♥ 6 Aspects that can motivate you to fast-track your career & go places as a software engineer

#1: Nitty-gritty reasons like insult, failure, professional embarrassment, and lack of respect. For example,  not getting the job you badly wanted,  being unemployed for a while, leaving a job in unpleasant circumstances, etc. There is no better way to get even with those caused this to you than proving yourself with a success. There is an old saying — “Massive success is the sweetest revenge”.

One can learn more from his/her failures than successes.  If you are not failing, you are not pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. I have failed in many ways like being unemployed for 1.5 years even with a masters degree and left my first IT job within first 5 months due to a personality clash. If I didn’t get pushed to quit my first IT job, I may not have got out of my comfort zone to become a freelancer.

So, don’t be afraid of failing. Use it to motivate yourself. Any failures along with other smaller insults and embarrassments can motivate you to open more doors.

#2: Fear of being fired, becoming obsolete, being outperformed by your competition, etc. More and more companies are conducting pre-interview online tests & written code assignments to interview candidates. Fear of failing the more stringent recruitment process can motivate you to not only prepare, but also to constantly up-skill. Embracing fear means embracing growth. Even if you “fail”, you will be happy that you tried, and acquired new skills & insights in the process. Nothing makes you more uncomfortable than fear. It can motivate you to take the road less traveled.

#3: Recognition is the validation of your worthiness. If you want to get recognized, you need to proactively get things done like adding value to the organization you work in, getting a good handle in the technical key areas to solve challenging problems both proactively and retroactively,  and use your soft skills to bring out the maximum from other people to accomplish things for your organization. For example,

  • Initiate a quick win project to fix an issue or  enhance a process.
  • Become a facilitator to drive changes.
  • Identify potential issues, and take initiatives to fix them.

Sometimes you don’t get the recognition you deserve for various reasons. At times, people working for large organizations move to smaller organizations to get recognized as architects from being senior developers or as CIOs (Chief Information Officer) from being a development or delivery managers. When you leave with a good rapport, you can always move back to a larger corporation in the future with a different title, job role, and responsibilities. You need to embrace change to make things happen.

Sharing your knowledge and experience via creative and unique blogging and self-published books can give you recognition in the form of positive comments, job openings, more subscriptions, speaking opportunities, and invites for new collaborative ventures.

Certification is a recognition of your academic accomplishments. It is a personal recognition, and prospective employers recognize hands-on experience/accomplishments more than the academic accomplishments.

#4: Joy of winning. Some people are addicted to winning. This is what drive sports people. In IT world it means accomplishing your objectives. For example, designing and building an application that meets both functional and nonfunctional requirements within the stipulated time frame. Proactively identifying a security loophole or a an obscure thread-safety issue, and then seeking the approval from the management to fix them. You need to have management visibility when you fix things to get the recognition you deserve and to get the feeling of winning due to your  “know hows” and contributions.

When you have an application that is falling over every second day, fixing it will be the top priority of your middle and senior management. You can seize this opportunity to show off your analytical skills, problem solving skills, passion for the work you do, and the technical skills in the so called “16 key areas” by identifying the root cause of the issue and fixing it. Especially, before your other team mates identify and fix the issue to feel the joy of winning, in a professional manner.

Your scoreboard is all about

  • improving the application performance by 30%, reducing the response times by 60%, etc.
  • being in a position to attend many interviews and choose from multiple job offers.
  • increasing your book sales and number of blog followers.
  • improving the Google page ranking of your website or blog due to your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) efforts.
  • being proud of having 90% unit test coverage
  • earning a reputation as a go to person
  • designing and developing systems where all the 16 technical key areas fall into place as a jigsaw puzzle.

#5: Money for yourself and your family. People often change jobs and careers to earn more. Money is certainly a motivating factor to do well in your career. Some fear changes, and feel stagnated in their careers without any proper pay rises other than smaller rises to keep it in line with the inflation.

#6: Helping others to share your knowledge, experience, and wealth. In addition to focusing on gaining achievements and success for yourself, it’s better to focus on future generations, and what you can do for the future of the world. You learn more by helping others.

There are other motivators like

  • Going overseas on a work visa.
  • Assignments including fair amount of traveling.
  • Developing your own products & services

Have I missed any other motivators? What motivates you the most?

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Arulkumaran Kumaraswamipillai
Mechanical Engineer to freelance Java developer within 3 years. Freelancing since 2003 for the major banks, telecoms, retail & government organizations. Attended 150+ Java job interviews, and most often got 3-6 job offers to choose from. Published Java/JEE books via Amazon.com in 2005, and sold 35K+ copies. Books are outdated and replaced with this online Java training. join my LinkedIn group. Hope these industrial strength Java resources will help you fast-track your Java career too by taking the road less traveled.
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Arulkumaran Kumaraswamipillai

Mechanical Engineer to freelance Java developer within 3 years. Freelancing since 2003 for the major banks, telecoms, retail & government organizations. Attended 150+ Java job interviews, and most often got 3-6 job offers to choose from. Published Java/JEE books via Amazon.com in 2005, and sold 35K+ copies. Books are outdated and replaced with this online Java training. join my LinkedIn group. Hope these industrial strength Java resources will help you fast-track your Java career too by taking the road less traveled.

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2 comments on “♥ 6 Aspects that can motivate you to fast-track your career & go places as a software engineer
  1. Raju says:

    This is helpful. Thanks for sharing.

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