By Jan Gernale

The new year is a great time for new beginnings, and levelling up your tech career is an achievable goal. We’ve got our top five tips and actionable steps you can take this month to help you accelerate your career growth. 


According to James Clear in the book ‘Atomic Habits’ *a CFG-certified read* goals are only ideas if they are not paired with appropriate systems to help you achieve them. So to figure out your goals, the first step is to define WHO you are now and WHAT you want to achieve in the year ahead or longer-term future. 

Are you currently in a junior role looking to reach seniority level? Or are you working in one industry but seeking to move into the one that interests you more? Do you want to achieve a higher salary this year or simply expand your knowledge? 

ACTIVITY: On a sheet of paper, your notes app, or software like Notion – write down everything that comes to mind and then arrange them into a list of priorities from what you want to achieve most to what’s nice to have. This will lay out the start of your system.

The next checkpoint is to create a system for these priorities. Like any good to-do list, a system is a step-by-step process on how you can achieve those goals. You may decide to tackle the smaller or easier tasks first – known as a snowball method -ls such as updating your CV or signing up for a tech webinar – then move on to taking on the next level of to-do’s that require some more investment (such as time)  such as signing up for one of our CFG Kickstarter Classes that span 8-weeks and attending one class after work or studies each week. 

How will you organise your time to ensure you stay consistent with your goals? Will you block out some time on your Google calendar or keep a diary to note your weekly progress? Is it gaining support from a mentor or community to ensure you have someone keeping you accountable? There are numerous ways you can organise your time in a way that best suits you and allows you to build your new priorities into your schedule.

Profile: Whether you’re thinking of working in a startup or enterprise, Software Developers play a crucial role in retail tech. Their expertise lies in designing, developing, and maintaining software applications that power various aspects of retail operations. Software developers in retail tech are driving efficiency and competitiveness in the retail landscape, empowering businesses to thrive in the digital era.


Okay, so you’ve got your goal + your system in check. The next step is to pinpoint what areas you want to learn more about or where you need to do some skills-building. Identify the skills that are in demand in your field. This could be programming languages, frameworks, tools, or soft skills like leadership and communication.

Many businesses use a SWOT analysis to figure out what their Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats are – and you can too! Although, threats sound a bit over the top here – we can see them as areas that may hinder us or be a challenge to achieve growth to the next level. 

For example, suppose your goal is to level up from being a Junior Software Engineer. In that case, a SWOT analysis may be able to help you pinpoint what exactly your current strengths are and what areas you need to improve, then what opportunities of learning you can take to gain new skills. You can then add this into your system as part of what time you need to Invest in learning and practising these skills to achieve your desired milestones. 


List out your top three to five goals:




Underneath, list out your current strengths with these goals in mind, your “gap areas” (under weaknesses), where you might find opportunities to boost these gap areas and then any challenges or blockers  (aka threats).


Learning can come in many different forms to suit whatever style of learner you may be.

  1. You can take online courses such as the coding courses that we offer,
  2. Partaking in workshops -personally and online
  3. Attend free webinars
  4. Read articles or specialised books on the topics
  5. Find a mentor in the field or attend networking events

Just remember, practice makes perfect! So take advantage of every opportunity you can to learn and practice as well! Rome wasn’t built in a day, so try not to overwhelm yourself with stacks of things to learn. Pace yourself and stay curious. 


Building a strong professional network is great for career growth because you can learn so much from those around you. Taking part in different networking events is great because you never know who you might meet, what you might learn along the way, or the opportunities they may be able to connect you with. 

Whether it be digital or in person (depending also on your level of comfort) we encourage you to attend different opportunities such as: 

  1. Attend Workshops and Seminars: Look for workshops and seminars near you, or online. Learn from keynote speakers or attendees who may have similar interests in career development or learning with you. These can provide valuable insights and tools for advancing in your career.
  2. Join Women in Tech Communities: We are so fortunate today to have many more communities and organisations specifically focused on supporting women in tech, like CFG! Joining such groups can provide also networking opportunities, mentorship, and a sense of belonging. Or even become a champion in your own area or organisation, to start a local tech community with colleagues or other professionals. Remember sky is the limit!
  3. Mentorship: If you prefer one-to-one discussions, seek out mentors who can guide you through your career. A mentor can provide valuable insights, advice, and support. Don’t hesitate to approach more experienced professionals in your network via LinkedIn or during those in-person events. Alternatively, you can also pursue mentoring yourself and see how you can help other women in your community.

We’ve shared quite a few options here, but if you’re still not sure where to start then perhaps our #REPRESENT series can be a great place to start and learn from all of these amazing women who’ve guested on our show. They provide some great career-building insights and share their tech journey too!

We also have loads of our community sharing their own stories of entering tech, doing our courses, and taking part in activities, across our social platforms, so these are another great resource. 


It might sound a bit cliche but in life, you have to also be your own biggest cheerleader! This isn’t necessarily about vanity but rather about you creating your own personal brand. 

Advocate for yourself: Again, don’t be afraid to be your own biggest cheerleader to speak up and advocate for your career. Ask about how you can create your career pathway and build in progressions, salary reviews and learning opportunities like upskilling – because if you never ask, you may not get an answer. Remember, the worst thing they can say is simply ‘no’. Be confident in your abilities and contributions, which you can track throughout your career through a brag doc! Check out our blog with Parul Singh 👉HERE 👈 to read all about what it is and how you can use it to your advantage.


If you have an interest in social media or content creation, you could share your journey and learnings with others. It is a great way to hold yourself accountable and it could include writing tech-related articles, contributing to open-source projects, or maintaining an active presence on professional social media platforms like LinkedIn, GitHub and even TikTok!

Personal side projects can contribute to your portfolio to showcase your wider skills on things you’ve tested and areas you’re personally interested in. Having a strong portfolio can set you apart from the competition during job applications and can also demonstrate your abilities to potential employers who may see another potential from you. 

For example: if you’re interested in video games and looking to switch from your current industry into gaming, you can start by gathering a portfolio based on the area you seek to go into and practice developing specific tech skills that are in demand or required to go into this field. 


The tech industry is constantly evolving and at the moment at a pretty quick pace too! Stay up to date with the latest trends, tools, and technologies by reading industry blogs, following tech news, and engaging in discussions. Sign up to community newsletters, forums and online groups to see what’s currently trending.


Remember, career growth often takes time, so don’t be discouraged because remember, Rome wasn’t built overnight. If you don’t achieve all your goals within a short timeframe, that’s fine! The key is to remain persistent, stay focused, and continuously work on improving your skills and advancing in your tech career. Regularly assess your progress towards your career goals. Reflect on your achievements and make necessary adjustments to your plan. Often you will find that you have achieved more than you think when you reflect on your progress

Don’t forget to treat and reward yourself for hitting your milestones and also be kind to yourself along the way. 

TIP: We recommend doing a 6-month check 9-month self-check-in on your goals! Set recurring reminders on your calendar or keep a diary to make sure you don’t forget. 

Lastly, best of luck!