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Category: Work

Looking To Be a Software Developer? Here’s Some Handy Advice To Help You Land a Job

If you’re looking for a long-term career that has plenty of unique opportunities for growth, then getting into the world of software is a great choice with almost no major drawbacks. The demand for software engineers grows every year and your skills can branch off to many different areas of expertise that can help you land contracts and consulting roles later in the future. There is so much opportunity for growth that it can be hard to settle on just one role.

But if you’re just getting started then we’ve prepared a few tips to help you land your first job as a software developer.

Embrace entry-level roles, but don’t be exploited by bad companies

Entry-level roles such as software QA jobs can be a great opportunity for getting into the industry. However, many organizations can end up exploiting these types of workers, requesting them to work an extraordinary number of hours, giving them work that they’re not qualified for, or putting them in work environments where they just aren’t comfortable. This isn’t as common nowadays, but there are still many companies out there that are just looking for cheap labor and will do anything to reel you in.

Just make sure you have your wits about you when you join these entry-level roles. If you’re being given lots of opportunities to grow your skills and learn new things, then you should stay. However, if you feel like you’re being requested for overtime far too often and you’ve reached a point where you’re no longer learning new things, then you should start looking for a new job and use your experience to help you land a better position.

Every company has its own tools, so there’s going to be more learning involved

Just because you’ve mastered a programming language or two, it doesn’t mean that you’re qualified to be a fully-fledged software developer. This is because almost every company uses its own proprietary set of tools and there are occasions where they might change the type of libraries that they use. This means that you’re going to have to learn an entirely new set of tools for certain projects, and there are also many companies out there who are struggling to upkeep their legacy tools because they’re too stubborn to change.

In short, don’t be surprised that you have to learn a new programming language or work with unique tools that you’ve never tried before. As a software developer, your knowledge of computer science should help you quickly learn new tools by applying concepts that you’re familiar with to different languages and systems. This is part of what it means to be a software developer, so don’t hesitate to embrace the unknown and be prepared to learn something new every day.

While it can sometimes be daunting to learn something that you’re not familiar with, it’s important to get accustomed to that idea because you’ll be constantly figuring new things out and learning new ways to optimize your processes. The more you learn, the more appealing you’ll be as a candidate too.

6 Things Freelancers Should Do To Market Themselves In 2022

No matter whether you are a freelance website designer or a content writer, you are going to need to market yourself effectively. Freelance marketing certainly differs from company marketing in many different ways – namely, you are marketing yourself. So, how can you set yourself apart from all of the other freelancers you are competing with? Let’s take a look at some great freelance marketing tips…

  1. Clean up your social media profiles – There is only one place to begin with marketing yourself as a freelancer, and this by rebranding your online profiles. Nowadays, the power of social media is huge. It is likely that the companies you are approaching are going to check you out online. They may look at your Facebook profile or they may check out your credentials on LinkedIn. It is, therefore, a good idea to go through your profiles and make sure they do not contain any information that you would not want a potential employer to see. 
  2. Be punctual and follow-up – This is a really important point. Freelancers that get hired again and again are those that answer their emails quickly, deliver work on time, and are generally reliable. You should also make sure you follow-up. It doesn’t hurt to ask a prior client if there are any tasks you can help them with. You may assume that they would get in touch with you if this were the case. But, business owners are very busy, and they may simply not have had the time.
  1. Find your niche – There are many freelancers today offering their services, and so if you want to stand out, you are going to need to find your niche. It can be very tempting to say you are good at everything, but businesses are not looking for a jack-of-all-trades. They are looking for an expert in the field in question. You may worry that this approach will limit your potential clients, but it will actually do the opposite.
  2. Start a website and a blog – If you work from home, it is a good idea to create a website and make sure it has a blog that comes with it. Your website will boost your credentials and give an insight into the services you provide. This is important, but your blog is what can really leverage you and get more people interesting in your skill set. Your blog is the perfect opportunity to show yourself as an expert in your field. Contribute to it regularly, and you will show your knowledge, and this will encourage people to use your services if they like what they see. Check out this Soona review to help with visual content creation. 
  3. Allocate time to marketing yourself every day – It can be difficult to find the time to market when you are busy applying for jobs or doing work for other clients. This is why it is a good idea to allocate a portion of time to marketing each day. This could merely be 20 minutes at the end of every day. It will ensure your efforts are more organized and effective. 
  4. Remember, you are branding yourself – You are the only you, and that is your power! As a freelancer, you are largely branding yourself. Yes, your services and your times need to be marketed effectively, but you are selling yourself too. What makes you the type of person that people should want to work with?

Tips on Creating an Ideal Home Office That Offers Increased Productivity

Creating a suitable home office space can be a daunting task. It is vital that your work environment reflects who you are and provides the ideal conditions for increased productivity and success. To achieve this, it is critical to know what features create an optimal work environment. This article will explore some of these features and offer tips on incorporating them into a thriving home office!

Keep your desk uncluttered 

One of the most important aspects of having an effective work environment is to keep your desk uncluttered. This means removing any unnecessary objects and papers that can lead to distractions. Studies have shown that a cluttered desk can decrease productivity and focus. To combat this, try implementing a strict rule of only keeping necessary items on your desk at all times. If you struggle with too much clutter, consider using storage solutions such as file cabinets or shelving units to help you organize your space. Additionally, utilizing folders and labels can help maintain a tidy desk.

Utilize Ambient lighting 

Another vital factor to consider when creating your home office is the lighting. Ambient light is critical for preventing eye fatigue and ensuring that you can focus on your work. When it comes to ambient light, natural light is always best. If possible, try positioning your desk near a window so that you can take advantage of the natural light. However, if this is not an option, make sure to use bright overhead lights or lamps with task lighting bulbs. In addition to utilizing ambient light, it can also be helpful to adjust the color temperature of your workspace. Studies have shown that warmer colors such as yellow and red can help increase productivity, while cooler colors such as blue and green can relax.

Invest in a reliable computer and internet connection

A third factor to consider when setting up your home office is technology. To be productive, you need to have a reliable computer and internet connection. Ensure that your computer and internet service provider offers the speed and reliability you need for your work. Additionally, it is vital to have a backup plan in case of technical difficulties, it’s also vital you secure a self-signed certificate by following a guide by peppe8o. This could mean having a laptop or tablet on hand for those times when you need to get work done away from your desk.

Buy ergonomic furniture

When it comes to furniture, it is essential to invest in comfortable and ergonomic pieces. This means opting for chairs with good back support and adjustable height settings and desks that offer a variety of angles and positions. If you can find furniture specifically designed for workstations, even better! In addition, by ensuring that your furniture is ergonomic, you can help prevent pain and discomfort from occurring over time. Additionally, keep in mind that if your furniture is not ergonomic, you could be putting yourself at risk for long-term injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome or back problems.

Creating an ideal home office that offers increased productivity can be challenging. However, if you can focus on these four key factors, you can make the perfect space!

Let’s Talk About Remote Tech Freelancing

Let’s give back to Caesar what belongs to Caesar. The pandemic, despite all the horrors it has caused around the world, has helped normalize remote work. While more and more businesses are encouraging their teams to head back to the physical office, technical professionals are now surfing the remote wave. 

Are technical professions ever going back to the office? Everything seems to imply that being remote has unique advantages that no office can match. Additionally, more and more professionals are seizing the opportunity to transform their careers. Remote work gives them the chance to control their professional path and establish themselves as renowned and desirable experts. Remote freelancing, contracting, and employment are the way forward for tech jobs. Here’s why:

Because you can actually learn by doing

Technical skills evolve rapidly as tech environment, equipment, and language develop. Working remotely enables professionals not only to keep up with the pace of change but also to hone their skills through practice in the safety and privacy of their homes. With a variety of tools available online, such as secure cloud developer environment solutions and step-by-step video tutorials, knowledgeable technicians can brush up their skills and improve their profiles. On the other hand, working in an office provides less access to digital solutions as the work environment tends to be much more controlled. 

Because you can show off your skills to your audience

What’s the best way of anchoring new knowledge into your mind? Psychologists claim that sharing your knowledge with others switches your position from a learner to a teacher. Being able to explain what you know reinforces your skillset. While options are limited in the workplace, a remote working environment enables individuals to build an online presence. The options are infinite, from starting a blog to sharing video tutorials on Youtube or stories on Instagram; creating your little corner on the Internet lets you boost your skills. Whether you wish to use your presence as a pendant to your CV when applying to a new position or as a marketing tool to attract new freelancing gigs, maximizing digital visibility is a must. 

Because you can become an expert

Technical skills are highly desirable. Businesses are keen to test applicants and contractors with random and arbitrary exercises. Unfortunately, tech exercises can lead to unusual results as they are often designed and assessed by a non-expert recruiting agent. To boost their chances of being noticed, a remote tech professional can create an expert profile. Using your expertise to stand out in a crowd can prevent unnecessary, time-demanding, and ineffective tests. You can demonstrate your expertise online using specialist knowledge. Creating an expert blog can be hard work, but the reward is worth it. Your articles will need to be highly detailed and bring something new to the topic. 

However, you can also join tech forums and answer burning questions and troubleshooting problems to showcase your experience. Troubleshooting other users’ issues highlight your knowledge as it means you can apply your skills to a specific and unique project. Compared to tutorial material, which tends to be generic and high level, troubleshooting content is more likely to get noticed in your industry. 

Because every business is remote

The good news about remote work is that more and more tech companies are embracing the trend. For a tech professional, wanting to work from home is not an oddity anymore. Whether you wish to work as an independent freelancer or as an employee, remote working can remain a valuable option. Recent experiences have demonstrated that working from home can significantly improve productivity and quality of life. Tech workers have adjusted their work routine to the new environment, focusing on avoiding harmful pitfalls that could affect productivity and concentration. Besides, businesses can take responsibility for creating healthy work environments even with remote employees. Once the company supports the team with adequate equipment and dedicated interactions, remote workers can thrive and grow. The real question that is left to ask is: Why hasn’t every business embraced the advantages of a virtual office? 

Because you don’t have to take risks

For tech experts, working from home offers a unique risk management approach. Indeed, more often than not, when a professional wants to control their workplace, they need to create their own venture. Yet, launching a business can be tricky as risks of failure are high. Yet, the nature of technical skills provides a different choice. As more and more companies outsource their tech services to contractors or work with remote teams, experts can benefit from the safety of a permanent position with all the comfort and independence of the home office. 

Technical professionals are among the first to enjoy the advantage of a safe remote position. They can use their remote environment to build up their skills and expertise, reach out to businesses all around the world, and even secure employment without leaving their homes. If you are looking for a professional reconversion, tech skills are the way to go.

Curating A Home Office For Your Professional, Freelance Work

The recent pandemic has brought the needs of working professionals to the forefront, where remote work is now considered more of a potential consideration that many are hoping to adopt as normal. Yet it’s also true that many professionals have been curating a home office environment for some time, working as a freelancer or consultant for a wide array of possible industries.

In this light, investing in your home office or studio for your professional, freelance work is an essential measure worth considering. But how should you cultivate this space? How should you prioritize the installations necessary for your particular line of work? And how can you make this environment worth spending time in for hours each day, to the point where even the most work-focused professional will not denigrate their health thanks to shrewd investment?

In this post, we’ll leverage a few tidbits of advice that can help you make the most of this situation. No matter if you hope to become an online influencer, see your creative work get noticed, or become an in-demand industry veteran, this advice should help you curate those tools that will help you achieve:

Consider Your Particular Discipline

Depending on what kind of work you do, the home office you may need could vastly differ in s cope and design. For instance, implementing a larger office space with a U-shaped desk with space for mixers, decks and production equipment could be key. Consider how this will be placed near power sockets, and how much room you have to navigate the space. Consider if you need a standing desk or not. Don’t be afraid to make adjustments and retrofit the room to your standards. Also, keep in mind what additional concessions you may need to make investment-wise. An extra power adapter or two could help you out of a jam.

Lighting & Acoustics

Someone who makes video content may need to implement key lighting, while someone else may need to implement sound-protective foam to prevent the rebound of plosive sounds around the space, eliminating echo entirely. Your lighting may also dictate how strained your eyes become if reading and writing text all day. Make sure to reinforce these essential elements depending on your needs and working comfort requirements. It will make a big difference. Additionally, it can help you achieve the idiosyncratic design choices you need to remain more productive.

It’s All About The Furniture

Just because you’re not at the office doesn’t mean you should accept your health any less, or that your home furniture should be cheap and tattered. Investing in a great ergonomic chair with adjustable lumbar support and arm rests can be key. IKEA provide excellent budget options for this, while more expensive brands like Steelcase and Hermann Miller provide the platinum standard. Between those two price points, looking for an ergonomic chair on sites like Reddit and comparing price points/YouTube reviews can help you find what you really need. Stay away from branded ‘gaming chairs,’ as they are usually made cheaply and without sturdy materials.
With this advice, we hope you can continue to curate the best home office for your professional freelance work.

De-Stress Your Business Dealings: 5 Ways To Make It All Easier

There are countless perks to owning your business. But despite the fact that you get to see your plans come to fruition, there’s a lot more under the surface that can threaten to overwhelm you. Running a company means that you will inevitably be hit by setbacks, but the key is how you handle these setbacks. So, when there are bouts of workplace stress, what can you do to ensure that you don’t buckle under the pressure? 

Be Organized

This is one of the simplest things that makes a massive difference. If you are organized, you are going to have far better control over the situation. Whether this is by having an appointment reminder app that keeps everything in one handy place or having a personal assistant organize everything for you, organization is going to stop you from feeling like everything is running away with you. When we are organized, we can get more done, but more importantly, we’re not going to feel as stressed. 

Identify Your Stressors

We’re all different, and when we are experiencing workplace stress, it can be from a very specific source, but also, we have to recognize that when there are certain problems in business, we problem-solve these things effectively. It’s not easy to identify sources of stress, especially amongst the chaos. But taking a step back to look at key business problems will make a massive difference to how you can solve them now and tackle these issues if they arise in the future. 

Problem-solving is such a vital skill, but we also need to look at the things that stress us out outside of the working environment. Because if we are glued to our business, we might find that there are external sources that cause stress. And tackling these is just as important. Because if we have family and loved ones at home, we have to focus on them as well, which is crucial for the next point. 

Having a Solid Balance

It’s always about having that work-life balance in the correct ratio. When we do not have a balance in life, we are going to feel overwhelmed by the workload. It’s easy to say that you should stop as soon as you leave the office or turn the computer off, but it’s not as simple as that. We live in an age where our phone is constantly pinging, and we feel that we have just got to get ahead of the game. But this is why you need to tackle the most important tasks at the beginning of your workday. 

Sometimes, we can find that after lunchtime we are lacking motivation. While partly this is due to the fact that we consume a lot of carbohydrates at lunch, if we are focused and tackle the biggest tasks first thing in the morning, and leave the afternoon for small admin-based tasks, it doesn’t just mean that we’ve completed the most important things at the beginning of the day, but by the time that we finish these boring tasks we are ready to shut the computer off. So if you really want to get that balance in life, it’s about making sure that you have the motivation to leave work as well! 

Use the Tools That Help You Work Effectively

We now have so many tools at our disposal. While we can easily refer to tools like Slack and Evernote to make life easier in a work sense, there are also tools that can help you to be more productive in other, less obvious ways. If you find yourself easily distracted, it’s important to eliminate this. And so you will need to find the right tools that help you focus. 

This is where something like binaural beats can be very effective. If you want to focus better, there are tools like My Noise, which play binaural beats, and can help you to focus on tasks, especially when you have that lack of motivation. You should also think about other ways to improve your focus outside of work, and these can be things like exercising, learning skills, and reading in general. But also think about your attitude to your workload. 

You can accomplish the most important tasks early in the day but also think about productivity tools like the Pomodoro method. This is something that many organizations use and is a great way to build in breaks. It is so important to have break times, and we may feel that if “we snooze, we lose,” breaks can improve our productivity. Taking breaks can prevent decision fatigue, boost your productivity and creativity, and restore your motivation for long-term goals.

Say “No”

If you are looking to make your business a success, you might think you have to utilize every single opportunity that comes to you. However, this is not conducive to a long-term business strategy. You might think that you need to utilize every tool at your disposal to boost your business and stop it failing, but one of the biggest obstacles to your sense of stress is being a people pleaser. 

Learning to say “no” is an important skill for any business person to learn and it will make you feel like you’ve done the right thing. Many freelancers suffer from this inability to say “no” because they think it will cause long-term repercussions. But saying “yes” to everything is going to increase your stress. You are going to burn out, and this will impact your business in the long term.

If you want to make a business effective, but also ensure your life is easier, remember that stress doesn’t have to be your default setting. There are so many ways to strengthen a company but if you think that being on call 24/7 is going to work wonders for the business in the long run, it will only demotivate and demoralize you in the meantime. Therefore, you will start to resent your business. Instead, work on making life easier and it will make running a business better, and more importantly, more fun!