November 3, 2023

Mistakes I Made When Starting My Tech Career And How You Can Avoid Them

This article was first published by Owolabi Gbemisola Oluwatoyin on Medium.

Starting a tech career can be challenging, and everyone makes mistakes along the way. However, recognising these mistakes and learning from them can help you succeed when starting. In this article, I will be discussing four mistakes I made in my early career and ways you can avoid them.

4 mistakes I made while starting a career in tech.

1) Making current situations or challenges discourage me :

Any little challenges always discourage or get at me and I mostly feel demotivated when faced with obstacles easily such as a lack of resources (e.g access to a laptop) but I later realised the limitations do not define my capabilities or potential and it just for the time being and it shall pass.

If you are currently feeling this way, instead of allowing it to discourage you, try to find alternative solutions because there are some situations you don’t have power on. For example, if you don’t have access to a laptop, you could consider using a library computer or borrowing a friend’s laptop. Alternatively, you could explore free online courses or tutorials that do not require a computer at that moment till you get yourself one or you have full access to it.

Remember, the key is to stay motivated and committed to your goals, despite any challenges that may come your way.

2) Imposter Syndrome

I doubted myself in my early days even when people tell me my designs were good, I will tell them they are not good enough. I wanted it to be perfect and that caused me more harm than good.

I am sure I am not the only one that experienced this and if you are also experiencing it at this stage, I will say focus on your strength and accomplishment and be positive about yourself. Even if it is as little as designing a login screen, or signup screen it is an accomplishment, I am sure you didn’t know you will be able to design that but you did it, celebrate your little win and if it is not perfect it can be improved on. Nothing is perfect and when you acknowledge the little things you do, it becomes a self-awareness of what you are improving on and encouragement for you to do better rather than feeling self–doubt.

You can also seek support from mentors or colleagues who can provide encouragement, feedback and guidance. By acknowledging your achievements and seeking support, you can overcome imposter syndrome and build confidence in your abilities.

3) Waiting for the perfect time to apply for a Job.

Let me say my imposter syndrome crept me into waiting for this perfect time that never came, instead of going for it, I was waiting for a perfect time. I am sure most people also believe they need to know more or have more experience before applying, but this can delay your career progress and limit opportunities for growth.

To avoid this mistake, start applying for jobs early, even if you don’t feel completely qualified. You can gain valuable experience and skills on the job, and many employers are willing to provide on-the-job training for new hires. Even though I have some skills already before I got my job, I can’t compare them to the ones I gained while on the job because I was working and designing for real users in different scenarios.

It is also important to keep in mind that no one is a perfect fit for any job. It is natural to have areas where you can improve, but it is important to focus on your strengths, honing your skills (Keep learning, practising & build a portfolio to showcase what you can do or your design thought process to recruiters) and how you can contribute to the company.

4) Thinking I’m too slow in my Journey

I remembered the first skill I pick up to learn, it was a whole lot, I wasn’t seeing results early and it was creeping me out so I dropped it. Rome wasn’t built in a day you know but I wanted my Rome to be built in 3 months 😂😂. That was another grave mistake I made and which cost me wasted years and effort.

To avoid this mistake, it is important to remember that success takes time and perseverance. Focus on developing your skills, invest time in honing them & gaining experience, and be patient with the process. I love saying this statement “Trust the process”, you just have to trust the process while putting in the work, everything will get to you when you stay invested.

It is also helpful to set realistic goals and break them down into smaller, achievable steps. Celebrate your accomplishments along the way, no matter how small they may seem, and use them as motivation to keep moving forward.

In conclusion, starting a career can be challenging, but by using these mistakes I made and learning from them, you can achieve success in your chosen field. Remember to stay motivated, focus on your strengths, and be patient with the process. By doing so, you can build a fulfilling and rewarding career.

If you found this helpful, kindly share it with anyone that needs this. Thank you.

This article was first published by Owolabi Gbemisola Oluwatoyin on Medium.

Owolabi Gbemisola Oluwatoyin

Product Strategist | Building innovative solutions with digital product | Building Designwithdesigners community