Finding your professional community

Looking for a job but not sure how to network? Or just feeling stuck in your career? I curated a list of professional communities in the startup scene so you don't have to look elsewhere. If you're looking for a job, I share tips on Find a Job with Annie.

February 2020 — the pandemic hit the world and I hit a career crisis. Most companies froze all hiring activities, which means they wouldn’t need a recruiter like me, and many started mass layoffs. Companies like Airbnb and GetYourGuide published their “alumni list”, which are job titles and contact information of employees that were laid off in the hope of helping them land new jobs. Entire HR and talent acquisition teams were among those lists.

At the same time, two senior recruiters that I saw as my mentors left my company, and I felt left alone with no idea how to keep growing in my role. Is it time to switch to a different career? I was so close to saying yes.

Well, if I do decide to stay in recruiting, I’m not gonna just sit and wait for someone to come teach me or for things to get better on their own; my career is in my own hands. I signed up to Startup Recruiting Bootcamp led by Jennifer Kim, the former Head of People at Lever, and realized that I landed in an incredibly inspiring community of recruiters. Not only was there so much knowledge, but we also shared the same challenges and supported each other on our journeys.

This was one of the best things I did for my career, so I want you to find your community too. Here’s a list of (mostly personally vetted) communities in the Berlin (or global) startup scene that I organized by job function, including engineering, product, design, marketing, and their target demographic, which are underrepresented communities. Most of them have a dedicated job board or channel.

If you want to land a job in Germany, check out Arbeitnow, which does not only include startup jobs in Berlin, but a variety of companies ranging from small businesses in Essen to international corporations in Stuttgart. Arbeitnow also features many working student jobs and internships, a rare sight in the market full of senior positions.

Software Engineering

Most of the engineering communities are organized by programming languages.

  • DEV: a global community of 660k developers. Web forum.
  • Gophers: a global community for people who code with Golang. Slack group.
  • BerlinJS: a Berlin-based community for people who code with Javascript. Slack group.
  • Android Developer Group: a Berlin-based community for Android developers. Slack group.
  • Lead Dev: a global community for current and future leaders in software engineering. MeetUp group.
  • Ruby Developers: a global community for people who code with Ruby. Slack group.
  • Hackernews: a global community created by Y Combinator. Also has a monthly “Who is hiring” thread where companies post their job openings, and it gets posted around the first day of each month. I highly recommend checking these threads especially if you are looking for remote jobs. A lot of recruiters see this as a source of highly qualified candidates. Web forum.

Product & Design

  • UIUX Berlin: a Berlin-based community for people interested in UI/UX. Slack group.
  • Human Robot Creative Community: A global community led by my friend, Austin Keeble, a former Google designer and part of the distinguished faculty of design at General Assembly. He also hosts a 30 Day Creative Career Lab (I had the pleasure to be a part of its version 1 — it was pretty amazing).
  • Mind the product: a global community of 20k product people. Slack group.
  • Product People: a Berlin-focused community organized by a team of product managers who offer their service to companies on an interim basis. Their LinkedIn page is constantly posting job openings, so I strongly recommend following them. Other than that they seem to organize mostly in a MeetUp group.
  • ProductHunt Global: a global community by ProductHunt. Slack and MeetUp groups.

Marketing

For Women

  • WomenTechMakers: a global community for women in tech by Google. Its Berlin chapter is genuinely one of the most helpful and active communities I’ve been in. Slack and MeetUp groups.
  • Elpha: a global professional network for women. They embrace the inclusive definition for women and welcome trans women as well as genderqueer and non-binary people who identify as women or femme. Web forum.
  • PyLadies: a global community for women who code with Python, has local communities in different countries. Slack or MeetUp groups.
  • WomenWhoGo: a global community for women who code with Golang, has local communities in different countries. Slack or MeetUp groups.
  • The Mom Project: a global community for women in their working motherhood journey. The employers they work with are pre-vetted companies that are family-friendly. I’ve not signed up so I’m not sure what platform the community is hosted on.

For People of Color

  • BlackInTech Berlin: a Berlin-based community that supports black people who work in tech. Founded by Kave Bulambo, Director of Talent Acquisition and Diversity & Inclusion EMEA at SmartRecruiters. The community is also open to allies. Slack and MeetUp group.

Unfortunately, I’ve not been in any other active tech community for people of color in Berlin. Luckily, DiversifyTech also compiled a huge list that includes communities for people of color around the world and people with disabilities.

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