Truth be told, looking for a job is a tough call for fresh graduates. You have skills but no experience. You have to compete with thousands of other graduates for limited positions.
Some people settle for meagre jobs after a while. You did not take coding classes in Kenya just to end up an unrelated field.
If you go with such an attitude to the job market, someone will get the job you deserve while you settle for a lower job.
What do you do in an environment where good software development jobs seem hard to get?
1. Do not take too long to start
We understand that learning to code is intense. Many graduates choose to take some time off before they start looking for a job.
Well, you may need a break. Unfortunately, the competition in the job market does not allow you to stay there too long.
Do not wait too long in the preparation period. In fact, we advise graduates to start immediately.
Face your reality. You do not have any experience as an app developer. Your resume and school projects might be all that you can show to potential employers.
Make a step however small every day until you get your first job.
2. Start with your network
The pressure of looking for a job begins to hit you towards the end of your coding classes in Kenya. At the start, you are just so excited to learn. You are ready to take the world.
However, the reality of the tough job market hits you at the end. The best place to start is with your immediate connections.
For this reason, you cannot delete your contacts just because your course is over. The same friends you made can help you get a job.
Talk to your tutors as well. Ask them for referrals to hiring companies.
Your family and connections in other fields can also help. Do not assume that one has to be in the software engineering field to connect you to a good job.
Here is the tough part. You have to reach out and ask for help. You need a job so ask.
We live in the day of social media. Send messages and reminders to your connections, without nagging them of course.
3. Be selective with your choices
You do not expect to hear this when looking for a job as a junior developer but you need to hear it. The idea of sending a million applications to random companies does not work well.
The truth is that your friends have done the same. Thousands of other graduates are doing the same for different positions.
You sit back and wait for a call that never comes. Do different if you want different results.
Identify companies that hire junior developers. Such include start-ups, small, and medium-sized companies.
Established companies go for experienced developers. Check for advertised positions and apply.
If such do not exists, approach the HR departments and ask for a job. You just never know.
Again, when you narrow down on the places you would want to work, send customized applications.
Employers take you seriously if do your homework and learn their business before asking for a job.
4. Negotiate for the best deal
Junior developers are often scared of salary negotiations. In fact, many job applicants shy away from this part.
We must mention here that entry jobs do not pay well. However, you can get a good deal if you do it right.
Find out where possible the amount or range that a company pays its junior developers.
You can also use the industry’s average to negotiate for a good deal. However, your considerations should go beyond the amount.
A potential employer may offer a low pay but an opportunity to grow your skills and career. This is why we advised earlier that you select employers.
You need money to pay your bills but you also need to grow from a junior developer to a senior developer.
Weigh your options and get the best deal. Sometimes such a deal comes as a paid internship by the best employer in the market.
5. Keep learning and growing
Completing your coding classes in Kenya is a great step in building your career. Unfortunately, many developers stop here.
You cannot spend all your time and effort in looking for a job while still at the entry level.
Leverage all leads and connections, send applications, respond to interview calls but keep growing your skills.
Take coding challenges, look for online tutorials, do personal coding projects, create dummy apps or anything you can find to do.
Do not sit back and wait for a job.
Keep the same attitude even after you get your first job. Look for opportunities to grow within the organisation. Do more than your employer expects.
You cannot be a junior developer forever!
Here are more tips for you to grow after getting your first job.
–Be consistent with excellent results. Show up on time and meet deadlines as much as possible. Your performance determines the longevity of your engagement with the employer. Your outstanding performance also increases your chances for a promotion.
– Learn additional skills. You go in as a software developer but your learning is not limited to that. Observe how your employer runs every aspect of the business. The next step in your career is likely to be entrepreneurship
– Do not burn bridges. We cannot say this enough. A new work environment introduces you to new connections. Make and keep friends. You cannot hold your first job forever. The people you meet while at it might be the bridge you need to your next well-paying job.
Building a successful career is a journey. Excelling in coding classes in Kenya is your first step. Your attitude and approach will determine how fast you move in your career path. Avoid distractions and give no excuses. The job market has opportunities for outstanding app developers who are relentless in their search.