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  • Writer's pictureKathryn Wharton

Career pivoting into the tech sector

Updated: Oct 4, 2023

Switching industries was hard.


I can’t think of a bigger leap from a publicly funded museum service to a marketing tech consultancy but I’m proof that it is possible to do it! I also did this at a time when I was studying on an evening for my Chartered Institute of Marketing qualification and the UK had just gone into lockdown. Imagine taking a new job, in a new industry while being fully remote.


Switching industries isn’t for everyone but it can open up a new world of opportunity. There are days when I do miss hanging out with the mummies and dinosaurs but being in amongst the technology and digital transformation world is very exciting in its own right.


If you are curious about pivoting into tech then my top three tips are:


Ask a lot of questions. I’m a big believer in being proactive and finding answers for yourself but in the tech world sometimes you just need someone to sit you down and explain something. No one can know everything there is to know about everything so if in doubt ask!


Keep learning. Whether it be a book, podcast or a conversation, dip into different topics that interest you and relate to your work or values. Expose yourself to different points of view to ensure you’re not just influenced by your own echo chamber. Technology is evolving at a relentless pace and getting into the habit of continuous learning will definitely help your career progress.


Build relationships. Seek out those who have been in your shoes and ask their advice, join networks with likeminded people and work hard to embed yourself in any new organisations you join to make the transition easier.


Here’s three actions to help you get started:

  1. Find a mentor, someone already in industry and ask them questions about what it's like to be part of the sector. Ask them about the pros and cons so you can make an informed decision before your pivot. Using your existing network is a great place to find mentors or Northern Power Women offer great online speed dating style mentorship which you can sign up for here - wearepower.net

  2. Check out Amazing If, which inspired my career pivot. They have a Squiggly Careers podcast, online resources and published books.

  3. The connections I have formed on LinkedIn have definitely helped me progress in my career so I am a huge advocate for stepping out of your comfort zone and engaging on the platform. Like and comment on your connections posts and reach out to industry professionals to learn from them


This may all sound daunting but the brilliant thing is that I laid the foundations of all these attributes in my museum career so the pivot into tech wasn’t as hard as it could have been - you have probably done the same so spend some time analysing your current skillset.


If you’d like to listen to a talk I gave in 2022 at the Borderless Engineering Conference (so a few things have changed since then) on this subject then follow this link.


Want to book me as a speaker to talk about career pivoting at your event?


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