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Ask HN: How to make myself marketable?
7 points by jrajav 1778 days ago | hide | past | web | 3 comments | favorite
I'm out of college this past year and six months into my first job. It's a steady career path with good benefits at a multi-billion dollar company, and I'd probably do well for myself if I stuck around.

It's fantastically unsuited for me.

I don't have any good horror stories yet about the company culture, but I have seen enough to know that this is not the environment and the challenges that I want.

In the last year, I've also discovered Stack Overflow, Hacker News, and a whole slew of new languages, paradigms, ideas, and possibilities. I've liked programming for a long time, but this is the first time I've been passionate about it, and my passion is growing. Now I want to find the kind of job that I'm thrilled about, not just satisfied with. Maybe the answer is to start my own business. Maybe it's simply to join a software-focused one that feels the same way I do. Maybe it's none of the above (indie/OSS development?). I only know that I need to keep moving.

I'm not in that great a hurry to leave my current job, and I'm told that such a quick exit isn't good future-planning, anyway. At the same time, I feel anxious to do more than read and tinker. I'm getting ready to start a blog. I'm busily polishing up my first app for release. I bounce my thoughts off anyone who will listen. I know I'm going to work on something on my own time, and I want to make sure it's something that will prepare me to get the best possible job for myself. So:

- How make myself most marketable to software-focused companies with the best cultures?

- How do I know which companies those are, and what makes them good?

- Should I start networking? What is the best way to do that?

Of course you need to start networking, your network is the number one thing that will help you pursue your career and open doors to places you want to be. The question is not if, it is how. I suggest you go to local meetups (perhaps hackathons or usergroups, for example here in Sweden we have SHRUG, Stockholm Ruby User Group) and meet other hackers, people that are passionate about programming. Talk to them, get to know them and hit them up on LinkedIn and Twitter afterwards. Remember to keep in touch, a good way is over lunch if your work locations are nearby. Networking and keeping ones network alive is hard and requires effort, but it will pay in the long run.

Stop everything you're doing and buy "How To Win Friends and Influence People." It's available for Kindle, if that's your preference.

Seriously. JRAJAV, are you writing this down? How. To. Win. Friends. And. Influence. People. By Dale Carnegie.

- Github

- Find products you naturally love, explore cultures of those companies specifically.

- Meetup.com

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