How to screw up a career

There are so many distractions at work, many possibilities to make a boring day into a science lab show and tell! Colors, words, stuff to touch, break, screw up some coffee machines, been there, done that |0_0!|

In the tech industry there are infinite possibilities when you want to build something. While there is more correct way to do it and there’s also a bunch of alternatives better or worst. Here’s when people like me tend to lose focus, test and try other stuff continuously, to later fail get stressed-depressed and probably discourages.

When I started coding I was like this, a bit reckless, because I felt like a #super-hero #ninja #jedi #samurai #unicorn-like-thing, always trying new stuff and thinking in the next project. My goal was to create my own web apps (to practice my coding skills) and I messed up all of my attempts. Thanks to my stamina I wouldn’t back down but instead I start to think in a long term relationship with my career.

My learning curve wasn’t bad but my “job options” curve was below zero and when we are getting into a new career we always evaluate the following:

  1. How much can I learn and improve in one year;

So I first started working with frameworks like ruby-on-rails before learning exactly how to code, or how the web worked, etc. After lots of mistakes I took a step back and started with simple HTML, CSS and JavaScript, after a few works practicing with it I picked up Wordpress and started to make my own templates from scratch and learning some PHP. Now I’m learning to make online stores with woocommerce but while I’m still not ready to sell or deploy one I’m selling websites made by me since frontend development is my best trait right now.

It’s all about surviving and it’s difficult to get a career opportunity that lets us improve and learn more stuff to grow further on our work and career. Some people are lucky enought to get this one. Some have to take a job and they just stop learning and growing in their career. Others get frustrated with all the overflowing work and learing after hours, and they end up fired for not “Getting Things Done” (GTD - check this acronym in the web).

What I have figured out for now is that you should focus on the technology and language that you work better with and at the same time lets you get payed for “playing” with it. When I use the word “playing” is because you are not just working with it, you are trying new stuff with it, learning how to better do your work with it instead of just copy-pasting and deliver your work like a drone bee. Iteration matters and it makes you to learn and be better at something, and after you improve your work process as much you can jump to another challenge and learn new things without losing focus.

For non-tech careers it is the same. You should focus on your best attibutes that you can offer in the market focus on them and don’t try other stuff. You’re future career needs you to talk to customers? sell them stuff and etc? You can do any work that makes you interact with them, it will be a plus in your next interview. You work with 3D software? You probably know CAD or design software so why not start there, it can give you a boost and some contacts for future positions.

Thanks for reading and I hope my starting career mistakes can help you to learn future career challenges.

Cheers,

Delmar Almeida

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Delmar Almeida

Coder, enterpreneur and aspiring digital nomad. Lover of food and nature.