How to not get in a rut while starting your career in Software Engineering

For the last 2 years (omg), I had just been drifting in my career everyday completing whatever tasks I had been given and then doing more tasks and then some more again.

I had lost sight of where I was going and where I wanted to be. There was no guiding North star in my life.

I was just working hard and hoping for it to bear fruit…waiting for a lucky break, some random windfall and what not. How naive!

I do have a comparatively successfully career when compared with the people along with whom I had joined but that’s not enough! You want to be way ahead in your career. So far ahead that you don’t even bother about the tricks your peers have been playing and they give up trying to reach your ‘level’.

Act 2

I came across a small Youtuber when watching videos about career development in Software- Dave Xiang.

I’m hooked to his videos as they seem very genuine and he “really really” cares about helping people.

It’s almost like therapy for me to watch him speak

So here’s a list of Dos Donts that you would want to follow to not drift through your career/life which I learnt from my experience and experience of other people like Dave –

  1. Don’t expect good hikes/promotions. You would want to keep your career in your control and not depend on your organization to reward you. There are just too many factors which decide your hike and promotion. If you do wait it out hoping you will get rewarded, your higher-ups can sense this and have leverage and say ‘Next year’ and there’s no guarantee to it. This happens to way too many people and hence this is my point Number 1.
  2. Keep learning new Comp sci stuff continously. Expand the horizon of what you know. It’s important to stay relevant in this field to secure you career in future.
  3. Keep applying for jobs as soon as you complete your 1st year. It takes an average of 6 months to get into a new job. So if you plan to move to another organization as soon as you complete 2 years, start applying and prepping after you complete 1 – 1.5 years. Just. Keep. Applying.
  4. Make sure you get tons of personal time outside of work to keep improving yourself. Have a long commute like I do? Make use of that time reading or move closer to where you work. Work life balance – very important.

I’m glad I realized I’m in a rut and take action. Trust me, many people don’t even realize they are just drifting  through their career thinking that’s how it is.

Take action now.


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