How do you answer the question of “How’s work going?” If you let out a big sigh before answering, it might be worth digging and reflecting a bit more. To help guide you, here are 4 steps to answer that question with a smile.
1. Leverage your skills Even if you’re looking for an entry-level role in the tech industry, you should have a relative understanding of what you are good at and what you aren’t. I found that although my development skills were not strong, I had a great sense of simplifying complex concepts to a non-technical audience. Use what you got.
2. Try new things I was fortunate enough to have worked in software development teams that nurtured my curiosity. I spent time provisioning CI pipelines, putting together user research plans, and even spent time working with Talent & Learning Development. Going outside the realm of what you know and what you’re comfortable with reveals opportunities you wouldn’t have understood otherwise.
3. Does it excite or drain you? A mistake I had made was to pursue work just for the sake of what would pay me the most in the long run. I tried my hand at data analytics hoping that data science and machine learning would be my end goal. But sifting through database tables and fields did not get me jazzed about the work. In doing so, I did find out that I got energized from using the outputs of data to design services for users. Regardless if work is easy or hard, you’ll enjoy more of what gives you energy.
4. Invest time to learn Ideally, you’ll get to learn on the job. But realistically work doesn’t always provide the learning opportunities you want. I’ve found that dedicating time outside of work to learn is just part of growth. You get what you put in.
First published on June 11, 2021