Since receiving my exceptional talent visa in digital and tech, I have been asked how I started my journey in becoming an expert in my field and how I gathered enough evidence to prove that I was “exceptionally talented”. While it is difficult to see myself as exceptionally talented, I’d like to share the things I did to help me convince Tech City that I deserved the Tech Nation Visa.
1. Write engaging content
Write engaging content in your field of expertise and publish them on your website, reputable publications online, community network websites, your Linkedin account, online start up publications.
2. Attend relevant tech events
Attend tech events regularly and share the key takeaways from attending the event. Contact the organiser and ask for your article to be published on their website. Put a call to action on every piece of content you write leading to connect with you on Linkedin, follow you on Twitter, Facebook, sign up to your newsletter if you have one.
3. Organise tech events or speak at tech events
Organise or speak at tech events about your your field of expertise. Community tech events are a great way to start your public speaking journey. Take photos of you speaking to an audience, share it across social media, write a blog about your experience at the event and share key points, images of slides post event and publish your blog.
4. Obtain written testimonials
Obtain written testimonials for public facing work or community tech events you attend or organise. Seeking them through Linkedin is the easiest way to obtain recommendations.
5. Be active on social media.
Linkedin and Twitter are very powerful tools of engaging with your audience. Post images at every opportunity and provide any comments, relevant pieces of advice, key messages or engaging content for your audience. Tag people, use hashtags and use hyperlinks!
6. Become a STEM Ambassador
STEM Ambassadors are volunteers from a wide range of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) related jobs and disciplines across the UK. They offer their time and enthusiasm to help bring STEM subjects to life and demonstrate the value of them in life and careers. Join here.
7. Attend tech events by searching eventbrite and meetup.com
Contact the organisers to ask if you can be introduced to particular people, share it across social media that you are going to the event, help promote the event before, during and after the event. If there is opportunity to help volunteer at the next event and be involved, contact the organiser.
8. Seek a mentor
Seek a mentor in your relevant field who can provide guidance on your journey to becoming a digital and tech influencer. Use your networks, your work colleagues or your senior managers, ask friends who you think you could ask to become your mentor. Be clear about who and what your mentor’s role should be and be mindful of their time. You should also think about what you can provide to your mentor also because mentoring can be a 2 way relationship.
9. Share your knowledge.
It’s important that you share your knowledge with your peers, the tech community and those on the same journey as you.
10. Just start.
It doesn’t matter that you aren’t an expert yet. This is the whole point of becoming an expert and documenting your journey as you learn. Teaching and sharing your knowledge is the most rewarding part of being an exceptionally talented person in digital and tech. And it’s all about the impact you are making to the UK tech sector that will set you aside from the rest of the applicants who are also applying for a golden ticket to live in the UK.
If you would like guidance and help on the Exceptional Talent Endorsement process or appeals, I help highly skilled tech entrepreneurs and talent increase their chances and succeed in their application for endorsement.
This blog was written by Michelle Hua, Consultant, Speaker, CEO & Founder of Made With Glove. In 2016, Michelle was the recipient of the Exceptional Talent Visa (now called Global Talent Visa) and is the former #TechNationVisa Ambassador. Michelle consults for highly skilled tech entrepreneurs and people working in digital technologies on how they can receive the endorsement for exceptional talent or exceptional promise. Read Michelle’s other blogs on the #TechNationVisa here and Michelle’s own journey here.