Does your current job give you enough challenge to be able to add skills or experience to your résumé every three to six months?
If not, you might be in a career rut and maybe it's time to look elsewhere.
I recently read Land the Tech Job You Love by Andy Lester. The book explains the process of getting a good job ( a job you are going to enjoy ) in IT. I decided to buy the book after listening to Andy's podcast. I will try to summarize what I’ve learned from that book.
Andy describes the whole cycle of getting a job, from the résumé writing process to the resignation letter. There's a good part of the book that is about getting ready for an interview.
Get a good job network, since most of the jobs offers are not on publicly posted. You will most likely to get a job opportunity by knowing someone, either a friend, a former workmate or someone inside the organisation you are seeking a job in. Do not forget to maintain your network.
When you consider a job, do you only look at the salary? You should really ask yourself what are the criteria that make you enjoy the job. Don’t forget that you are spending most of your time at work. Sometimes new challenges worth more than a salary rise. You should know what you like and what you don’t. Make a list, and prioritize it. That will help you to select a job that will fit your interests and your values.
The book gives very good tips on how to write a good résumé, and how to avoid clichés. As you may know when it's time for a job interview, everyone is very professional, hard worker and great at teamwork! I think that this book shows some tricks on how to get above those traditional clichés and really distinguish yourself from the mass.
When you write a résumé or you go to an interview you need to show to your next manager that you are the one that can solve his problems, and not the opposite.You have to focus on how you can help the company to achieve their goals. Put yourself in the manager's shoes, why they would pick you up?
During an interview, you need to know how to handle tough questions and how to behave correctly. Never say bad things about former managers or former teammates, even indirectly. Nobody likes to work with gripers and whiners, they are the #1 team spirit killers. Managers will do everything they can to avoid choosing those ones.
Another very important chapter is about staying up to date with your skills. Except if you are going to retire soon, you are most likely to seek for a new job. You just don’t know when yet. Even if you really like your current job, you never know. An organization shift might force you to quit, or worst make your job unbearable. Don’t forget that in the end, you are working for yourself, so invest in your skills.
Even if you like the company you are working for, you need to understand that there is no such thing as company loyalty, as Andy wrote :
People can be loyal, but organizations cannot. The best someone could promise you is “You’ll have a job here as long as I’m around,” but what happens when that person leaves or is fired?I recommend the book, even if you aren't looking for a job... for now...