Learn how to get a job in blockchain from people who did it.
Have you been hearing the blockchain hype and wondering if it applies to you?
I've already told you why every job seeker needs a blockchain job.
Fine, you tell yourself, but career changes are hard (right?).
After all, people who want to change careers wonder how they'll get jobs when they don't have all the qualifications needed.
Not so in the blockchain industry right now:
“It’s such a new field that companies will hire somebody they can train to fit into the role,” claims Kian Salehizadeh, a senior analyst with Reality Shares who are based in San Diego.
Or how about the reality that people who try to change careers meet recruiters who are skeptical about hiring someone who lacks experience.
Not so in the blockchain industry right now:
“Thanks to the relative youth of blockchain technology, recruiters are willing to consider candidates who don't have advanced degrees or experience in the field as long as they're willing to work hard and experiment with new ideas,” says Meltem Demirors, chief strategy officer of CoinShares, a digital asset management company.
Not so in the blockchain industry right now.
In fact, the cryptocurrency and blockchain industries in general are so new that it's mainly students and people early in their careers who are most familiar with the emerging technologies, pushing employers to pull older workers with complementary skills and experience from other industries:
“We hardly ever hire from inside of crypto because most people inside of crypto are very inexperienced. You have very, very few people who are experienced who get into the crypto industry,” said Julian Hosp, co-founder of Singapore-based crypto wallet and card start-up TenX.
Career changes may be hard in general, but changing to a blockchain career right now is easier than most.
Here are some people who have done just that, both for technical and non-technical positions.
Case studies of job seekers who figured out how to get into blockchain
The first case study in particular is really inspiring.
Not only did Yuree Hong move into a career in the blockchain industry, she created a whole community dedicated to helping others do the same. Amazing!
1) Job Title: Blockchain Tech Researcher/Marketer
Name: Yuree Hong
Country: Singapore 🇸🇬
Main takeaway: having a lot of experience in a similar role in a different industry + genuine interest based on your background = fast mover into the blockchain industry
Yuree wrote about her blockchain story on LinkedIn:
“I was fascinated with blockchain technology that I came across via multiple sources early last year , which triggered my strong attention since I was exposed to Bitcoin several years ago.
I mentioned in my part one story that one of the sources is from a healthcare seminar discussing a healthcare database management solution utilizing the blockchain technology. Another source that piqued my interest at around the same time was from an influencer I follow. One of my secrets of keeping myself up-to-date with the latest technology is to follow well-known influencers' social media posting or to subscribe to their mailing list…
The inherent interest I had in blockchain was possible because of the supporting knowledge I possessed at the time.
Economy – Several years before I first heard about blockchain, I read a book named ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad‘ by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter. It was an eye-opener for me, one of the average people did not bother questioning about the current monetary system.
Technology – I started programming in my teens, and I earned a Bachelor’s in Engineering in my twenties before going to Manchester Business School. I have also been immersed in the wonders of technology while I was developing my career in marketing, which made it easier to understand how the complicated blockchain and cryptographic algorithm works at the back-end of cryptocurrency.
Philosophy – As a marketer, I am genuinely interested in psychology and understanding what drives and irks us as humans. Learning how the entire decentralization and libertarian movement excited a huge crowd and amassed fans was a significant finding for me.
As a marketer with ten years’ experience, I was able to offer a unique niche set of skills in the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry last year. I received a vast number of requests asking for marketing help, but I made sure I set aside time to educate myself to fill in the domain knowledge first.
As I started working in marketing for a few blockchain projects, I realized the industry was lacking marketing resources. I envisaged how I could bring my experienced marketer network into the blockchain industry, similar to my motive for starting SHE Blockchainers Asia: supporting female inclusion in the space. Inclusivity and synergy among the creative and marketing talents was my next goal.
I connected with many freelancers and partners with marketing experience in both the traditional or crypto sphere. While most were looking to connect with investors, my focus was on finding excellent creative and marketing talent in the blockchain industry.
Meanwhile, I met the team from Kosmos Capital; an Australian-based crypto VC firm that pioneered entering crypto investment last year, which was rare in Australia. This month, I joined the team as a Marketing Partner to set up the marketing service arm for the acceleration vertical of Kosmos Capital.”
2) Job Title: Engineer
Name: Jonathan Levison
Country: Israel 🇮🇱
Main takeaway: demand is so high, you don't need blockchain-specific qualifications
Jonathan blogged about how he joined the blockchain industry. Here are some highlights:
“2017 was definitely the year of cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin specifically, peaking, for now, into the beginning of 2018. Sure, signs of a bubble are all around — even your barber is asking you for coin buying tips just because you’re in tech — but a bubble as such also presents opportunities, especially if you play your cards right.
It was also the year I decided it was time to make a change and quit my job. Making that decision is simple enough, following through is a whole other story. Despite being an engineer first, at the time I was a management member in a company with billings in the tens of millions….
When we search for a new job, we are looking for opportunity. Today, this is where the opportunity reveals itself. During my search, I joked with a friend that blockchain is in such a demand that all I need to do is change my LinkedIn title to “Blockchain Y’all” and just get a plethora of job requests in the field. While in the end I didn’t actually take that approach, it did get me to give the field some thought…
Surprisingly, the barrier to getting interviews and landing a job was not as big as I expected. You do not need to be a cryptocurrency expert or blockchain engineer to get a position in a blockchain-related company….
One thing that was different when interviewing at Orbs [Jacob: the company he joined] is that the skill set required was not platform/framework specific, meaning… coming into such a company with knowledge in specific frameworks is not a requirement. Coming in with knowledge on how to build systems is.”
3) Job Title: Blockchain Concept Developer
Name: Sergius Ofitserov
Country: USA 🇺🇸
Main takeaway: if you have a good enough background, you can pivot and get hired quickly after your first exposure to blockchain technology
Sergius mentioned his story in a quick Reddit post:
“I was possible to get job in finance field (ethereum) after a month after my first contact with blockchain field. I had experience in python, golang and Haskell languages ml also in project management. But my path a little bit different. I am realizing my own chain conception.”
4) Job Title: Marketing Specialist
Name: Joanne Goldy
Country: UK 🇬🇧
Main takeaway: friends who are already in the door at a blockchain company can refer you internally
In Joanne's words:
“I joined CoinCorner, a cryptocurrency exchange based in the Isle of Man (UK), as a full-time marketing specialist in February 2018. Previously I had marketed companies in the law and hospitality industries, but felt it was time to search for a new opportunity.
Although companies operating in traditional industries do have to continually look for new ways to delight customers, they operate in regulated sectors and with largely established marketing practises. Established isn’t a word that can be associated with the cryptocurrency industry just yet – it’s still very much in its infancy and has only gained worldwide attention in the last 12 months. Crypto’s unique positioning in the market appealed to me, along with a number of other factors including the team and culture at CoinCorner.
I was first introduced to cryptocurrency by my friend and now coworker, Molly Spiers, who is CoinCorner’s marketing manager. After hearing Molly’s interesting and varied experiences of marketing a crypto exchange, I was keen to get involved and fortunate to be looking for a new role at the same time that CoinCorner’s marketing team was being expanded. The culture at CoinCorner is young and fresh, and it’s exciting to be a part of a team in which everyone works together in a relaxed, open plan environment.
Over the last 8 months, I’ve learnt an incredible amount about marketing services in an emerging industry and had the opportunity to develop many more practical skills. These include becoming adaptable and proactive in the face of often unexpected challenges. For example, earlier this year Google introduced a ban on crypto-related advertising which had a major impact on how crypto companies digitally engage with new customers. In response to this and many other industry curveballs, we’ve begun trialing different ways of marketing to reach our target audiences in the UK and beyond.
In the crypto world no day is the same and life at CoinCorner has definitely opened my eyes to new perspectives and ways of working. I would encourage anyone interested in working in the crypto space to seize any interesting opportunities that arise!”
5) Job Title: Innovation Strategist
Name: u/janus5 on Reddit
Country: Canada 🇨🇦
Main takeaway: join a company that's likely to adopt blockchain and spearhead the changes [Jacob: depending on where you work, convince your employer to promote you and let you lead the adoption]
In replying to someone who also wanted to know about how to get into a blockchain company, u/janus5 explained in a Reddit comment:
How to Get Involved in Blockchain Technology
Here are some paths to consider:
1. Get a computer science degree
If you want to get a job in blockchain while aiming for the highest-paying blockchain jobs – the technical-oriented ones – and don't already have a tech background, this is where you could start.
Choosing the best computer science degree definitely matters most. Typically a Bachelor of Science or Master of Science in computer science will introduce you to many of the computer languages and concepts used in blockchain technology, such as decentralization, smart contracts and Dapps, while giving you a chance to work on relevant projects.
2. Learn blockchain basics
Whether you already have a tech background or not, get ahead of your peers by learning blockchain basics quickly:
- Read IBM's free Blockchain for Dummies guidebook
- Play CryptoZombies, “an interactive code school that teaches you to write smart contracts in Solidity through building your own crypto-collectables game.”
- Take a Udemy online, video-based course about blockchain or cryptocurrency
3. Join a blockchain community
If you're nearby in Asia, join Yuree's SHE Blockchainers Asia, open to women and men alike.
Question of the article
Which path into the blockchain industry sounds best for you? Which case study was most helpful? Tell us in the comments.
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