DEV Community

Cover image for Tips on tending your career like it’s a garden
JC Smiley
JC Smiley

Posted on

Tips on tending your career like it’s a garden

Tip #1 Hard work and preparation equals Success.

A key thing in gardening is you get what you put into the garden. If a gardener is constantly weeding, watering, and adding nutrients to the plants; then the odds of a successful garden are higher. With that said, you have to work hard to succeed. This can include but not limited to:
🔸 Reading technical blogs & documentation
🔸 Writing code & problem solving
🔸 Watching educational videos & attending classes
🔸 Giving technical talks & teaching others to code
🔸 Volunteering & being active in the tech community
🔸 Building personal & open source projects
🔸 Going to tech conferences and attending hackathons

Do all these things and more to give yourself the best chance at success.

Sprouting plant

Tip #2 You are only as great as your support system.

When I was raising cucumbers, I learned it's best to scaffold a trellis to support the long vines and growing buds. I harvested more cucumbers and they were bigger. The correlation is your career needs support to grow. You need:
🔸 Mentors
🔸 Coding buddies to listen as you "rubber duck" problems
🔸 Mock interviewers & resume reviewers
🔸 Supporters to help you find a job and even more important; to speak good about you when you are not in the room.

Success does not happen in a vacuum.

A green cucumber

Tip #3 Failure to plan is planning to fail.

A good gardener plans ahead on what to plant based on types of plants that grow best in their location and season.

🔸 Research what technologies is in demand in your local market or what skills is needed for your career choice. Use social media like LinkedIn to talk to developers doing what you want to do.

🔸 I have read that to be considered for a higher or different role you have to already be doing the things that are done in that role.

🔸 A great gardener plans for all four seasons of the year. We can learn from this and think about what additional skills and experiences will help us in the future.

A red tomatoe

Tip #4 This is a marathon, not a sprint. Give yourself Time.

When you plant tomato seeds in a garden, it takes a while to see them sprout from the ground. This is similar to learning a new skill, software, or technology.
🔸 First, learn the building blocks of what you are trying to do. Focus on having a firm foundation.
🔸 Practice in a way that works for you and cement your knowledge.
🔸 Use your new skills to their full potential to fully see your abilities grow.

I want to end this with the advice, “Don’t rush the process and more importantly trust in the process”.

Red cherries

Tip #5 Don’t compare yourself to others.

You can plant two different plants at the same time and get different results. Similar to careers, don’t be discouraged if someone else’s career is different from yours. No two career paths are the same because everyone has different opportunities, skill sets, and sometimes just plain old luck.

The best advice is to learn from other people's experiences and use those life's lessons to help you on your journey.

A bowl of vegetables

Tip #6 Those who ignore history is doom to repeat it.

My father was raised on a farm where they raised the food they ate. When I started my garden he was able to give me lots of tips that came from that experience.

🔸 I can’t stress enough how important it is to find a mentor that can expose you to ideas and can be a guide on your journey in tech.
🔸 I can’t stress enough how important it is to connect to the tech community where you can learn about the different paths into tech and roads you can travel.
🔸 I can’t stress enough to learn from others on what NOT to do. We are all humans and have made many grievous mistakes. The tech industry is great about showcasing what went wrong. Use these things to make your path easier.

You can either learn by listening or by experiencing life the hard way.

Top comments (0)