Early Career Mentoring Advice

Early Career Mentoring Advice

"When looking for a job, focus on knowledge instead of money."

It is easy to make a mistake of going for a job that pays a little more (nothing life changing) and later on being less employable because of lacking important skills, with key technologies and experiences.

If you are beginning your career I hope this advice helps you too. I understand that today it can be even more challenging, since the competition for talent is at crazy levels - companies will offer you a number of benefits and interesting things to make you work there. But try to ignore all that for a moment (including the company name/brand) and really analyse your options by comparing the experience and knowledge you'll get when working there.

Example of important things to consider:

  • Does the team use technologies that are solid and valuable in the market? Or will I be using proprietary technology not used elsewhere?
  • What is the scale of the application this team works on? A small internal app or a large customer facing one?
  • Will I be writing small scripts/pet projects? or will I be contributing to the core project as any other team member?
  • Do they use open source technologies? Do they offer me the chance to contribute with open source projects?
  • Is this team using any Agile framework (Scrum, Kanban etc) for delivering their work?
  • Do they have a mentoring program in place when I start?
  • Do they offer a budget for external training and certifications?
  • Will I get to interact with customers? (if this is something you would like to do, consider a pro)

This list is just an example and I hope it helps everyone just starting their careers!

Bottom line:

By focusing on knowledge first, it will increase your chances of staying in high demand which should bring you better financial results in the long run.