Know Thyself For Developer Job Search - Reading TIme: 4 mins

Introduction

I had come across multiple articles or tutorials on why choose X over Y to start as a developer.

There's even a bunch of road maps of the type of technology that you have to pick up cough cough... Javascript to become a developer.

I find that it is often quite intimidating and does not cover the core of the issue of job search.

Which is yourself, in terms of what is your likes, dislikes, organisation preference, social mission, technology, industry and a bunch of other stuff that is not technical.

By being self-aware, it allows you to have a much easier time for job search and do hard work that creates an impact.

Here are some of the advice I had used and my mentor when he was helping me to guide me to find myself.

Odyssey Planning

Odyssey planning is the term that I read from the book called "Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-lived, Joyful Life".

It is basically a brainstorming session when you wave a magic wand where time and money is not an issue to help you to chart out 3 vastly different life paths in 5 - 10 years.

This was helpful for me when I was just going to graduate from university as I was contemplating on my "what's next" in life.

During that point of time, I had a vague idea of being part of technology & the startup ecosystem in Singapore to be either a technology salesman, software developer or a startup founder.

Create an Event Life Line

My mentor taught me to create a lifeline which charts a total of 10 memorable highs or lows points.

So that you could better understand & uncover your skills/abilities used to overcome the challenges to become who you are now.

This could help you in your job search by uncovering potential skills or abilities that have been developed with interest in the type of industry or career you could pursue.

my lifeline

Once you had created your lifeline you then proceed to fill it in a table that covers the following questions for each memorable event that had happened to you in the past:

  • Event - the summary description of the event
  • High/Low - Was it a high point or a low point in life
  • Interest/Skills/Abilities Used - What are the skills you used and what was your intent/interest.
  • Activities Action Used - What are the activities you had done to overcome the event.

Below is a high and low point example in my lifeline:

high point

low point

What's Your Unique Selling Point?

In sales & marketing, there is always a saying which is "If everyone is your customer, nobody is your customer".

This means you should always focus on attracting or search for a specific type of employer/customer that you stand out to them from a crowded market.

That allows you to attract or to have your friends, co-workers, family members to provide you with a referral because they know what you are doing.

Take an example for me, I niche myself as a Django (Python Web Framework) developer who likes to work for startups.

Therefore my focus is on the startup space that uses my Django skills.

Do note that technical skills are just one part of the equation, it could be your soft skills or personal branding.

It could be that you are a super connector who could assemble an avenger team and complete a project within a month.

It could also be because of your previous experience in an industry you could create software or services to solve a pain point in that industry.

Conclusion

I hope this article could help you in your job search as a developer or to break into the industry.

By being self-aware of yourself, you can sometimes uncover new jobs that require your particular set of abilities.

This could also allow you to repackage existing skills and experiences you had gained into new roles that did not exist previously or in your purview.

Once you had done any of the above, have some tea or coffee session with your friends or co-worker. They could help you in the lapse in your plans or shortcuts to get there in using your time effectively.

I highly recommend anyone to go the odyssey planning section which offers you a glimpse of your life through those 3 plans.

PS: If you are looking to part of startups as a developer, here is an article shared by mentor called Think like an investor when deciding which startup to join which teaches you on the type of startup or company you should join.

References