I had a two hour conversation with a very senior CXO ( a tech wizard and a philosopher) of a world famous big Sri Lankan software company. Our major topic was why the gap between what employers want and what employees are looking for is widening, with special emphasis on the millennials. ( Ahhh….the eternal scapegoat for every HR issue in any company now 🙂 )
So, if you are a young person ( 18-24 age) looking for your first job, or an internship, here’s the formula for success revealed by our tech wizard and philosopher. ( No, there’s no guarantee of securing a job, unless you actually do these stuff. Even when you do it, it has to be genuine and authentic)
1. Volunteer for meet ups and tech events
These events are in abundance. Get in touch with the organisers and genuinely offer help. Do the hard stuff like carrying, cleaning and arranging stuff in the room. If you are good with interacting with people, be the front desk assistant. If you are good with public speaking, offer to be the emcee, moderator, facilitator or whatever the role that is there and no body wants to pick up.
2. Grab attention to your work.
If you do work above, attention is automatic. If you don’t love events, go and talk to HR people and say that you want to intern as a coder. Show that you are open to learn on the go and deliver in time. When you get the opportunity actually do what you said at the first place. Nothing spreads faster than your work.
3. Get recommended by industry seniors
If you do good stuff, you know it yourself. Don’t be ashamed to ask for a recommendation by your seniors. An old fashioned recommendation letter or better if it can find its way to your linked in profile recommendations. It’s a digital world, so should be your recommendations.
4. Do not just look for big famous tech companies.
This may be a shocker to you.
Do not just go after big and famous tech companies, because you know, everyone is applying there. Roughly companies get 100 CVs for every candidate they shortlist. So, you get my point right ?
Look for opportunities in government sector ( cough). What ? there are more than enough people in government sector, and they are collectively an inefficient machine, right ? NO. that is not the reason.
There are very limited number of tech professionals in government sector. So if you are good at tech, they are willing to recruit you. The experience will be immensely valuable for your career and you have the opportunity to serve your nation directly.
5. Build your credibility as a deliverer.
Nothing gets you places like your reputation. Work speaks much much louder and clearer than your words. Be hungry and be foolish ( as Mr.Jobs said). Learn new technology ( online learning is so cool) , do side projects, publish them in portals like GitHub. Get attention to your work. Update linked in profile.
Anything I missed ? Why not leave a comment. I will add to this list.