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Emmanuel Osuolale
Emmanuel Osuolale

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Getting Started in Tech: 8 Mistakes I Made

At the beginning of my tech career, I made a few mistakes that cost me countless hours and months. I wanted to share some mistakes I made when I started applying for jobs and offer guidance on how to avoid them. I hope this helps someone who is just getting started in tech.

1. No projects or not having a portfolio.

To attract recruiters, you must show them you have what they are looking for. You can share your portfolio projects on LinkedIn, Twitter, Dribble, or other social media.

Make sure they are easily accessible and have a good description of your tasks and the technology you used.

Don't just work on projects; showcase them, build your personal brand, and get your dream job.

2. Applying for mid-level roles.

I believed since I performed better in several machine learning and software development programs than most of my peers, I could skip a step.

No matter how talented you are, you must start somewhere, such as in a junior role or internship, and work your way up. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule.

3. Not having a mentor

It's important to find a mentor. Ask them for advice on how to personalize your path.

Make sure they're in a position you want to be in the future. Then, learn from them, follow their path, and follow their advice.

4. Being too specific about what I wanted.

I had the impression that since I had put in the time and effort to work on numerous projects while seeking a data science job, Someone would see my GitHub and maybe send me a mail for a job.

I saw a lot of data analyst roles but thought I could do better than that and I didn’t like creating visualizations too. If you're just starting out in technology, don't be too rigid; consider other possibilities and develop a strategy for getting to your ideal position.

5. I thought some roles were too big for me.

I was looking at job descriptions, and if there was a skill I was not good with, I would just leave the role and not apply. But then, I realized that most job descriptions are written by individuals who do not have a very good idea about the role and probably just did a quick google search on what skills a data scientist should have.

So, if you are confident about what you know and sure you will be able to add value to the organization, please do not hesitate to apply.

In your cover letter, explain your skills, what makes you stand out, and why you are interested in that opportunity.

6. Not preparing for interviews

When I started, I didn't prepare for interviews. I thought, as I didn't know where the questions could come from, why should I prepare?

Well, that was a mistake, and it cost me. I would continue to learn and upskill myself. However, this was wrong, It is important to prepare.

You must learn to introduce yourself (you can practice with friends), look up the company online, and try searching for common interview questions related to your role. You might be lucky and see some past questions from people who have been interviewed previously. A quick and comprehensive Google search can help.

7. Not spending time applying for jobs.

Remember, there are a lot of people applying for that job. To stand out, make sure your CV is tailored for that position, including relevant experience, projects, and certificates you have.

Always apply with a cover letter. This would help the recruiter understand that you put in time for this application and you are very serious about getting the job.

The quantity of applications you send does not matter at all. It's the quality of your applications.

In your cover letter, explain why you are applying, what skills you have, and what makes you stand out from other applicants. Someone who can review your cover letters, such as a mentor, friend, or sibling, would be an excellent person to ask.

8. Running away from the hard stuff.

It is important to not run away from job applications because they are very long, especially if you think you are a good fit. You can decide to start applying and continue on another day.

Do not run away from them. They designed it so unserious people would probably ignore the application. Do not be one of them. Nobody likes applying for jobs, but that step is important in order to get the jobs we want.

While getting started can be incredibly difficult and discouraging, it's important that you never lose motivation. It's about consistency and hard work.

Keep on learning and pushing! I am rooting for you!

Thank you for reading this, I hope you found some helpful tips.
Finally I wanted to thank my good friend Benny for helping me review this article.

Top comments (15)

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dmarinere profile image
Emmanuel Osuolale Author • Edited on

Thank you for sharing Lukasz. I totally agree with what you said. Very good advice.

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bennykillua profile image
Benny

This are helpful tips Emma

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dmarinere profile image
Emmanuel Osuolale Author

Thank you Benny

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angelinewang profile image
Angeline Wang

This was a great read! Thanks for sharing :)

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yusufxcode profile image
Yusuf

Great advice, thanks.

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gtechzilla profile image
Gerald Nchogu Okioma

Nice article,simple and straight to the point. I have made most of this mistakes in the past.

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lexiebkm profile image
Alexander B.K.

"5. I thought some roles were too big for me.
I was looking at job descriptions, and if there was a skill I was not good with, I would just leave the role and not apply. But then, I realized that most job descriptions are written by individuals who do not have a very good idea about the role and probably just did a quick google search on what skills a data scientist should have."

This point... if only one requirement I lack, I usually don't care, go on to apply.

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lico profile image
SeongKuk Han

I agree with you but at the same time the thought comes in my mind, "Do I have enough skills for frontend? Is it okay to spend time to other skills?". I believe that each skill is connected each other. But for my career, I'm worried about that. There are lots of things that I should learn in frontend, actually, new packages are coming out every day, right?. I wanna leave from the thought, but it's not that easy

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yongchanghe profile image
Yongchang He

They are really helpful to me. Thank you!

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lico profile image
SeongKuk Han

All of them are that I also did, oh,, and I totally agree with your opinions. Thank you for the post! I will try with your advices!

 
lico profile image
SeongKuk Han

Thank you for your advice :)

I think that one of the most important skills is to learn how to read documentation

I feel the same way

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resourcefulmind profile image
Opeyemi Stephen

This is a great read and will be helpful to every noob dev. Great article Emmanuel.

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bosz profile image
Fongoh Martin T.

Awesome

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