In the last couple of years of my career, I have worked at multiple firms in different roles and every time I changed a job, the experience has never been more fulfilling. Besides the process of finding a new one, which could get excruciating at times, I learned something new about the job types, technology and the people I associated with. I can honestly admit it was NOT one of the easiest things to do in the initial days of my career. Most people struggle with the issue of being stuck in a wrong job at one time or the other. But never ask for help! In my case, I can proudly say my journey from Mumbai to Bengaluru to Berlin has not been anything less than adventurous.
The spirit of adventure silently dies when you worry about your resume:
We all love being spontaneous and adventurous when it comes to life, but we seem to be tad hesitant about the spirit of adventure when it comes to jobs. It might be because we do not want to take risks in our career. We want our resumes to look as reliable and impressive as possible. We work hard on it even though it’s not what exactly the recruiters are looking for! Recruiters really want to know if you are best fit for “their” position and less about what you have been doing. They see if you are not immune to learning and grasp faster. If they have contacted you that implies you are fit.
A 34 year old business professional, entrepreneur and a good friend of mine once said — “People unnecessarily worry about how their resumes look. If you have a good explanation for what you have done the recruiters are forced to believe in you. I have changed 9 jobs in 11 years, 10 seems like a good number.”
The science to restore confidence:
It is natural as humans to go low on confidence while finding a new job. There are a plethora of things going through your mind. For instance, if you will get a better pay, if you are fit for the role, if you have the necessary knowledge, avoid mistakes you have made previously, if you will have a good working environment, a good boss, breaks, games, and the list goes on. But in my experience, whenever I was low on confidence I gave more interviews. Met more people like me who were conducting those interviews. It was easier to talk to them about technology, work and so on, which we shared in common. Initially, I requested for skype/telephonic interviews which gave me time to think and boosted my confidence. I also gave them the exact reason that I wasn’t great in person as it put me under pressure and they understood. Then I went on to give interviews in person which worked well in my favor.
Train to hit the nail right:
In my honest opinion, we as engineers in the most fast paced working environment need to be flexible and adapt and learn constantly. It is easy said than done. Hence, the fear of change. The secret recipe to hit the nail right is training. I at some point of time in my career gave more than 30 interviews in a year. I made it compulsory for me to give interviews to stay in the game. To see what people are innovating with respect to technology. How they worked. As I did not have expectations of cracking most of them, I took the learning experience and I got better at cracking further interviews. With training even a monkey could do the job, after all we are humans. Additionally, being yourself and asking for what you want definitely helps to land a dream job. If not something close to it..
Take responsibility for your failures:
There might be times, you fail at your job, whatever the reason. What is more important is to ask yourself- Do you enjoy your job? Are you gaining any learning experience? Do you wanna wake up and look forward to work?
Failures are a part and parcel of your career. You don’t have to land that dream job on day 1 or even 2 or 3. It’s a continuous process and should be taken with a pinch of salt. If you fail at your job, admitting is the key. Once you identify the reason for failure, half the problem is solved. Now, you just need to work on a plan to get better at it and prepare to kickass. Never make it personal or look back. Taking responsibilities for our failures makes one grow mature and stronger as individuals and demonstrates your professionalism and your attitude towards solving problems. They also guide in making right choices in the coming future.
Take back the learnings:
At the end of the day, it is not what you did that matters but what you learned. The learnings are the only ones to stay. So try to ask questions and learn as much as possible on the job. Even during interviews identify companies to give interviews to learn about their culture, processes and last but not least the actual job interview wherein you are asked questions or solve problems you couldn’t imagine of. Try to note down those questions and find answers for yourself. It is ok if you don’t crack all of them as you don’t expect to, nobody hits a jackpot the first time. Therefore they are less stressful and you will gradually notice an exponential rise in the confidence vs number of interviews graph.