Attending a full-stack development bootcamp is a great first step for career changers, or those just starting out in the workforce in general. However, to succeed in getting that first developer job, you're going to need to set some clear career goals for yourself. Here are some tips to get you started honing in on those goals as you start off 2018.
1) Take an honest inventory of your skills/interests
As a career changer you're totally free start over. Sure, this is scary, but it's also exciting! You're in the driver's seat, so what do you want out of your development career? If you just answer that question with "A good job," you need to dig a little, or a lot, deeper. Some questions to get you going:
Do I want to work in an office or remotely?
Do I want to work as a front-end developer or back-end developer, or do I work somewhere where I can do it all?
Do I want to work independently or in a team?
Do I want to make sure I can use my creative skills in the workplace?
2) Research your community
Don't limit yourself to job search aggregators! Instead of being passive and combing through classified ads or Indeed listings, take it up a notch and proactively look into the tech community around you. Who are the major players? What kind of jobs are out there? A lot of companies list open positions on their websites (and some don't even bother to cross-post these on LinkedIn or Indeed!).
3) Get organized
Organization is key to a successful job search. Make a spreadsheet of your networking contacts and log your interactions. Make another one of companies that you've applied to, key facts about the job description you applied for. Log your progress. You're going to be sending out a Lot of applications. When you get a call for an interview, you don't want to be caught off guard trying to remember the details about the company, that particular job description, or who you've already communicated with there.
4) Make a specific plan ... and stick to it
How many jobs are you going to apply to every week? Every day? It's best to be as specific as possible with this one. Setting vague goals like "As many as possible" or "All jobs that look good" won't cut it here. Behavioral research has shown that specificity is a major player in successfully meeting goals. Set a number, and make it a little challenging. The same thing goes for networking. Set out a specific networking plan including objectives such as "Attend 3 meetups this month" or "Send 5 cold emails this week." This will give you a clear strategy, something to work toward and hold yourself accountable to as you navigate the job search challenge.
Our Student Services team provides comprehensive career guidance, as well as portfolio and resume reviews, for all our students. Interested in how you can jump-start your career as a new developer? Download our course packet for more information about our full stack programs!