Career Growth Questions You Should Ask Yourself

Career Growth Questions You Should Ask Yourself

Written by Jessica Fender


Where do you see yourself five years from now? 

Maybe you’re planning to get a senior position at an awesome web development company where you can lead a team of brilliant coders and create amazing digital products.

Or maybe you think that you’ll have your own company in five years? Maybe you’ll begin your journey as a small startup, get a lot of experience, and then become a well-known web development agency with a lot of customers.

Whichever path you choose; you need to continue to grow as a professional to be able to meet the various needs of customers by developing amazing digital products. To make sure that you’re on the right path, though, you need to have a clear vision of your future.

Unfortunately, chances are high that you’ll encounter a lot of barriers on your path to success. For example, even though women comprise more than 50 percent of computer science graduates as well as junior coders, we are much more likely to get stuck at junior-level positions.

In fact, 20 percent of female developers over the age of 35 are still in junior positions, according to 2018-2019 Women in Tech report.

Credit: 2018-2019 Women in Tech report

Clearly, despite the effort to bring gender equality to the coding world, there’s still a lot of work that has to be done. The professional struggle may be one of the reasons why 73 and 70 percent of women under 21 years old and over 21 years, respectively, are looking for “professional growth and learning” in jobs, according to the same report.

This brings us to the purpose of this article. To be able to have a clear vision of your future and know what to focus on to achieve professional success, you need to think about it. In fact, you need to ask yourself some questions to understand what you have to do now to succeed.

Here are some of them.

Career Growth Question #1: Do I Have Technical Skills that Employers Are Looking for?

Being able to code in the language that employers want is one of the strongest precursors of success. In the software development field, there are also some in-demand skills that attract many coders who want to get better positions and increase their income. If you’re a programmer looking to pick the best language to learn, your best bet is to listen to the market.

That’s exactly what we’re going to do now. By using the data from the abovementioned Women in Tech report, we can identify the languages that define the future of coding. According to the results, these are the languages that hiring managers seek.

Credit: 2018-2019 Women in Tech report

As you can see from the image, the topmost sought-out languages include JavaScript, Java, Python, C#, PHP, and C++. This means that coders who work with these languages will have a nice selection of positions to apply for, which is always a good thing.

What about yourself? Do you code in these languages? Are you looking to learn some of them?

For example, Python is an excellent choice for beginner coders, both in terms of job and career; many startups are using this language as the primary backend stack, therefore, chances are that you’ll land a good job faster.

Besides, Python is relatively easy to learn and makes it a bit easier to understand other languages, which also makes it a good option for beginner coders.  

See our full list of the most popular coding languages for 2019.

So, the bottom line here is to take a smart approach to learning new or developing existing tech skills to be able to have a good position in the labor market in the future and continue to develop your skills in a great company.

Career Growth Question #2: Am I involved in the Coding Community?

In any profession, networking is a big deal because it helps to learn from others, meet new people, and get a job. Whether you’re a beginner Javascript learner or a veteran with twenty years of experience, you can always find something useful at online forums where people like you discuss a lot of interesting things.

A big reason why a lot of coders spend most of their day working is their passion. It translates into a great resource, as many coders work in teams to find answers to difficult questions, share tips, and discuss new technologies. Being a part of this conversion doesn’t only foster a sense of belonging but also allows to get a lot of helpful information on coding and getting a dream job.

For example, writing your own guides to share your knowledge with others and getting advice would be an excellent first step to become a member of a community or a forum of programmers. If you feel like you need some assistance with the writing style, feel free to check what are the best paper writing services and how they can help.

Enabling female programmers to benefit from networking is one of the goals at Women Who Code. Check out the list of upcoming networking events from around the world and see whether you can also become a part of the conversation.

Career Growth Question #3: Does My Resume Help Me to Achieve My Goals?

Even though the importance of resumes for programmers has diminished a bit in recent years, it still remains the most common way to assess candidates, says 2018-2019 Developer Skills report. Accordingly, almost 81 percent of hiring managers say they use resumes as the first step in the candidate screening process.

Credit: 2018-2019 Developer Skills report

Also, the report found that many hiring managers saw the previous experience as the most important section in the resume; in fact, once critical sections such as Education and Certifications are quickly becoming less important for them.

Thus, to make sure that your resume offers hiring managers the information they’re looking for, feel free to follow these tips:

  • Place Experience section first to make sure that a recruiter or a hiring manager can quickly see where you worked and what you can do

  • Mention specific results when describing your experience, e.g. “Developed a test automation app that decreased testing time by 30 percent while increasing the total output by 20 percent”

  • Proofread thoroughly. Even one type can lead to problems because it makes it look like the candidate forgot to do such a simple thing. Needless to say, this doesn’t make them look good as a professional, too

  • Include your best work. According to the abovementioned 2018-2019 Developer Skills report, more than 72 percent of hiring managers are using Portfolio section to access the qualifications of a candidate.

If you feel that resume proofreading and editing should be done by a professional, there are online tools for that, too. And remember: resumes are still important for hiring managers, so if you meet one while networking or spot a great position online, make sure that yours is ready to get you an interview.

Career Growth Question #4: Am I Learning?

Assuming that your current skill set will be relevant a couple of years from now is not a good idea. Programming, in particular, is an ever-changing field, and new technologies are quickly appearing (think augmented reality (AR), machine learning, and Go). To avoid being left behind and outcompeted, you need to learn something new as much as you can.

For example, have a read about Augmented Reality by an AR engineer Dana Hu where she describes the progress made in this field as well as common myths. This is a great and concise introduction to the field of AR, made specifically for coders. 

Over to You

Have you started thinking about how to answer the questions you’ve just read about? Certainly, staying relevant and in-demand is difficult for all programmers, but with the right mindset and skill, you can achieve this goal much easier.

I guess the bottom line here is to never stop learning because employers are increasingly focusing on experience when making hiring decisions. To get that experience, you need to develop, so hopefully, this article helped you to visualize your bright future and make one more step in that direction.