Congratulations, you’ve been placed into a tech apprenticeship with LaunchCode! Now what? Learning doesn’t stop when class ends and you land that apprenticeship — it’s only just begun. Welcome to your new career in tech. Here are some ways to make your professional journey a little easier.
You are not your resume but your actions.
You are not your resume but your actions. These days, everyone should be a walking representation of the professional they seek to become. The way you carry yourself in the workplace is your calling card. Potential employers, coworkers and clients create first — and sometimes lasting — impressions that can impact your career. No need to worry, though!
The best way to create a personal brand is to identify what you’d like to be known for. Assess your strengths and weaknesses. Play up your strengths, work on the weaknesses, and rock that confidence. Always have confidence in your skills, ability and opinion. Ensure your work quality speaks for itself. News about your rock star performance will travel farther than a resume.
There are only two times in business: on time and late. If you’re fifteen minutes early, you’re on time. Always give yourself padding in the mornings to get to work on time. Arriving ten minutes early will let you grab a cup of coffee, collect your thoughts, and begin prioritizing your work day. Rushing in with only seconds to spare will make your mind jumbled and affect your work product.
Never, ever be late for an interview, first day of work, the day of a big presentation or a meeting with a client. Tardiness signals unprofessionalism and a disrespect of the other person’s time.
You aced the GRE, you have an impressive IQ and your resume would make any talent recruiter trip over their feet trying to snatch you up for their company. But for some reason the apprenticeship didn’t work out. Or, you get the job and aren’t accelerating in your career like some of your peers. What can you do?
Most employers prefer hiring people they could see themselves socializing with after work. This does not mean you have to be the life of the party or the most social person. However, honing soft skills and increasing your emotional IQ can help the longevity of your career.
Learning how to adapt to a changing environment and problem solving are key.
Communicating effectively is important in even the most solitary jobs. Learn how to read people. Reflect your office culture. Most importantly, learn how to work in a team. Employers love employees who can work independently but also collaborate. Learning how to adapt to a changing environment and problem solving are key.
Mentors can save you time, headache and help prevent you from making rookie mistakes! Cultivate these relationships by attending local meetups and reading about respected professionals in your field, then reaching out to them via LinkedIn or Twitter. If you’re on the shy side, attend networking events with a more extroverted friend. It works like a charm. Set goals for yourself by entering a networking opportunity seeking meaningful interactions. It’s better to walk away having only introduced yourself to one or two people but turning those introductions into lasting professional relationships than to meet everyone in the room without any real connections.
Seriously — do it, you won’t regret it. Challenge yourself by honing your craft outside of work. Face your fears in the workplace by giving a presentation in front of your team. Volunteer for the uncomfortable tasks that will help you grow as a professional. If you feel comfortable every day, then you aren’t growing. It takes that first nerve-racking presentation to start your career as a conference speaker. It takes learning another coding language or tackling a difficult subject to become a better, more senior developer.
The path toward a successful career in tech is not a straight one. Sometimes you will feel amazing when you solve a coding problem. Other times, you will feel like you hit a brick wall. It takes hitting those brick walls and learning how to climb over them or knock them down in order to be better. Keep learning and honing both your hard skills and soft skills throughout your entire career.
Insider secret: Even the top pros are still following these tips! Tiger Woods began golfing with his left hand after winning many tournaments, in order to keep challenging himself. You don’t have to go that far, but keep pushing yourself and you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish!
By Samantha Williams, LaunchCode's Public Relations Manager