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Does anyone really dream of working in tech?

To mark the launch of Matchstiq, Co-founder Greg Denton, shares his personal journey of how working in tech redefined his idea of work, why he thinks the career discovery process is broken and outdated, and how he plans to change it.

If you were to dream of a career in tech as a kid, what would have you envisioned?

I asked a friend of mine, Ben, that question not long ago and he said: “nobody really dreams of working in tech, do they?!”

I smiled and nodded in agreement at his answer. Probably not, I thought. I certainly didn’t.

“The quiet kids we all went to school with are now disrupting industries and changing the way we interact with the world.”

For many, the thought of a career in tech might have conjured up the image of the quiet kids at school that camped out in the computer room at lunchtime. 

How times have changed. The quiet kids we all went to school with are now disrupting industries and changing the way we interact with the world. They are the engine room of our future and the leaders of some of the most interesting companies in the world.

Aren't these the kind of dreams we need our kids to be dreaming of?

As I found out, you don’t have to be a computer geek to play a part. Ben is a good example of this. He helps turn some of the biggest sporting events in the world into computer animations, making it easier for TV audiences to follow the action. This involves working alongside a wide variety of software engineers to production specialists.

“With technology evolving so rapidly, we are going to have to fundamentally shift how people visualise these opportunities and quickly.”

However, aside from having a personal connection to the people working in these companies like Ben, how can the next generation be expected to understand the potential of newly-formed career paths in emerging industries?

With technology evolving so rapidly, we are going to have to fundamentally shift how people visualise these opportunities and quickly.

I somewhat stumbled into tech myself. After working a number of years in the ANZ Financial Markets team, I realised the world of banking wasn’t for me, so I packed my bags and moved to Vancouver for a change of pace.

Like all of my previous career decisions, I began politely invading the LinkedIn inboxes of anyone who would humour me for coffee. 

The end goal was to find interesting people doing interesting things, uncovering what it was they loved so much about their 9- 5, so I could focus my attention on doing something similar. 

Twenty coffees later, I managed to land myself a job in software sales for a startup called Hootsuite.

“The magic of the first hand insight I gained through that one coffee catch up has undoubtedly changed the trajectory of my career.”

At Hootsuite, I found this hive of ambitious young people excited to come to work each day. The culture of creativity and shared ownership was exciting. This was my industry, however up until the nineteenth coffee, I had no idea it even existed!

The magic of the first hand insight I gained through that one coffee catch up has undoubtedly changed the trajectory of my career.

But did I really need to meet someone face-to-face to get insight into this incredible industry?

There are a lot of people willing to share their experiences and often the only thing stopping them is time and the opportunity to do so. 

If you could make it easy for them to share their insights at scale, imagine the impact it could have on the generation approaching an industry that is changing before its eyes.

Today, with the official launch of Matchstiq, we’re setting out to foster just that.

Our mission is to make first-hand career insight open and accessible to anyone, anywhere, anytime, to help people visualise all of the new career paths open to them through the eyes of those that have walked before them.

Our dream jobs or companies might be right on our doorstep and with a bit of help, seeing what they are like might not take twenty cups of coffee.

I’ve often wondered if I’d heard New Zealand tech entrepreneurs like Rod Drury or Sam Morgan share their career stories before I went into banking. I’m fairly confident I would not have collected a wardrobe full of suits.

“Rod or Sam, the younger version of me might be waiting for just that. I look forward to hearing from you.”

Are you working in the tech industry and keen to share your insight and journey with New Zealand’s bright young minds looking for career advice or inspiration? If so I’d love to hear from you. Please reach out to me at greg.denton@matchstiq.io

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