How good are you at programming? You must be good. Good enough to be working and making a few hundreds of thousands per month. You have already gone through many programming courses and you know you have skills. Needless to say, the programming domain is broad and there exist demand in the field. If that is the case, then why don’t you have a job to earn real money? Here are some reasons why:
1. You aren’t trying
Yes, job hunting sucks. But you are going to have to deal with it and actually do the hunting. If you do not seek, you may never find. A job doesn’t just come to you. You have to make it a mission to find organizations willing to hire and submit applications. You may get rejected a hundred times, but you have to keep on trying. Else you’re going to starve. And the bills don’t pay themselves.
Some sites available to find employers and clients are: UpWork, Indeed and StackOverflow jobs. You actually have to put in determination. Also, instead of submitting an application to one client, submit it to numerous people. That way, you get more options. Even if one fails, you still have hope. And remember, never stop trying.
2. You don’t have a portfolio
If you want to convince a client that you are a professional, you are actually going to have to show samples of your work. How else will you make your skills known? Get to work and start building a portfolio. If you are a web developer, create some random website just for show-off. If you’re an Android developer, get something published on Play Store. This way, you can apply for jobs more confidently and link the client to actual working projects. A LinkedIn account will make you more professional. Credibility boosted! Codepen should also be explored. Build stuff there and put yourself on hire. It works.
3. You don’t have certification
Nowadays, a lot of programmers are self-taught. Many are opting out of university and deciding to make use of online resources to teach themselves how to code. First of all, having a degree in Computer Engineering or some other related course actually helps you land a job. If this is not possible, do get digital certificates from learning sites. Sites like freeCodeCamp, Udacity, Udemy offer certificates to their learners. While some may argue that these certificates are not very useful, having some under your belt could come in handy.
4. You don’t keep yourself up-to-date
New discoveries and inventions are being made by the day. What’s hot in programming right now? Is it this or that library? Which new framework achieves the best results? What new products are out there to make websites more responsive? Keep yourself updated on the recent trends. Being up-to-date will make you know the coolest technologies before everyone else, and thereby increasing your chances of being hired.
5. You are not contributing
Clients and employers will actually like to look at your Github profile or some other contribution site before hiring. It is a good practice to build one. Get started by creating your own projects or contributing to a bunch of open-source projects. You don’t need to contribute to high-profile projects. Always start small. Apart from helping you improve your skills, it helps employers find you.
6. You don’t have experience
You may be wondering; “how will I have experience if no one will hire me?” But then again, you don’t have to be paid for the first time. Be an intern or volunteer to build a website for some non-profit organization for free. Offering free services may suck, but for a newbie like you, it’s worth it for the experience. You quickly gain valuable skills, experience and something worth adding to your CV.
7. You are not connected
Knowing the right people helps. A working friend in the same programming domain as you may be all you need to land your first job. A friend or acquaintance may hook you up with a client or company. If you’re introverted and can’t make friends in real life, then use the multitude of social media tools – Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Make yourself known to the world.
If you are in need of any motivation, remember that it gets better with time. The first few jobs may not be ideal. Don’t be picky. Simply work yourself up to the ranks. With more time, skills and experience, it gets easier to find better employment.