Starting Strong: 6 Don’ts As You Kickstart Your Career

by Mar 7, 2024

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Career-Kickstart-6 Don'ts

You have recently graduated, all starry eyed with big dreams and plans to do wonders in the world of software development. The world is your oyster, or so it seems, and you start getting excited for the opportunities that are coming your way. We’ve all ridden the rollercoaster of hyper-exciting days, wearing those rose-tinted glasses through which everything seems to bend to our will.

I’ve had countless interactions with interns, student interns, and fresh graduates. From these interactions, I have gathered a list of “what NOT to do” pointers. Let’s have a look at them:

Don’t be the wobbly stick that can’t hold its ground!

Many companies, like ours, offer both jobs and internships to fresh graduates. Internships serve as a chance for newcomers to learn the ropes and demonstrate their worth in a short span, showing where they stand. Quite a few interns have ended up surprising us, performing so well that we offered them a job even before the end of the internship period.

But before you start, you need to have a clear vision of what you want.

It’s up to you to chart your course in the tech world. What technologies light up your world? If you’re convinced you’ve got what it takes to master Flutter, then hunt down roles that help you achieve your goals. Do you aspire to be a quality assurance wizard or a coding guru? Are you drawn to established companies or to the thrill of a startup? Because if you can’t find what you are looking for at one company, you will find it at another. But it’s important to have at least some clarity about it.

Get to Know the Company you’re Applying to

Research the company

Employers really appreciate it when candidates show prior knowledge of the company. It shows that you’ve done your homework and are serious about your career.

I understand that when you’re starting out, you might be tempted to send your CV everywhere. However, referring back to the first point, being clear about your goals will help you narrow down where to send your CVs.

I’ve encountered situations where candidates had no idea where they applied. One candidate even asked me, “Did I send a CV?” No, actually, I had a dream that you would be the right candidate! Doing some homework will save a lot of time for both you and the interviewer.

Figure Out What Values You Want to Live By

When you are just entering the professional world, you come with no baggage of rejection. We all know the feeling.. the feeling that we can get away with anything! But here’s the moment to hit pause. Take a breath. And figure out what values you want to live by.

Defining or living by your values may be the last thing on your mind. But they matter. Ultimately, they decide the kind of person you will become. Having a sense of integrity is the most important value you need to learn while you are young.

I had a recent experience with a computer science graduate who secured an internship with us. She seemed eager for the role, and had numerous questions about the company. Impressed, we hired her. She mentioned joining on the 1st, and made a special trip solely to collect the appointment letter. She read it, signed it, and took home the letter… it seems she only wanted the appointment letter, not the job!

Then, on the eve of her start date, she emails me saying she has decided ‘not to move forward.’!

Do I regret losing a potentially valuable resource? Not at all. A promising resource isn’t just about skills; it’s also about integrity and honesty.

View your Internship or Job as an Extension of your Learning Journey

Whether you’re starting your career as an intern or a probationer, give it your all. Remember, the company hiring you as a fresh graduate, whether as an intern or a probationer, is investing in your growth, guiding you to learn the ropes. It’s not just about mastering the technical aspects of your role; it’s about your development as a professional.

Respect this opportunity.

Use this time to broaden your understanding, not just of your role, but also of the professional landscape. Seize the chance to take initiative and showcase your potential to reach new heights in your career. Don’t see this as merely a placeholder until you land your dream job.

Last year, we had a student intern who set the bar high for what interns should aspire to be. While fulfilling his semester requirements, he approached his internship with dedication. He worked like a conscientious employee: punctual, diligent, eager to learn, and honest. Witnessing such commitment, integrity, and principles in someone so young was truly refreshing.

In conclusion, starting your career in the tech world as a young graduate is thrilling and full of possibilities. Just remember to stay confident and focused on your journey. Define what matters most to you, see every job as a chance to learn, and always aim for your best.

So, to all you dear new graduates out there, here’s to reaching new heights in the ever-changing world of software development. Spread the light!!

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