Category: productivity

How you can get the best out of each of your programming experiences

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Over the years I’ve found that when I’m programming and it’s going great, I’m in a certain state of mind.

It’s this free-flowing state where the next steps and solutions present themselves easily. Without any effort.

For years I had no idea that this kind of experiences have their own name and there is an actual research running for years to examine how to get into this kind of effective state of mind.

In this video,I will share with you some of my tips on how to get and how to stay in this effective state of mind when you’re doing coding.

I wish I knew all this when I was starting out!

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How to find your unique path to learning programming?

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I believe that pretty much everyone can learn programming. Unfortunately a lot of people get discouraged when their first experiences with learning programming is negative.

This is how I started doing programming years ago. And probably by accident I didn’t give up. Instead I found my own way of learning programming.

So, if you feel that programming is not for you, it’s more likely that the method that you’re using is not for, not programming itself.

In this video I share with you the story of how did I start with programming, discovered my own path to learning programming and how you can do the same.

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How to make your resume really stand out from the rest

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I have something really important to share with you today. It can be as important as the difference between getting your job or not.

The number one complaint that I hear a lot from people who are doing job interviewing and hiring is simply that they have just too much to do.

They are swamped with resumes piling up on their desks. Why should I care you might ask? Well,because most of the time those are the people that will read your resume. And even make some decisions about its future.

So you want to make sure that when they see your resume they want to immediately pick you instead of someone else.

But, how can you do that?

Most people try to create this impressive resume. So they write a long and detailed story about their work experience and all the projects they’ve done and skill they have.

Remember when I was talking about people who might read your resume?

They usually have lots of them to go through. So you can almost be sure that your detailed resume won’t be read. It will be “scanned”.

This kind of super detailed resume is important to have. But the version that you want send out is totally different.
So most people when they learn that they try to cut their resumes to one or two pages.

But this can be a mistake too, because length in itself is not that important.

You can have pretty short,but also pretty bad resume.It’s about something totally different.

Your resume has to match as much as possible the job position you’re going after. So when someone that knows what a position is about will look at it and there will be no doubt that you’re the one.

So it’s not about length of your resume, it’s about making it clear that you’re the best person for this position,no one else. It’s about demonstrating that you can do the job well. That you can get them result they want.

Making your resume strong requires quite a lot of work and research and most people are not willing to do that to get a job they really want. So if you do just that you’re well ahead of everyone else.

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How to make your New Year’s career resolution stick

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It’s New Year soon. What do you plan to change in your career?

Getting a promotion, raise or even a new job. Whatever it is, it takes time effort to get it.

I used to think about my New Year’s resolution as one big goal. One big thing.

It’s not a quantum leap. There’s a lot of steps to take. A lot of decisions to make.

I found that the goal itself is not often enough to get you there. You need something more.Something that will keep you going. Something that will make you stick to it for longer time.

You have to create a habit out of it. Some ritual that will move you closer to your destination. If you don’t work it often it will get buried in everyday life.

It can be as simple as doing just one thing a week for your career. Just one. Not two or three. It’s important to start small because you don’t want to get overwhelmed by the process early on. When you build up the routine you can scale it up.

It requires effort at the beginning to build that regularity. But it’s worth it. It’s much easier to do that rather than working on your goal in spurts.

This is is powerful because it creates the mental space for focusing on specific subject. It gives you permission to stop thinking about everything else. All of your attention is focused on your career. And there’s great power and effectiveness in that.

There’s sense of continuity and progress. You don’t start from scratch every time you start working on your career. The work builds upon itself.

Remember to keep it small and simple at the beginning. It’s about steady progress, not big jumps.

Most people won’t stick to their New Year’s resolution because the want to jump too far too quickly. Been there, done that. So they get overwhelmed really quickly. And then get discouraged and quit.

They think that the goal was too big or they’re not good enough. Nothing further from truth. They just needed a different approach. The one that are more natural and is actually working.

If you have any New Year’s resolutions that didn’t stick, try this approach for a change.

Just remember to build the habit first. The base.The fundament. And keep it small until you’re sure your steady.

Thanks for reading!

Do you have any career goals you want achieve next year? Put them in the comments.

Share this article with someone that might like it (or maybe even need it).

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5 reasons why it’s absolutely possible for you to get your dream job.

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I used to think that only extremely talented or exceptional people are able to get dream jobs. The reality is that it’s not quite true.

I remember looking at people who have great jobs and keep asking myself – “What’s special about this person?” “Is he really that smart?” “What’s his secret?”

The first answer that comes to mind For a most people is that they’re just talented or got lucky. Sure, when you look at someone well know in your industry it precisely feels like it.

The aura of fame is mesmerizing. It seems that there’s a huge distance between you and this exceptional person. It’s seem that this person is special for some reason and you’re not.

But when you start looking really closely at those who have great jobs, you will discover that a vast majority of them are normal, hard working people. No different that you and me.

The only difference between them and other people is that they approach things differently. Their attitudes and behaviours are worth looking into if you want to figure out how to get your dream job. Here are five fundamental ones that I found most valuable:

1.You’re smarter than you think you are.

Most people are harder on themselves than on others. They are timid and they don’t believe in their own ability. They practice self-criticism to the point that it becomes an art.

If you’re constantly down on yourself it’s difficult to even start thinking about new possibilities. Let alone come up with a plan to get there.

It’s amazing how much people are doing it. And how much more powerful and confident they become when they stop doing it.

It’s interesting to watch this happening in front of your eyes. I once was talking with a guy at a conference. He was pretty shy and even awkward at first.

When we started to talk about our jobs, he became more alive. He started telling me that he likes what he was doing, but he really wants to do more challenging work. He wanted to work where tech industry is much bigger than where he currently lived. I could tell that he didn’t really believe that it’s possible for him. He was almost apologetic about the whole subject.

But I was pretty sure that he will made it. He just didn’t see his own potential. I started to tell him a little bit about how I managed to do a similar career transition. His eyes light up. It was subtle shift. He became more alive for a minute. At the time I had no idea that this was something significant for him. We just had a nice chat.

We met at the same conference next year. He was totally different. I was blown away. The way he talked and they way he behaved was a lot different than a year before. He was much more sure about himself. More confident and upfront.

He was eager to tell me that he now was working for a startup and he was excited about living in a big city. I was so happy for him when I realized how much changed for him within a year.

No, it was not my magical power that did that. He was making all those changes and shifts by himself. He was probably thinking about all of this for a long time. For some reason after our first chat he started to see more clearly what was possible for him.

He had all the resources he needed to make a choice, but they were dormant. He didn’t have access to them. It all started to change for him when he stopped to find all the reason why it was not possible for him. My experience helped because it looked like something he could and he did.

You’re smarter than you think if you’re thinking is too limited. It’s always true.

2.Your perfect career is calling you and won’t go away.

Personal choice is a powerful force.

We deeply care about our personal everyday choices. We think that we can’t live without a lot of them. They make our lives better in some way. They way we look.  Our hobbies. Things we eat. Or at least we think that they do.

If someone doesn’t respect those choices we get upset or even angry. I remember watching someone at a coffee shop ordering her favourite beverage. The day was pretty busy. Orders got mixed up and she got something she didn’t order. She was furious. It was almost like someone disrespected her. It was so strong.

Those preferences are so strong because we created them for a long time. Over the years we made thousands of small decisions that define what we like and who we are.

But when it comes to choosing a career we’re a lot more conservative. We don’t define them as freely as those smaller things. We use more outside rules to restrict ourselves.

But as with every personal preference, no matter if it’s clothes or food, if we choose something that we don’t want we sooner or later will resist it.

Are you good at something you don’t want to do? Sure, you can be trained to do that. You also can be paid to do that. Maybe even a lot. But are you really at your best when you’re doing that? And if you don’t want to do that how is it influencing the rest of your life?

If you think that you can be professional and “detach” yourself from your unhappy work and defy your natural freedom how does it working for you so far?

If you’re really honest with yourself you will discover what career path is the best for you. And when you start moving towards it you will become more energetic and alive.

Personal choice is so powerful because humans have a very strong need for freedom. It’s interesting to see that people who are passionate and good at what they do, have a very personal relationship with their work. It’s an important part of their lives, not something they only need to do pay the bills. And they usually don’t have to worry about that anyway.

  1. It’s not a rocket science and a lot of people like you did that before you.

At first when you look at your dream job it seems impossible to get. You don’t see yourself there because your mind doesn’t want you to go there. It’s not yet a reality that you can relate to.

There’s reason for that. Most of us were punished as kids for “making stuff up”.So we learned that it’s not allowed. Even if this “stuff” is possible and even pragmatic.

And if you start thinking more about it you will come up about with all those reasons why it won’t work for you. After all you never did anything like that. It looks complex. It looks like a lot of work.

It’s natural because we fear what we don’t know. And when fear comes into the picture  our thinking becomes limited.

I remember that the major breakthrough for me was just looking at someone that achieved pretty much what I wanted to do and tell myself that I’m not that different, if he can do it I can certainly learn how to do it. It was so liberating. It was like a breath of fresh air.

Then when I started to think about my dream job I started to figure out how it would be possible for me. I left all this mental baggage for a while. I just focused on how can I make it happen.

It wasn’t that I had the master plan straight away. It was very general at first,but still I started to take getting my dream job very seriously.

  1. There is a path that will bring you there and you can discover it.

It’s easy to look at someone enjoying a great job and get the impression that it was some lucky break or one big breakthrough that made it possible. The truth is that before this one breakthrough there were a lot of smaller ones. A lot of them were small subtle shifts.

Sometimes it’s difficult for us to see all the steps that produced results. But there’re there. Always. And if you don’t know all the ingredients the result looks like pure magic.

You can discover what worked for other people and follow their footsteps. There’s a series of steps to take to get you to your dream job.

I certainly followed proven path when I was trying to land my first dream job. I followed the steps that I knew will work. I followed them religiously. And lo and behold it worked.

Ok, it wasn’t a very smooth ride. But it wasn’t the paths fault.

In reality you discover your own path along the way. You will tweak it. You will mold it. You will make it your own.

But it’s always useful to start somewhere. And know how to move forward.

  1. You have ability to overcome obstacles.

If your dream job is challenging chances are you will hit some roadblocks. And we sometimes don’t realize that there’s nothing wrong with that.

Some people are so afraid of failure that they don’t even try to move in the right direction.They don’t realize that it’s just a learning process. It’s just like solving any other problem.

It’s because we treat anything related to rejection as very personal. It’s all on us.

But the truth is that it is all in our heads. Is there any real danger in job rejection or any kind of career “rejection”? Well, not really. You might think it is, but that’s again all in our heads.

You’re more resilient that you think. After you “fail” you can easily raise again. It’s easy If you think you can.

I think that a lot of us wants to be perfect. We want to make all just right. Especially when

it’s career. But that’s a trap.
Because if you’re paralyzed by the idea of failure you won’t have full power to succeed.

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How does your job seeking habits work for you?

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Habits are powerful. If you do something one way for a long time it becomes almost automatic. You don’t need to even think about it.

We all have a lot of habits that serve us. It’s nice that you don’t have to put too much effort into brushing your teeth every day. This habit helps you keep them clean without even thinking about it.

Habits form over time and we learn them from our environment. It’s just the way you learned to do things. It is your obvious way of approaching something.

A few years ago I read a story about a peculiar family tradition. And since it’s about a turkey and today is Thanksgiving (for all of you living in US),so it’s a perfect match.

At the Thanksgiving dinner, a husband asks his wife why she always cut off the end of a turkey. She wasn’t really sure about that. She was doing that for years and she learned that from her mother.

She decided to call her and ask the same question. Her mother didn’t know either. She was always preparing a turkey this way. They decided to call grandma.

“Grandma why are you always cutting off the end of a turkey?”

“Well, because my drip pan was always too small”

Most habits are created this way. We’re learning them by watching someone we consider an authority. When we’re young it’s usually a parent, later on it can be anyone that we look up to.

It’s all well and good if our habits help us live better lives. But because they work in a background we don’t usually verify if they’re helpful or not. They simply feel normal and it’s all we know.

There’s this one habit that a lot of people have that makes finding a better job very hard. Maybe they learned it from their parents. Maybe everyone around is doing the same.

Complaining people are everywhere. Big or small city. Rich or poor country. It maybe justified by the personal circumstances or the economic climate. But most of the time it’s just a habit, no matter how good or bad the actual situation is.

Unfortunately it won’t help them find the solution. If your mind is full of complaints there’s no space for anything else. The solution might be in front of you, but you won’t see it.

If you find something to complain about in one place you usually start finding it everywhere. It’s a habit.

Notice that people who complain about lack of opportunities don’t even try to find one. And if they do and there are still in complaining mode they will just try to prove to themselves that they were right all along. Complaining simply doesn’t work.

As kids, most of us learned that if we complain loud enough about not having something we want, our parents will notice that and react. But things doesn’t work that way in the real life.

If you are complaining and are waiting for someone to give you a better job you’re up for a disappointment. You’re an adult now. It’s your responsibility to get yourself what you want. No one else’s.

The good news is that you can unlearn habits that works against you. It’s easier to observe it in others rather than in ourselves.

Look at people who have complaining habit and ask yourself how is it working for them? Would you want to work with someone like that? Would you hire someone like that?

You can change a habit by replacing it with another one. A much more productive habit to develop is the habit of appreciation.

If you think that appreciation won’t change anything look at yourself when you’re in complaining mode. You’re heavy. Your can’t really think straight. If you practice it for a while you will probably be tired. You don’t really feel like doing anything that will get you closer to what you want.

Appreciation is the opposite. You feel light. You probably are eager to do something about a new job. Your are clear minded. You are full of energy.

There is probably a reason why all around the world there are traditions similar to Thanksgiving. It’s to remind us that there is always plenty to be thank for.

Maybe our ancestors knew something that we tend to forget. They knew what gives them strength and what makes them weak. And it can be something as simple as choice between complaining and appreciation.
The choice is yours. I have been on both sides. I see people on both sides. For me the choice is obvious. But don’t take my word for it. Test it and see what works better for you.

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Is it too late for me to learn programming?

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Is it true that it takes a lot of time to learn coding? That if you didn’t learn it early in life it’s too late for you?

Recently I’ve come across a question on twitter about reasons why we think we can’t code? One answer got me thinking. Penny commented that “Because as a 30+ year old beginner I’m already 15+ years behind.”

If you think that’s true read on.

I will explain few assumptions in Penny’s comment that aren’t necessarily true. We will also discover what’s really important in learning programming and why age is not one of those things.

The first assumption is that you have to start learning coding really young. 

I can relate to that. I’ve started playing with code when I was nine.I had plenty of time to learn.I could experiment and make mistakes.

Having a lot of time is important,but it’s not enough. You have to know how to spend it. My horizons where broad but not too deep.

Then you are in constant learning mode. You absorb a lot of informations from a lot different sources and thinking about a lot of things. This openness certainly helps. Your thinking is flexible.

Those two conditions makes learning programming much easier,but I think they can be overrated…

It’s because later in life you develop two very powerful abilities. Both really helpful when learning new skills.

And that brings me to the second false assumption. It’s 15 years timeline that Penny has mentioned.

I think it’s possible to learn much quicker when you’re 30+ rather than when you’re 15+. And it’s not really about the age itself, it’s about what we learn later on in life.

While going through life we develop one very powerful ability.

It’s focus. I remember that I was pretty distracted when I was younger. I couldn’t focus on one thing. I’ve jumped from concept to concept.

Focus is essential in learning process. Good focus cuts learning time a lot.

Second is the ability to know what you want, the ability to set clear objectives. It’s a way to selectively choose to learn parts that you will use the most.

You learn that pretty quickly at a job. After spending some time in the trenches you know exactly what you need to know to survive.

So if you learning programming don’t think about it as this huge task that takes a decade to master. Just think about one small thing that you can create that can possible grow into something useful. Then focus on one piece at the time.

Mastery is the ability to learn incrementally. Occasional leaps are possible,but only if you master the process.

 

 

 

 

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