Finding a new job can be a challenging and often gruelling process. If you have been happily working for the same employer for a couple of years, you may find the tech job market quite an alien and unwelcoming place. The market for tech jobs has become incredibly competitive and fast-paced, as companies increasingly invest in hiring top talent and there has been a stark increase in the number of tech roles available. Especially Berlin and Munich have become two booming tech hubs that many programmers, developers and engineers flock to for exciting roles.
As a candidate, you may also need to contend with the natural, but frustrating fears that accompany searching for a new opportunity: rejection, self-doubt and worry that you just won't be able to cope with a new job in a different company. However, you shouldn't be afraid to take the leap if you feel you have the capabilities to try something new.
Whatever your fears when dealing with the tech job market, you may be in need of some guidance to help boost your self-esteem and secure the job role you have been longing for. Here are a few great tips to ensure you remain confident throughout your job search.
It might sound obvious, but understanding why you are motivated to make a career move is crucial to a successful job search. Whether you are looking for a new challenge, are unhappy in your current company, need to change locations, want to work on a new, more exciting project or have always wanted to work for a specific company – understand what your drivers are. Once you are confident that the ‘why’ is real, you’ll be able to attack your job search with gusto and won’t second guess your choice. There is obviously an inner fire inside of you which is pushing you to pursue something new, so don't ignore it and take the chance.
‘The what’ is just as important as ‘the why’ – it ensures you focus on looking for the opportunities that are right for you. Ask yourself what type of roles you would love to apply for, what you’re really good at, and what kind of companies you would like to work for (or the companies you want to avoid at all costs). This will help you focus on what makes you an attractive candidate and helps you figure out what you definitely don’t want from a new job.
Set yourself weekly goals consistent with ‘how’ you’re going to find your new job, to continue achieving during your job search. Finding a new job can be a lengthy process and it’s easy for your confidence to dip if you are unable to see the end in sight. Goals don't have to be extravagant, but just small achievements that you can tick off your 'to do' list can make all the difference for your confidence.
When searching for a new job, it can be awfully confidence-busting to receive any form of rejection or criticism – but it happens to the best of us. Remember the goals and deadlines you met in the past that have allowed you to gain a great deal of success. In order to bring you straight back to those positive moments, read past performance reviews in which you were praised for your work, or look at projects you succeeded at completing in the past. In order to boost your motivation for the remainder of your job search or an upcoming interview, you will need to feel good about yourself. Only then can you make progress and allow others to see your potential.
Congratulations, you've bagged yourself an interview. Here are a few top tips to ensure you're prepared for the big day.
An oldie but a goodie — make sure that you research the company and the job role before you attend the interview, so you feel fully confident when meeting your interviewer. As long as you’re prepared, you cannot get caught or made to feel under pressure. Lack of knowledge can lead to a feeling of self-doubt during interviews, but this can be so easily avoided by knowing the basics about the role and the company inside out.
For developer and engineer positions, there is nothing more valuable to prepare you for any technical challenges that may come your way than practicing. Developers who do practice coding challenges have a far higher chance of successfully landing a job than those who don’t bother to do so. It’s also always a good idea to work on projects on the side, not just as an exercise for honing your skills, but also because it’s a great selling point to show an interviewer.
People often talk about positivity is contagious, and unfortunately negativity can have the same effect. If you expect an interview to go poorly or begin to doubt your abilities as a candidate, these thoughts can take over and affect how you showcase yourself at interview. Remember that you’ve been chosen to attend the interview by the employer. Visualise yourself enjoying the interview, and speaking positively about your skills and experiences. A positive mindset will allow you to feel more relaxed and excited about the upcoming interview.
During interviews candidates can come across as too confident while trying to cover up their fears. Although you’re trying to impress your interviewer, don't try too hard. You should be aiming to connect with them on a personal level. Interviewers will have already seen your portfolio, so they already understand your capabilities. Instead aim to create stimulating conversation to allow your personality to shine through. By talking about things you are passionate about, the interviewer will that you are an interesting and enthusiastic person that will be a great addition to the team.
Be excited about this new chapter of your life. Although it can be a scary to walk into a new workplace without knowing anybody, don't allow yourself to feel as though you aren't capable. Give yourself a pat on the back for getting through all of the stages successfully.
Don't beat yourself up too much. The tech job market is extremely competitive and you may have to receive a couple of rejections before you find the right job. Always use your experience to learn how you can do better next time around. Always ask for constructive feedback from your interviews — most employers should be happy to pass this on to you. Remember that everything is part of your journey to success and any workplace will be lucky to have you.
Dodo is a seasoned tech enthusiastic with a keen interest in AI, especially exploring the idea of how it shapes our society and daily lives. She is very well-versed in the London, Berlin and Munich startup scenes and you can often find her hanging out in London’s Silicon Roundabout.