The transition from the cushy Greenville College life into the harsh climates of the adult world can be a difficult process. As someone looking to start their career in the technical field myself, I have been looking for many ways to give myself an advantage after graduation. In our final chapter of the year, we have talked about the difficulty for geeks to sell things. As much as we would like to avoid it, the ability to sell proves to be essential when searching for a job in any field.
In this film, The Pursuit of Happiness, a man struggles to better his impoverished lifestyle by looking for a job in the business world. Having no special skills or education, he is forced to rely on his own ambition and aptitude to learn. When everything seems to going against him, he perseveres in himself and tries his best to sell himself as a person. In this interview, he is able to convince the prestigious business men that he has a drive to learn that is unmatched by the others applying for this position. Despite the odds being against him, his ability to sell himself lands him the job.
In the technical field, we often find ourselves relying on our skills alone. It is often perceived that knowledge of a certain language or skill in regards to IT will automatically land you a job. The truth is, all skills are replaceable. Countless people possess the same skills as you do (or more). If that’s the case, we must put ourselves in the shoes of the interviewers and determine what differentiates certain candidates from others.
Be the fit they need you to be
In the IT Department, we don’t spend a whole lot of time doing team-building exercises and getting to know each other. In fact, most of us rarely see each other. This serves as a challenge because communication turns out to be the most important aspect of our job. When fixing computers or other equipment, time can get from us. Being a department made up of part-time students, we rarely have one individual see a project to the end. This requires us to pass on projects several times a day. In order to do so, we have to create notes, send each other messages, leave instructions, or even come in during our free time to make sure a project is running smoothly. As a “technical” job, we require many soft skills that you would see in many other fields.
When interviewing for a position, it’s important to remember that the job itself likely doesn’t require as many hard skills as it puts out. The main aspect of any job comes with the ability to work as a team and communicate effectively. When information can be passed on without any issues, efficiency of the process rises. As we attempt to find our own jobs in the technical world, we have to remember that teamwork makes the dream work.
Get your name out
In order to find an internship, I’ve had to take a few steps in order to create opportunities for myself. One of the first steps in any field should be creating a LinkedIn account. This site allows you to upload your skills, similar to like it would be on a resume, so that recruiters can see them. It also serves as a valuable tool to solidify connections you’ve made in the real world. As many often say, it’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know. I firm believer in this statement. However, I also believe that you are not born into a network of people that can help you. Creating a network for yourself can be done by anyone who puts the effort into it. For myself, I spent time talking to professors and getting in touch with alumni.
When it comes to selling, we all have to bite the bullet and accept that some parts of life require you to market yourself. Through our efforts to learn, communicate well, and be a team player, we can stand out among job candidates and climb towards success. In the end, the most important things come down to hard work and grit. As was seen by The Pursuit of Happiness, nothing is impossible if we set our minds to it.