So for those of you who don't know, I have recently graduated from Makers Academy! However, coming out of the course and falling into the current job market has not been a fun ride. I won't deny it, I have experienced my fair share of stress and worry! It’s a tough time for me, my fellow junior devs, and many others around the world. It has become harder than ever to break into most industries.
I write this blog not to indulge in pessimism but to remind everyone your not alone in this struggle and you WILL persevere. I hope by sharing some of the things I have done to keep myself motivated may help anyone in a similar predicament.
So! What are some of the things you can do to maintain a positive outlook?
Be kind to yourself and don't neglect your health
If you only take one thing away from this blog make it this; look after yourself emotionally and physically. In the haze of stress when looking for a job it is very easy to feel down and find yourself trapped in a blur of applications and emails. Take the time to ensure your eating properly, let yourself relax, and don’t beat yourself up if you still haven't got that interview at your favorite company.
Recently a tech consultant gave me and my cohort some very good advice; “The current job market is not your fault, neither doubt nor blame yourself if nothing is coming your way yet. It’s tough out there but you will persevere”.
Only apply for job’s you sincerely want
The temptation to throw a million applications out there and see what sticks is a methodology of many. But here’s why I believe that to be a terrible idea, take from it what you will. Consider the questions: Why did you get into tech? and What kind of job would have you springing out of bed each day? Ask yourself what is it you really want to get out of this?
If it’s just money hey who am I to judge? But if you're like me and want a job you sincerely look forward to each day find that job. When you truly want a role you will go that extra mile to get it, it is far easier to show passion for a project when you're being sincere and this will play in your favor. Furthermore, it is my belief you can alleviate stress with this approach. Why juggle hundreds of jobs you don't want when you could easily manage 10 you do.
It can be hard to maintain momentum when you're worrying, but it’s not all doom and gloom, there are a few things you can do to prevent burn out and stay on track. Self-isolation for most people has had a negative impact but we must make the most of it. Now is the ideal time to develop your skills, learn a new framework, or work on a passion project. Even if you just contribute a few lines of code to your GitHub each day that is an achievement.
Collaborate with other developers, demonstrate you can work remotely! Remote working for many people is becoming the new norm and is an increasingly desirable skill.
Schedule your week
Managing and planning self-directed work for some can be a challenge and without a clear schedule, it is very easy to fall into the trap of aimlessly drifting from task to task. Planning the week ahead and sticking to the timeframes you set will fill you with a sense of accomplishment, I find this to be highly motivating.
By doing this you can maintain your focus and hold yourself accountable for your progress. A nice idea I find when doing this is to include leisure activities and rewards in your plan, celebrate a productive day of work!
If you enjoyed reading this blog feel free to also check out my article on self-directed learning.
Thanks for reading and stay positive, I wish you all the best of luck!