Computer Programming Career Change

by RG
(Germany)

Hi, I started my career as a software trainee and then software developer with a software development company in Telecom domain working on C/c++. After 1+years they downsized the company and I got pink slipped along with others.

Then I joined another company as a software developer in a different domain and they were working on their own programming language which was supposedly to migrate to .Net within one year which did not happen.

I have now left my job to pursue a career which provides intellectual and actual growth rather than wasting my time working on a programming language which is used nowhere else in the world.
I would like some advice how to go about from here to pursue a software development / programming career?


Simon Replies
Hi R.G.
So you want to secure a similar position to what you had but with a company that has much better future prospects and in an area of software development or programming that also has better prospects. It sounds like you know at least approximately what you want to do but are not sure how to go about getting that new job.

If this is the case then the first thing to do is to clarify exactly what your ideal software development or programming job would look like. And do you know of any software companies that employ these types of people. You may at this point want to clarify some aspects of the job type and then organize a meeting by contacting and talking to workers who are currently working in areas of the development/programming industry that interest you. Then you need to work the "hidden job market".

The hidden job market is simply all those jobs that are got by employees which are never advertised (approximately 60 to 80%, depending on whose research you read).
The hidden job market is the most successful job search strategy you will ever implement. There are many reasons for this but one of the main ones is simply that not many people use it, therefore your competition is much less.

The first thing that many employers do when they need to employ a new person is to ask around existing staff members and business colleagues.

The process of finding a new employee is very time-consuming and quite often a hit and miss for employers in unearthing the right person. For this reason they might delegate this out to a recruitment firm at a considerable cost.
But if they can find somebody who comes at least partially recommended by an existing staff member or business acquaintance or friend, then that is a process they will frequently opt for.
It gives the employer more confidence because of the third-party referral and saves them a lot of time and money.

So it is important to understand that most jobs that are gained in the world of work by new employees are never advertised anywhere.

Other methods of working the hidden job market may include you networking the software/programming industry; selling yourself to do a short-term programming contract which later turns into a permanent position; even an offer to do short-term unpaid work to prove your ability to an employer etc.
Because you have worked in the software industry you will have contacts for networking whether that be people that you know personally, or people you know that will know somebody else that who could help you.
I hope this helps.

Regards
Simon

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