As an aspiring or junior Data Scientist, you’re probably focused on ‘learning’ ie learning to code, learning about Machine Learning, statistics, etc, and learning about the industry.
BUT, don’t forget the importance of Networking! Learning to connect with people is invaluable to helping grow your career.
Networking has 3 key benefits for Data Scientists:
- It provides the all important opportunity to land your next big role. As your career progresses, your network grows and you establish a name for yourself, you’ll realise a shift will occur with how you land roles – rather than applying for jobs, you’ll start being headhunted and people in your network will reach out to you to join their teams;
- It’s a great way to mingle with like minded people, hear what your peers are doing, and learn about problems their facing and how they’re solving them. This can really help you improve your technical expertise and be inspired to try new things and bounce ideas off others; and
- It’s fun! You can geek out and talk as much as you like about all the technical intricacies of a model, or you can share your passion for Data Science with those that are new to the area or have never even heard of it.
And don’t forget, as your career blossoms, it becomes an opportunity for you to give back to the community, share your experiences and insights, and help mentor others.
So, how do you go about networking?
- First of all, it’s important to create a LinkedIn profile and started growing your network. It’s an easy, free and invaluable way to begin networking;
- Another important way to network is through work functions and conferences. It’s a great way to develop deep insights of your industry and to meet and hear from the thought leaders. Use these opportunities, such as at work gatherings, to share your passion for helping others via Data Science and how it can add value, rather than just focus on the technical specifics of what you do; and
- Finally, a really helpful and fun way to network is to attend a Meetup. Better yet, why not start your own Meetup in your local area! It will give you an opportunity to reach out to leaders and experts to invite as guest speakers. It will also help establish your reputation as someone who is passionate about the field and is willing to give up their own time to host and run such valuable events.
Grow your network to grow your career!