Finding a new career is not a straight line. It takes time and effort. It involves research, active outreach, tracking progress, building a personal brand, and more. It also requires:
Finding a job is a full-time job in itself. Understand that hiring managers will not discover you if you stay inside your apartment. You need to put yourself out there — physically and online.
An effective job search involves (but isn’t limited to):
Arranging informal coffee meetings
Building an online presence through social media and blogging
Creating side projects you can add to your portfolio
Phone interviews, video/virtual interviews, and onsite interviews
Completing technical/practical challenges in your field of study
Continued learning and development
Smart time management
Landing a job is your responsibility. While there are tons of career resources (like this one) that can act as a guide, at the end of the day it comes down to one person: YOU. You’re the only one that can go on interviews and get the job offer.
It’s no one’s job to give you a job. Instead, you must prove your value to an employer, as well as, convey your genuine interest every step of the way. If you fail to demonstrate your value and interest, employers will move on.
There are always ups and downs - including rejection - when pursuing something new and exciting. However, as Henry Ford famously said, “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.” As you go through the job search, focus on your end goal: a new career as a software engineer.
After wrapping up your Flatiron program, you now have a strong foundation of specialized technical skills unique to your field of study.
However, having these technical skills alone is not enough to secure a job. There are other behaviors and soft skills that employers look for in a candidate.
Some of the key ones include:
Appearance - Or, the first impression that you make. This includes the clothing you wear, how you act, and your body language (making eye contact, a firm handshake, good posture, speaking with confidence, smiling!).
Positive Attitude - Do you seem like a team player? Easy to work with? Have an overall positive disposition? Are you enthusiastic about the company and role? Are you excited to code?
Communication - Listening, writing, and speaking effectively. Essentially, how well you can explain your ideas. Also, it's important that you use proper business communication etiquette (different than informal-style/social etiquette).
Time Management - Do you respond to emails and related correspondence in a reasonable amount of time? Does it seem like you can handle multiple responsibilities at once and set appropriate deadlines around them?
Realize that these traits and soft skills can be even more important than your technical know-how. Because while you can be trained to learn new technical skills, your personality is unchanging. After all, companies don't hire a resume or skillset; they hire people.