From Coding Bootcamp to Software Engineering Career
Hackbright’s Outcomes/Career Coach team has been helping graduates navigate interesting conditions in the job market lately. Those of us engaged in the talent and labor markets in the US have had to shift our thinking and approach when it comes to employment. We’re proud of our graduates, each having accomplished something great: completion of a program at a nationally recognized bootcamp institution. No doubt with some measure of sacrifice on their part, keeping a brighter future and new employment in mind all the while. That’s why we do all we can to help with the job search after the main Hackbright experience comes to an end. Here are a few tips for you.
Don’t Do It Alone
One of the most important pieces to remember is that you are not alone in the search for employment. The Outcomes/Career Coach team spends countless hours each week brainstorming, innovating, creating, and identifying anything and everything that could be helpful to you. In doing so we are often reminded of information that we have shared with thousands in our time as talent acquisition professionals. We hope that these words can help combat what is often present and might be present for many engaged in an active job search process: the dread, the doubt, and the worry that are normal with any job search, and likely exacerbated by the current state of the market. We would want you to remember that you are definitely not alone in your employment journey.
Patience Is a Balm for the Job Search. Apply as Needed
It is important for you to know and remember that during this time of furloughs and fluid changes in the US labor market and economy, that HR professionals and recruiters (hiring managers) are being affected. When you speak with and interview with companies, teams, and groups, those teams and groups are having many things change for them quickly right now. Like some of you, recruiters may have also been affected by the growing pandemic, abrupt market changes, and a host of other factors beyond their control. The hiring managers who will also interview and have buy-in likely also have been affected. The hiring process is not necessarily known for being the quickest experience even under “normal” situations and circumstances. Be patient and strive for balance, not perfection, in your job search.
Remember, Being Patient Is Not the Same as Slowing Down
Now, even though we advise being patient, please keep in mind that being patient does not mean that you should slow down. Keep the job search up, set weekly goals on applications, networking contacts, and additional project work and keep moving. Nothing combats personal progress like despair and doubt. Keep your job search moving, stay productive, and move forward. The only challenge we would propose to this would be the counsel that quiet stillness can also be productive.
Look for Opportunities Everywhere
If during this time you find a company who says they are not currently hiring, try to ask for an opportunity to continue to network and stay on that company’s radar. Many companies have talent communities that you can join. Many other companies have groups or projects they can recommend. Others will definitely not mind adding you as a professional connection on LinkedIn. Continue to reach out to recruiters and connect and network. Recruiters and hiring managers who are not actively hiring now may be gathering great talent for when their company changes momentum and hiring picks up. Seek out and grab hold of the networking opportunities that recruiters may have. If there is a virtual lunch or virtual coffee break for potential new hires, then please attend those, especially when the invitation is public.
Do What You Can To Be Memorable
Recruiters during turbulent times like these deal with different candidate types and personalities. Many may be feeling overwhelmed and often recruiters and hiring managers see this behavior from people. Please keep in mind that your positivity, your patience, your understanding, and warmth during the interview process can make you stand out in a great way. A candidate who behaves in an understanding manner, rather than emailing and texting multiple times a day can shine in the mind of a recruiter. Being positive, energetic, and optimistic during this time will not only help you shine, but can also help recruiters remember how you made them feel. It can help recruiters remember that was a specific trait of yours when it may not have been a trait of others.
Challenges Happen But Our Response Is Our Choice
The perception of the challenges you face in any job search is indicative of the success you will have as you grow professionally. (As an example, read about Thomas Edison’s response to his factory burning down.) In a nutshell, it is crucial to focus your energy on the elements of your job search that you can control, such as:
- How often you’re practicing to learn and sharpen your newly acquired technical skills
- How many job applications you’ve filled out and submitted on a regular basis
- Networking with professionals using a variety of methods (LinkedIn, Virtual Events)
You will have success in the search. It is not a matter of if but when. Take care of yourself throughout this process and remember to trust yourself. Your energy and power will definitely create for you a positive end to what can be a challenging experience.
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