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Why does mandatory have to mean less effective?

Graduating from Flatiron has been an unexpected roadblock to maintaining my steady pace towards becoming a developer. The first couple of weeks post grad, I tried to maintain the same learning momentum as during the bootcamp. I created a curriculum for myself and a weekly schedule of things to learn and accomplish.

But I quickly realized that it would be impossible to do, while completing the Flatiron checklists for "declaring my job search". And unfortunately, there are many checklists, including whole online track that seemed designed for recent college grads.

The problem

Even having declared my job search, I'm still struggling to get out of the bureaucratic pit that comes with a one-size-fits-all career approach. To put it simply, there are a lot of vague requirements for staying compliant that have nothing to do with my background, the kinds of companies I want to work at or the skills I want to developed.

The career search requirements are supposed to be a minimum for what you must accomplish each week. But they also serve as an upper limit for what you accomplish each week.

What does that mean?

Flatiron has 3 main weekly requirements for alums:

  1. Write 1 blog post
  2. Do 5 Github commits
  3. Contact 8 people. If you met them at an event, ask them for coffee. Otherwise cold email 8 people

These seemed straightforward at first. But as someone who was already doing all 3 things, it made me start doubting my approach.

For example:

  • Why write 3 posts in 1 week when that could keep me compliant for 3 weeks?
  • It's more strategic to do a random tutorial that will guarantee 5 commits, instead of working through 1 challenging problem like this one, especially if it doesn't require multiple commits.
  • Instead of reaching out people I'd like to know LinkedIn, it makes more sense to send cold emails, because I don't necessarily want to get coffee with 8 people each week.

Over time, I'm sure to find a balance between these checklist items and actually productive job search or personal growth activities. But why are those 2 things separated?

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