How did I get my first job as a developer?
I stopped focusing on trying to get a job as a developer.
Instead, I focused on how I could give value to a startup.
This is the value creation mindset that is at the core of the Praxis program. When I joined Praxis I internalized the value creation mindset and things began to change for me.
I found a startup that I was excited about. Instead of just sending in a resume and hoping they’d notice, I emailed them and pitched myself as someone who would join the team and jump on any task that needed to get done. I offered to work for free and said that while I’d like to work on some projects with the engineering team, I would be more than happy to dive into any project, whether related to coding or not.
A few months later I was hired on to be a junior developer.
With zero previous experience and no degree, I got to start working as a developer. Why? Because I became an employee who is more concerned with helping my company thrive than focusing on doing only a certain job or description.
I would never have gotten my first developer job if I had focused on just trying to be a developer.
After six months with that company, I recently started a new job as a junior fullstack developer. Even though I now spend my time solely doing developer-related tasks, I know my value creation mindset is what helped me get this new job. In the interview with the founder of the startup, one of the last questions he asked me was, “What do you think your job will entail as a junior developer?”
I answered almost without thinking: “Well, doing anything that helps us move towards completing our goals.”
Two days later I was offered the job.
Being a programmer is considered to be one of the hottest and in-demand jobs today. There are a million people trying to get a cool job as a programmer. Yet what’s rare is the person trying first and foremost to help a company succeed. And that’s the person every company wants to hire.
If you want a great job at a startup, let go of focusing on a certain job title or description. Internalize the value creation mindset instead and get to work.
This post first appeared on Madison’s Blog