Storing up nuts for the winter
Job hunting when you’re not job hunting
It rained on easter
I spent the Easter break at the beach, and it rained.
It rained a lot.
I’ve had Standout by Benjamin Kelly on my to read list for a while, so - no time like the present!
It’s a good read - mostly practical tips for testers who are job hunting.
One of the key themes of the book is maintaining good job hunting habits while you’re still happily employed.
Like a squirrel storing up nuts for the winter, it’s good to prepare over time. So that when you need to start job hunting, you’re ready.
Here’s some beats I picked up on while reading.
Regularly check in on achievements
In the past, I’ve found myself needing a CV in a hurry. Writing a CV from scratch is hard - especially if there’s time pressure to do it!
A lot of the difficulty comes from not being able to remember what you’ve achieved. Especially if you’ve been at a company for a long time.
The book points out that the antidote to this, is to regularly take note of accomplishments and achievements.
I’m going to try it. I’m not sure the best cadence - maybe once a month - to check in with myself:
- What did I work on?
- What have I achieved?
- What unique contributions did I make?
An interview, or some other opportunity, could spring up at any moment.
With this in mind, it’s good to have something in your back pocket, should the opportunity arise.
Elevator pitches are the answer here. Have bite sized answers at the ready, to answer questions like:
- What does testing mean to you?
- How did your career get started?
- What are your personal values?
The book has a bunch of good prompts for elevator pitches. I’m going to try and write some myself (and that’s probably gonna be a whole ‘nother blog post).
Maintain your personal brand
One of the first things I do when read an applicant’s CV, is check out their online presence. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter… maybe more.
But, I don’t really consider my own online ‘appearance’ a whole lot.
This book has inspired me go do a bit of a ‘spring clean’ of my online presence, in the following ways:
- Clean up - clear out people from LinkedIn that I don’t really know for example, or delete silly photo albums from Facebook that seemed like a good idea at the time.
- Consistency - use the same avatar on different platforms so people can associate it with me
- Write more code - I don’t have a great Github profile, and I think that might bite me one day - so I’m going to spend some time working on that.
Read it yourself
If you’d like to read Standout for yourself, you can get it on Leanpub. Chur!