-style all-day competition that raised $25,000 for a number of charities.

Likewise, some of our staff also had a great time celebrating Colorado Ski Day with C-Level/Technology Leadership Ski Day, again raising money for non-profits and meeting wonderful industry peers. Opportunities to network through charity events can be found everywhere ranging from your own local community to the national stage with the Women’s Tech Council and Technology and Diversity for Charity organizations.

4.) Coworking Spaces

For a workforce that is gravitating toward freelance opportunities, IT workers that work remotely often seek out environments outside the home where they can be productive alongside others in their industry. These coworking spaces provide an excellent opportunity to network with other remote IT talent and often produce strong connections.

Excellent coworking spaces are available in cities across the entire country, including great options in Colorado. A great feature of many coworking spaces is that they are geared toward specific people. Some may be strictly for developers or programmers, while other spaces tailor themselves less toward a profession and focus more on a certain type of working style. These can range from laid back environments featuring ping pong tables and TVs, to the more quiet and reserved atmosphere.

5.) Meetup Groups

A cross between informal conference and social club, meetup groups provide an additional opportunity to network with those that have a similar skill set or interest. The most popular meetup groups website, www.meetup.com, boasts millions of members with opportunities everywhere. Meetup groups can range from the general such as meetups for IT professionals, to the more specialized such as Javascript groups which house 2.3 million members.

6.) Staffing Firm

When it comes to your career it’s often most productive to turn to an expert, and IT job networking is no different. A good IT staffing firm can connect you with a vast network of professionals and employers that they have longstanding relationships with. A staffing firm knowledgeable in the latest trends and well-connected with key decision makers can improve your networking in the new year.

Smarter IT Job Networking

Networking is one of the single most important things you can do throughout your career. Regardless of the method, continuously meeting industry peers is essential to future success. With a wide range of choices from the fun to the formal, the casual to the well planned annual events, networking is always a fruitful experience as you grow professionally and personally in life.

Looking to build your network and land a new job? Apply with us today!