Tech Careers – What They Can Look Like at the Start
The tech world is an unconventional place with rapidly changing communities. And it brings about a new work dynamic. I didn’t know what to prepare for when I started my first remote job, and wanted to discuss my experience. (I’m very young and still “starting” my career, so I have a mighty fresh perspective.)
Brand New Companies
A lot of tech companies are very young. Some only 10-15 years old. Which, yes, is a decent chunk of time. But think of it like a child. They say a person’s brain doesn’t stop growing until their late twenties. Which could also translate to a company not necessarily having everything figured out. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, or a direction. It’s possible there’s just something they haven’t considered yet.
One of the most overlooked things I’ve noticed in a new company is their on-boarding. Largely because when you’re the one building the company, you aren’t really on-boarded. How will you know how to onboard if you didn’t experience it?
I worked about a month at a brand new restaurant, and quickly realized the workplace environment wasn’t for me. As a part-time employee, I just had different goals. There was more at stake for them than there was for me. The problem was, they expected me to be as in the game as they were, and weren’t receptive when I pointed out what needed to change.
This is the one I’m having the hardest time comprehending. Not in lack of motivation, but in keeping a steady workflow when that workflow is in my hands. When I was working a corporate job there was a lot more instant gratification, and there were clear goals I could work towards. In the tech world, things often just aren’t as tangible.
Now my work is usually geared towards a greater scheme, or it’s self-established. Here are a couple tools I’ve found to help keep my focus. (I kind of discuss them in this blog post as well.)
- Have small goals. Instead of sitting down in one place and looking at my laptop for hours, I try to establish, “I’m going to do X for 20 minutes, Y for 20 minutes, and Z for another 20 minutes.” That helps provide instant gratification, and I get the feeling of accomplishment.
- Environment. I do well when my environment is geared towards what I’m working on. If I need to sleep, I need my space to be cozy. If I need to stay focused, I try to make sure my space is bright, comforting, and energetic. Electro swing music helped me stay focused and happy.
- Comfort and planning. I always get myself ready for my day, establish ahead of time what I’m going to work on, and when I’m going to work on it. It’s almost like a mental check-list. That’s usually hard to establish until you’re pretty comfy in your new job, but it should come with time. Especially if you try to be aware as you’re getting started.
All of these tips take time (I’ve far from mastered them), but hopefully they help. Take your time, set reasonable goals, and relax. You’re doing great.