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How Do You Navigate Career Shifts?

Transitioning from one career level to another often presents challenges. What obstacles might individuals face when moving from a role as a Senior Software Engineer to a Staff Engineer, and how could they navigate this shift?

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Top comments (2)

michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington

Taking this prompt in a slightly different direction, I know many folks have had to navigate career shifts recently because of the many layoffs happening over the past couple years across the software development industry.

@coffeecraftcode recently shared a post that's the start of a series that "aims to make recent layoffs more relatable and give people a space to share their experiences." I highly recommend this excellent article that takes the form of an interview.

I think this post is really relatable, both for folks who have experienced layoffs, but also those who haven't. Everyone should give this a read!

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Joe Mainwaring • Edited

One challenge I've faced with my career shifts has been a skills gap between where I'm at today and where I'm trying to get with my next role. This has been less of an issue with linear transitions (ex: Software Engineer II => Software Engineer III), but when you're making a more dramatic change in your daily responsibilities (IT Admin => Software Engineer II) then the gaps are more glaring.

Sometimes, these gaps can be addressed through mentorship or bootcamps, but otherwise you're left to figure these out on your own. When I transitioned into software engineering, I largely figured it out on my own. It was basically a guessing game: what skills did I need to build in order to attract the employment I was after. I didn't get much traction at first as I found myself investing in the wrong skillset (Wordpress), but once I shifted my focus more towards HTML5 and JavaScript, the ROI began to realize.