Expand your horizons as a “Java or Data” engineer with increased earning potential

Myriad of online tools & platforms depicted below have levelled the playing field for you to reach incredible heights. You are only limited by your imagination & drive. Here is the big picture as to how you can expand your horizons with multiple income streams.

What can you do as a “Java or Data” engineer, architect, freelancer, mentor, blogger, etc?

Taking the first step

You need a mind shift from just being a “super star coder stuck behind the keyboard” TO expanding your horizons as a Digital products creator, Educator (e.g. selling online courses), Contractor, Freelancer, Author, Blogger, Influencer, Marketeer, etc . Two key ingredients are “creativity and drive to do things differently to the rest“.

In other words, don’t just follow what others are doing like piling up on the certifications or starting a blog with the view to spray a few Google advertisements. Think how you can turn your blog into a subscription based online training site or identify gaps and pain points in the market to create your own digital products, services and value adds.

Need the mindset

A. Shift your mindset from ranting about “losing the jobs to offshore programmers” or “not getting the pay rise you had expected” TO positive emotions like devising a plan to getting out of your predicament and comfort zone.

  • Acquire high income skills like Big Data, Data Science, Low Latency, Full-stack development, system integration, etc to get your next dream job.
  • Start a Blog, YouTube channel, and create a GitHub account with the view to proactively learn, brand your capabilities and then later expand it into a subscription based online training site or as a repository of your experience.
  • Pick a soft skill to work on. For example, communication, online marketing, social media, etc.

B. Shift your mindset from “commuting to and from work without any light-bulb moments” to “jotting down the ideas that come your way” with the view to think further about it at your leisure.

C. Shift your mindset from “browsing today’s online news for 30 minutes as the first thing you do when you wake up to “researching further on the idea that you had jotted down”.

D. Shift your mindset from staying within your comfort zone to expanding your horizons by working harder on yourself — said by Jim Rohn. Work on your SEO skills, WordPress or other blogging/youtubing platform skills, social media skills, Google adsense/adwords skills, affiliate marketing skills, Google analytics know hows and the list goes on. You can get started on most of these things by watching a few YouTube videos.

What is the catch?

You need to be patient and keep at it to see some of the “Wow moments” like

“Wow, my income is now 2 times as a contractor

“Wow, I managed to get a foot in the door of an investment bank with a 30% pay rise

“Wow, I have 1800+ subscribers at my online training blog”

“Wow, my recent post has reached 6,000 unique readers“,

“Wow, I have self published my first technical book on amazon and sold 40 copies in the first week….”

It is not easy to sustain your drive and passion as you will have more “ordinary moments” than the “Wow moments. You need to constantly motivate yourself. Consistently churn out unique blog contents, self-published books, new product/app ideas until things click to create more “Wow moments”.

You need to believe that “Something is about to spark“. You need to change directions or do things differently. You need to grow not just as a techie, but as an internet entrepreneur with good marketing and networking skills. List your strengths and passion to create your own branding. Collaborate universally with other like minded people.

Is it really a passive income?

It is a passive income in the sense that you can get revenue from your blog, books, online courses and digital products whilst you are on your holidays, waiting for a new contract, being sick, etc. But in reality, you need to work very hard upfront say 2 to 4 years to get the ball rolling. So, you are working hard upfront to earn a passive income later on. This is NOT 2008, and it is a very crowded market place out there on the web and you need to really standout to attract customers. Whatever you create need to be unique, and add value to your customers.

You need to give others what they need in terms of products, services, training, etc before you take what you need in terms of recognition, more followers, more subscribers, more customers, more income, etc. Opportunities are limitless, and you are only limited by your imagination. Realize your strengths and harness them. One thing may lead to another with a few set backs, but if you can keep at it, and change directions or do things differently when you hit against a brick wall, you will be a different person compared to when you had started on your journey.

Even if you have a passive income flowing in, you can’t afford to be complacent. The online landscape can quickly change within 2-3 months, and you need to constantly find ways to improve your services, contents, and offerings to stay ahead of your competition.

Reality Check

The reality is that in a very crowded internet landscape, for most of you the primary source of income will still come from a full time job as a permanent or contract staff with these side hustles like blogging, you-tubing, authoring, creating courses, etc will only bring in a small side income. But these skills & know-hows will empower you to

  • Find work in any job market.
  • Choose from multiple job offers & negotiate better salary or rates.
  • Become a better hands-on professional by fast-tracking your career to go places without feeling stagnated.
  • Improve your researching, writing, and communication skills.
  • Network with the other like minded professionals and improving your online presence as the future recruitment will be digital. Online resumes, blogs, social media profiles, online tests, video interviews, contribution to open-source projects & self-taught projects on Git Hub, etc will determine your employ-ability.

Most Importantly

The person you have become through the process of expanding your horizons, thinking more, writing more, getting out of your comfort zone, etc. In a nut shell, it is conducive to developing a decent career as a well rounded programmer with the potential to make it big if you have the passion, the right recipe, and the perseverance to keep at it. Take the road less traveled, and see where it takes you.

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