This post will be a special one, according to me, it's a leverage post. To help you figure out the importance of this article, if you are going to read only one post on my blog this is the one you should pick, however, I hope you visit me every week 😉. Here I will talk about a topic that is not widely spread and surprisingly not well known by most of the developers out there. But this is crucial for you to know, let me tell you why.
Most developers think that after going to college or somewhere else where they learn their craft they should look for a job, and think about this as if there is only one path to follow: first, create a resume, then send hundreds of emails and finally wait till that so-desired call or email appears on their phone or email.
This tactic has been successful for years, and it is still valid, but not very efficient nor the smartest, doing this is hopefully going to get you a 'normal' job (in the best of the cases), or a bad job for most of the cases forcing you to work long hours and even overtime without pay, and sometimes it takes away the time you should spend with family or friends, and that is why you see so many posts on LinkedIn from people angry, worried or sad because of the layoffs, the lack of opportunities or abusive companies. Don't follow that path.
There is a better way to get a job, according to people who know a lot more than me, and in my humble opinion, this strategy is the best.
Think about how a business operates like you never before
Think for a moment, about how a business works, they have several specialized areas for some critical operations such as sales, marketing, operations, and research and development (R&D).
Why not try to operate like a business instead of thinking of ourselves as poor guy who is begging for an opportunity? Think of your employer as your client, and as if you were providing services, it does not matter if you have only one client, after all, there are many companies out there that base all their profit on a single big fish, you are doing the same, think as if the company you work for is your client, at the end of the day, you are selling them your services.
I'm not telling you that you should hire entire departments just for you, what I am telling you is that you should change your mind and think about yourself like a company and start to work and invest in yourself, working professionally, systematically, and smart in many critical areas just like companies do.
Identify what is your product and work on it
Your "product" is the professional services you provide, perhaps now you provide them to a single company, or you are looking for a "client", whatever your case is, remember that you can provide your services to any company that appreciates it, you need to find only one and that's it. With this mindset you will want to consistently improve your services and the companies will want to have you on their payroll.
Think for example how the Sales department in a company operates. They are constantly preparing and evolving their sales tactics and strategies, so you should do the same, in terms of improving your speaking skills, evolving your general culture, and practicing your "sales" techniques. Therefore, start talking in your house and practicing just like if you were in front of the hiring manager you are being interviewed. Dress in a professional and appropriate manner even when you are practicing.
Practice makes mastery, remember it, so now you should start selling yourself as the best option out there, doing that will make you more secure, you should start making interviews for yourself in your house or wherever you want alone and practicing like a mad. Then you should ask your partner or trustworthy friends to join your interview and give you feedback.
You will make so many interviews by yourself that when you assist a real one, you will, for sure, be more confident and you can be totally sure that this is noticed, believe it or not, your confidence will be noticed by the interviewer. This doesn't guarantee you anything yet but this is a big plus.
Now think about marketing, this is a crucial department at any company, you can have the best product of all time, but if the people don't know you, you won't get too far. How can you market yourself? Easy, you must spread your message and use several channels, you must have your LinkedIn profile well redacted and designed, this is one of those things that you do only a few times but they have a huge impact over time.
Keep your tools sharp
Usually, companies make their product to differentiate from others and add to it added value. You should do the same, what is your value-added that differentiates you from the other two hundred appliers? Think of learning English (by the way this is not an option anymore, this is a must) creating a blog (for me this will be your most important weapon) making your social media profiles look professional with valuable content and a good photo, taking care of your writing skills, the kind of communication you have, being trustworthy and make your name well known on the web. Take care of your health, your physical condition is very important as well, this is especially important if you are looking for a hybrid or on-site job, but even if you are looking for a remote position, you must take care of your physical condition and practice at least one sport regularly, I highly recommend tennis for developers since you won't need a large number of people to start playing, and it is very healthy and friendly with any physical condition.
You may say, but why does this person is telling practice at least one sport and stay healthy, stay strong watch out what you eat, and stay in good shape? This is because your health will impact directly almost all of the areas of your life, including your professional services, think of so many people on LinkedIn and other social media having troubles or struggling with their jobs and having the well-known burn-out. I am not telling you that staying healthy and in good shape will solve all of your problems related to stress and burn out but this will do you so much good and will help you be happier at your job. This is another big plus.
R&D is important for any company that wants to stay up-to-date and current. This is the same for you, be constantly studying and learning, just like a chef, keep your knives sharp, improve your skills, and be a specialist. Don't look at the capacitation or courses as a burden, instead, they in fact are your allies that will make you get a better opportunity and master your skills.
Doing this will make you feel no more fear of being fired because you are now a valuable professional that every company will desire to incorporate.
Appreciate traditional values, be responsible, reliable, safe, proactive, punctual and never lose humility, this will make you a person with an attractive personality and also someone that others will appreciate. In short, be the person you want to have as a co-worker.
Now that you know this...
Just like any company, don't be afraid of investing some resources to be a better developer and in general a better professional, this doesn't mean that to accomplish all I am telling you, you must sell your car, in fact, this is not expensive, remember that money is not the only resource to invest, you must invest time, effort and money.
Some practical actions you should do are:
- Invest in your health and keep in good shape by practicing a sport regularly.
- Create a specialized blog, this will be like a dynamic resume and will differentiate you from others.
- Improve your skills.
- Be professional and a person of integrity, this will make you happier.
- Mind your own business first then think of helping others, because you won't help somebody else on something you don't know well. Once you master your craft mentor others.
- Create a professional and well-looking resume.
- Take some good professional photos for your social networks.
- Start reading books and blogs and get more ideas. (Doing this is how you find my blog actually 😊)
- Iterate and evolve all this.
- And never forget this: make yourself a schedule, and stick to it. When it is time for your family, forget all about your job and spend time with your beloved ones.
Believe it or not, this is just a summary but here I wrote, in my opinion, the most important ideas you should take into account, start changing your mind and point of view and be pragmatic, be practical, and don't get angry if you don't have a good job right now, work hard and smart on all of this points and eventually you will get a great job, it is just a matter of time and probabilities. This requires discipline and patience.
"Your final goal is to make companies look for you and not the other way around, this gives you tremendous bargaining power and both benefit, you with a good job and they with a full-fledged professional."Gerson Azabache Martínez
Fall in love with the process, not the goal
Last but not least, all of this work requires effort and time, this could be seen as boring, and this is why only a few people apply all this strategy, but if you are willing to make all this effort, you will be rewarded for sure, and will be a better person and a better professional.
Don't fall in love with your goal, but instead with the process, because the process is what you are going to be doing on a daily basis, the goal eventually will find you and you won't know exactly its magnitude, you can reach even a better goal than you thought at the beginning, so focus on the process and do it the best you can, the goal will catch you.
Work smart, but more importantly, work hard. You can apply the great 10x rule posed by Grant Cardone.
Keep moving forward
All these ideas are a compilation of many sources and some additions from me, that is why I tell you it is very important for you to read. I especially recommend you a book called Soft Skills by John Sonmez, as well as other chapters from books like Sell or be sold by Grant Cardone, and Atomic Habits by James Clear.
At the same time, I want to express my gratitude to those great authors that I have mentioned and others who are on the same path and who help many like you and me.
I warned you, this post would be special. I hope it has opened your eyes and that it helps you greatly.
I hope you liked this post, wish you the best 😉 (and share it to your friends!)🥳
Article main photo credit: Foto de ThisisEngineering RAEng en Unsplash