Preparing for your first job in tech. You got this!

One thing is true all around the globe, and it's that tech experts are in high demand. Perhaps you believe that there are many things to stress about, such as the interview process or the job market. But you can avoid anxiety if you prepare for your first job in tech properly. If you are a newbie, you're probably planning to learn programming online with a partner, and it's a great starting point. But there are some tips and tricks for learning and motivation that can give you a much-needed start.

Prepare for Your First Job in Tech by Researching the Market

All tech companies have one thing in common, and it's that their goal is to improve the existing technology and to solve issues that their clients have. So the first step is to do some research and figure out what kind of role you want in the industry. Then, you should start applying! Don't be afraid if someone says no because there are many more opportunities for anyone willing to put in the effort.

You Will Need to Be Able to Code if You Want a Tech Role

Getting ready to land your first tech job can be daunting, but after you've done your research on various tech industries, job postings, and salary ranges, it can provide you with the needed learning motivation. But how to prepare for your first job in tech, and what road to take? One of the best options for self-taught coding is collaborative online learning with an accountability partner. There are a lot of options, from bootcamps to online resources. We have seen so many different people find their way into tech using different methods.

Bootcamps, Online Courses, or Self-Taught?

When you're choosing between bootcamps or self-taught routes, there are a few things to consider. Bootcamps are often viewed as the ideal way to get started. While that is true for some people, it may not be your best option if you already have substantial programming knowledge. If you don't have any tech skills and want to start with an immersive program like a bootcamp, this can be a great opportunity for you.

However, your goal may be to take the self-directed learning route without spending loads of money and time on programs like that. For this, you need to find ways to keep yourself motivated, disciplined, and accountable. Volunteering and engaging in coding communities such as WomenWhoCode or Codum are fantastic to surround yourself with like-minded peers and get into the right mindset.

Consider These Options

You don’t have to go back to school to transition into tech; there are plenty of alternative ways to skill up and prepare your portfolio. There are a lot of options for learning how to code, from bootcamps (usually pricy) to online resources that are free or cost as little as $10/month. On the other hand, the internet is home to a large number of free resources from which you can learn the basics and practice your skills. Here are some options:

  • If you’re interested in the former, one suggestion would be Le Wagon. They offer an immersive program that teaches web development and data science, which are available both online and in person; it all depends on what works for you.
  • If you're more interested in online courses, EaziCode has a few great courses, such as Front-End Foundations and Coding Foundations, at prices ranging from $17 per course, depending on your needs.
  • If you want to learn about the JavaScript programming language before applying for a job, Codecademy offers interactive tutorials that will take you through everything from variables and Boolean logic all the way up to functions and arrays.
  • If you're interested in learning more about HTML5/CSS3 (which are hot topics at tech companies these days), there's always an online resource that offers tutorials on these topics as well as plenty of other helpful information related specifically to the web development workflows.

These are closely linked with general web development, so if this interests you, then check them out!

Collaborative Learning Is a Great Way to Learn Coding With a Partner

Once you've decided on which path to take, it will be much easier if you opt for buddy programming. Collaborative learning can be an effective and enjoyable way to learn to code, and it will help you grow in tech at a much faster rate. When learning with a partner, you can bounce ideas off each other, troubleshoot problems together, and motivate each other to keep going. You can also learn from each other's strengths and weaknesses, which can help you develop a more well-rounded set of skills. Having a coding buddy who holds you accountable will provide you with motivation for learning and help you achieve learning goals at a regular pace.

Prepare Yourself Mentally

Once you've managed to learn the basics of programming or leveled up the skills you already possess, it's time to prepare yourself mentally for the job-hunting process. This is crucial in the fast-paced and constantly evolving field of tech. You might be worried about the interview process. You might be worried about the job market. You might be worried about whether you are good enough or whether you are ready to make the leap from non-tech to tech.

One of the most important things to keep in mind is to set realistic expectations for yourself. Don't put too much pressure on yourself to be perfect from the start or know everything right away. Instead, focus on learning and growing at your own pace.

Reach Out and Start Networking

Once you are ready to start applying for a job, the first step is to talk to people who work in the field. There are many ways to do this, from speaking with friends and family members who may have connections to posting on social media or LinkedIn groups that could help you meet others with similar interests.

Find a Job Opening and Apply

You can begin by asking for an informal interview at a company where you’d like to work. A great way of doing this is by sending an email asking whether they have any positions available and whether there is someone on the team who would be able to speak with you about them (and perhaps even give feedback on your resume). Be sure not just email everyone at once. Make sure that whoever receives your request has enough time available so they don’t just ignore it, and make sure also that they don’t feel pressured into replying too quickly.

Stay Positive and Don’t Give Up

When you first start applying, don't be discouraged by rejections. If a company doesn't think you're the best fit for the job, don't take it personally and ask for feedback. The most important thing is to keep looking and learning. Even if your first few applications are rejected, learn from each experience and don't give up. Instead, try again with a new application or resume next time.

Start Small and Work Your Way Through

Part of the reason you should start small is that it helps you understand how the company works. You’re going to be better at your job if you know what’s going on around you, and that means having a basic understanding of how everything works together. Start with a small role and build up to larger roles over time. It also gives management an opportunity to see how well you do in different situations as well as your ability to work with other departments or teams.

Show That You Are Proactive

You need to remember that the job market is tough, and there are a lot of people who want the same thing. The best way to start building your tech career is by keeping at it and not being discouraged by rejections. You can always ask for help if needed. Don’t be afraid to start small - some of the first jobs might be small ones that eventually lead you to bigger opportunities. Lastly, don’t be afraid to take risks or make mistakes because they will make you stronger in the end.

Don’t Stop Learning New Skills, Even After You Get a Job

We are witnesses to a constant evolution in the field of tech, and that's why it's essential to continue learning new skills even after you land a job. Technology is always changing, and we can see that there's a need to stay up-to-date with the latest tools and advancements. AI platforms like ChatBots in education or ChatGPT offer a new way to learn and advance your skills.

Additionally, it's important to have a growth mindset and a willingness to learn, even when you're comfortable in your job. Finding the right online collaborative learning tools can provide you with the motivation to learn and steer you in the right direction. By continuously learning and expanding your skillset, you can become a more valuable asset to your employer.

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