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Cover image for How to exceed expectations in your first job ? πŸ‘¨β€πŸ’»πŸ‘©β€πŸ’»πŸ₯‡

How to exceed expectations in your first job ? πŸ‘¨β€πŸ’»πŸ‘©β€πŸ’»πŸ₯‡

sabrinasuarezarrieta profile image sabrinasuarezarrieta ・3 min read

I have been in this industry for 5 almost 6 years, and I have seen a bunch of newbies and I was one myself, so I wanted to share the most important things that I have seen that the best have in common (besides the obvious ... study and practice your technical skills), and what you can do to be remembered in your first job as an incredible newbie (I would have loved to know this in my time).

Honesty honesty honesty

I have seen people at all levels make the mistake of lie or hide information, so don't be one of them, and even if you are for the most part an honest person you could say something like "Yes I understood", or "Yes, I know how to do it" when is not true just for the feeling of being inadequate (and is sad because everybody needs help once in a while and there is no shame in that). But hey you are a newbie nobody expects that you know everything but is really bad if people feel that can not trust in your word.

Work in those soft skills

I know that most people think that the most important thing is what you know, and I am not saying isn't important but stay with me for a minute, all our technical knowledge in one point is going to be obsolete (if you don't believe me ask my dad who learned to program in the punched card era), but how is he able to work today?? well because of his attitude. Soft skills are a combination of people skills, social skills, communication skills, character or personality traits, attitudes, career attributes, social intelligence and emotional intelligence quotients, among others, that enable people to navigate their environment, work well with others, perform well, and achieve their goals with complementing hard skills. The 5 that are key in my opinion are:

  • Communication: oral speaking capability, be really clear in your speech & writing.
  • Flexibility: adaptability, willing to change, lifelong learner, you need to be teachable.
  • Work ethic: hard-working, willing to work and self-motivated.
  • Positive attitude: optimistic, enthusiastic, encouraging.
  • Teamwork: cooperative, gets along with others, agreeable, the most important thing is to be collaborative.

I encourage you to try to be that person with whom you would like to work, the technical knowledge that you may lack is easier to learn once that you gained good team support.

Put yourself out there ... but land with a good match

Do not accept a job offer if you are not comfortable with the abilities that are required for that job, for example, if all that you have been learning at the university is front-end and is what you like, do not accept as your first job a backend position, you will feel inadequate the majority of the time and your spirit could be hurt, in this first few months working you need to gain confidence, then some risks and get out of the comfort zone could be necessary but be kind with yourself at the beginning and find a good match between the company requirements and what you feel comfortable to offer.

Find a mentor

I could not emphasize this enough, find someone with high seniority, that you admire and just invite them a cup of coffee, ask for advice on how to grow your knowledge and how you could help the team you belong to, that attitude of curiosity and service is always appreciated. I need to add something that is important this tip does not encourage you to be a bootlicker, nobody likes a bootlicker, so let things happen organically and smooth 😎

I hope these tips are helpful and for you newbies, I want to tell you that you are the fresh air of an office, you are refreshing and let us explore our ability to teach and learn from you, so never feel discouraged, you are great, you are amazing and the companies could not prosper without your young talent, thank all of you for reading and I wish you happy coding.

Discussion (6)

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bookercodes profile image
Alex Booker

What you're describing is intellectual honesty, and it's such an important trait πŸ’― .

My favorite people to work with are those who aren't afraid to say "I don't know" or, better yet, "I don't know, but I know where to look".

A few weeks ago, I interviewed someone named AustΔ—ja about how she got her first developer job. She switched to development later in life (after a career in law and events). Even though she was a new programmer, her soft skills were seasoned and, in my view, they propelled her through the interview process and her first few weeks. Your advice is similar to hers - probably because it works ✊!

Great post!

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sabrinasuarezarrieta profile image
sabrinasuarezarrieta Author

Thank you for share that point ... is sooo true, that attitude of interest in learning and getting better goes a long way

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jennrmillerdev profile image
Jen Miller

Nice article, I like the idea of honesty you mentioned. In fact, I get concerned if a new developer acts like they know everything...as it is sometimes warning sign of some other issue (ie over working or adding too much unnecessary self added pressure). Even as a developer with years of experience, I still say I'm not sure how to do stuff...but I can sure find out if given the time!

Mentorship is interesting. I think it works for some, but not for others. It also means different things to different people. I think if you are going down the path of seeking a mentor, both sides have to be on the same page as to what is expected.

But I totally agree with how a mentorship should grow organically. I'm also a strong believer that the 'best' mentorships offers benefits to both sides. I would add if anyone is looking for a mentor, don't be offended or put off if a senior developer turns down your ask of being a mentor...and beginners shouldn't consider it as a sign they are doing anything wrong.

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sabrinasuarezarrieta profile image
sabrinasuarezarrieta Author

I think that those little smarties at one point going to have a really harsh awakening because they expect so much of themself and living like that is hard, nobody can be perfect and know everything all the time, especially in this industry that changes so fast.

And what you mention about the mentorship is soo true, I think that the mentorship has to flow and grow organically between the two people and both of them have to want it, and in my opinion the thing that the mentor gets about the mentorship is those refinements in their communication skill and the chance to consolidate and deepen the knowledge ... I think that maybe because at one point I want to be a teacher I see the mentorship as a great tool (and that tool says that I'm not ready yet hahaha)
Thank you so much for your comment !!

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arthureichelberger profile image
Arthur EICHELBERGER

Hi Sabrina! πŸ‘‹πŸ»

I will be starting my first job after three years of apprenticeship in software engineering, and I can't agree more about what you wrote. Thanks for sharing! πŸ™πŸ»

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sabrinasuarezarrieta profile image
sabrinasuarezarrieta Author

Go and rock in that job !!! good luck 😊