How a Reference from a Connection made me hired as a Data Scientist*q740eRzumXe9_ppF

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How a Reference from a Connection made me hired as a Data Scientist

It is a real-world, and connection plays a bigger part

Photo by Rémi Walle on Unsplash

Looking for employment is a full-time job in itself. The process is exhausting, and the chance is always slim, especially in the Data Science field, where many companies are only looking for an experienced one from a gigantic pool of data hopeful.

I know what it feels like, which turns me to play it smartly. A Data Scientist job is just like any other job; there is a “Hidden Job” that you can only access if you know someone.

With this article, I want to share my own experience of how I could tap into the “Hidden” data job. Let’s get into it.

How I set up myself

Before you try to set up any connection to secure the dream data job, you still need to set up the skill and the base experience. You might want to have the connection, but you still need to back up what you talk about, especially when you want to do networking.

So, to set me up to be able to do the networking part, I am doing various things, including:

  1. Upskilling to have an appropriate data skills,
  2. Joining various data groups to learn from others,
  3. Creating writing content for my learning journey

The above are simple steps that I feel are important to make me able to connect with network people.

What are the important things to know before Networking

After setting yourself up, you would still need to remember various basic things during networking to get those references. Even if you already have that portfolio and skillset, we still communicate with other people. That is why we need to increase our communication skills.

Here are a few communication tips for developing your communication skill for networking.

  1. Politely ask for their time to online talk. This is an online era, and you can talk with anyone. I love personally talking with someone over Zoom or Google instead of the message because it bounds to misunderstanding when we talk over chat.
  2. Use a business language. We know that all technical terms are critical to the project’s success, but the business must get the message. So, try to improve your business language.
  3. Empathy talk. Try to have empathy when talking with other people. Empathy means you understand what the other is feeling and communicate what you want according to it.
  4. Pace Yourself. What is it means to pace yourself? It is a term for controlling yourself in a steady form, so your communication would not be too tiring or too draggy.
  5. Don’t ask for a job or references in your first or second interaction. I have seen this happen many times, and certainly, it is not a good thing to do. They don’t know you, so why do they want to give references?. If you have already established a strong personal brand, I suggest avoiding direct requests.

Nurture and Develop Relationship

Networking is a long-term game to play, so you can’t expect (unless you are lucky) the result of your networking to come at the moment. Coming from my experience, I could get references for my data scientist job after a year of networking and establishing myself.

I know that communicating with people is scary or nerve-wracking for many people, which I am still were. But, I tried to overcome the fear and get to know the person behind the social media account and presented myself as someone worthy of their networking circle.

Networking could start anywhere. Modern time is easier because we are facilitated by social media such as LinkedIn, but networking could start anywhere. Your book club, old college club, movie watching club, etc.

My references even come from an unexpected place which is the community club. The moment from a community came because I was active with the person who already knew how capable I am because we already interact a lot. When I was ready to change my career, I was contacted by him and got personal references for the data scientist job.

It might sound easy to say I want a job and then get references, but no. It is hard work that I already set a year prior.

I have acted in the community, communicated well with others, presented myself as someone who understands what I did, and not acts aggressively for the job. I don’t want to get a job because someone pities me, I want the job because I could do it.

That is why you need to set yourself up and nurture the relationship you have made. Active in improving your branding and nurturing professional relationships.


In the real world, many hidden data jobs are not seen by everyone. The only way to achieve it is by having references. You need to set yourself up for networking and nurturing the relationship to do that.

I hope it helps!

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