Since I have completed my schooling and my internship, I have been spending the majority of the holiday season digging for places to work. Anywhere from online job boards, to Craigslist, I have been scouring the web for any opportunity I can find that is looking for a Ruby on Rails developer. I just wanted to share a few opinions I have had so far in the job search process that have helped me.
1. Figure out what it is you love to do.
I love Ruby on Rails. Ruby on Rails is what I choose to study in school and I have grown very fond of the language and framework. They are intuitive, powerful and just a joy to work in.
While I am not saying that I refuse to work in anything else, I am passionate about working with these languages. This helps me search for jobs that I know I will enjoy and strive in because they revolve around the languages and frameworks that I am passionate about.
You know what they all say, work isn't work if you love it.
2. The worst that can happen is not getting a reply.
There have been many times that I have looked at a job requirement and thought to myself there is no way. As a junior developer especially, it can be intimidating to see code samples that may as well be hieroglyphics, and job requirements that are overwhelming to where you may just click next. Trust me, I have done it multiple times when I first started applying.
The more I applied though, the more I realized that the worst thing that could happen is that you don't get a reply. If that's the worst thing, what is stopping you? Just go for it. If they don't reply, they don't reply, but if they do reply, it will be rad.
It's like asking a girl out on a date. If she says no, your life will continue. So why not just go for it?
3. Apply for the unrealistic dream scenarios.
When it comes to job searching, it is okay to apply to what feels like the completely unrealistic. Today I spent 20 minutes applying to Riot Games. If they responded to me, I think I would cry in happiness.
Do I necessarily expect them to respond? No not really. Am I putting all my hope and confidence in a job offer from them? No not at all. But when I sent in that application, I felt a little unstoppable. If I can apply to somewhere like Riot, what is stopping me to applying anywhere?
4. Be excited in applying.
When I first started applying, I was not super thrilled. It seemed a little unnerving and intimidating. Especially when not getting many responses right away, it can feel like you aren't doing it correctly, or maybe even that you aren't a real developer, or whatever your profession is.
But the more I started thinking positively about applying, the more exciting it was. Every time I apply to a job, I think of the opportunities and experience it will provide. I think of the people I could meet and work with. I think of the excitement of being somewhere new surrounded by new people, working on new projects.
Applying for jobs can be defeating, it can be annoying, it can be disappointing, it can make you feel incompetent. But think of it as an opportunity to put yourself out there, flaunt your skills, and be excited to start a new chapter in your life.
And don't forget, nothing is too unrealistic. The more confidence you have in your applying and your skills, the more appealing you will be. Just go for it and have fun.