This is the first in a blog post series dedicated to helping the younger talent successfully integrate into the job market.
Whether you’re a recent graduate or in your final years at the Uni, you can take solace in the fact that every single person in your generation is going through the same issues.
Jobs in tech surely sound complicated and the process of understanding what job is best for your specific set of skills can sometimes get messy, especially when you’re just starting your career.
So we compiled this blog post as a checklist of the things you should be looking for when job searching – the good, the bad and the weird.
The ratio between what you know and what you’re about to learn.
Surely most of the areas included in your first job are unknowns, but you have to put together a list of things you already know about the job you’ll be having. Ask yourself, while reading the job description, what activities create a set of expectations for you and which ones you can’t figure out. As you’ll find out applying, it is important for you to check at least one important thing off that list. Nobody’s expecting you to have it all figured out on the first day at the office, but you should have a basic understanding of at least some part of the job description. Whether it’s a foreign language, an industry you have a keen interest in or a technology you’re familiar with, that’s what is going to help you make a difference.
The job description itself.
There are lots of cues about job quality that you should be looking at. Some of the announcements you’ll see on generic career websites can be red flags. If the company is looking for a junior with years of experience, that’s a no-no. If they’re saying that you should be willing to work more than the JD’s number of hours, that you should be available at all times and that you’ll be under a lot of stress constantly, you’ve got yourself a bad offer. As well as there are bad cues, job descriptions come with indicators of high quality, such as: an experienced team with professionals who’ve got a lot of experience in very specialized niches, very friendly environment, which makes for a great learning opportunity, openness to create a career path for your development.
What you’ll be learning.
The value of this third step is the Venn diagram of what you already know versus what you’d be interested in learning. Not all jobs come with a clearly mapped out learning curve, but you should, just like you did in the second step, read between the lines. If the job sounds complex, it means it’s a huge opportunity and it will come with a great learning curve. If it sounds easy, it means that it can be a good place to start investing in your soft skills, maybe. Or it can open new opportunities and directions for your future development.
These are all variables that you should be looking at and analyzing before applying to a job. Next, we’re going to focus on the things that you can control, the ones that will set you apart from the crowd.
- Proactivity. Perhaps the source of all good things to come in your professional life. Showing that you’re proactive and willing to learn will always go a long way, as it proves to your employer not only that you’re efficient at what you’re doing, but also that you’re looking to advance in knowledge and understanding of the industry you’ve chosen.
- Curiosity. It didn’t kill the cat, it’s always welcome and it should be one of your main weapons. The more you manifest curiosity towards the industry you’ve just entered, the better suited for long-term opportunities your employer will think you are. Additionally, curiosity is a natural great step towards actually learning new skills. Ask questions whenever you’re unsure, don’t be afraid to not have all the answers.
- Setting Expectations. You can’t apply to a job without wanting something from it (don’t say money!). Bring up these expectations in the interview process, as well as in the application process, as it will give your future employers a better overall understanding of where you are and where you’re heading.
Lastly, be yourself. Don’t be afraid to show your personality in the application, as well as during the interview. It’s a very good exercise of self-reliance and shows that you’re open and confident. Always talk about your passions, your motivators and your goals freely.