How I made my first IT career jump?

I passed out from engineering in the year 2018, and after a few months, then I joined a course in IT around Oct 2018 which comprises 4 months of CRT (classroom training) started in December, and 4 months of OJT (on job training) in IT Infrastructure domain and finally turned into a full-time employee in July 2019 which took me a total of 10 months. Now I have actual experience of 2 years and 6 months on paper when writing this post.

Since I was a fresher, my CTC was exceptionally low when joining and the monthly salary which I was getting was enough to keep me running for that month and it was hard for me to save even a little bit amount as I shared in the post: 4 Financial mistakes I made in my life (check out later). In addition to that, the appraisal amount which I got first was also very minimal, which I received after a year and a half.

After 2 years and 6 months of IT experience, I decided to switch to a new organization with the same technical domain in which I was working already, and I am going to share that in this post in the thought it may be helpful to anyone out there. Before starting, I’m just sharing the things that worked for me, the same thing may or may not work for you.

Let’s get started.

Preparation

I prepared my resume clean and neat, without doing any fancy stuff, and made sure that the things mentioned in my resume are known to me. Only if I’ve got hands-on experience of that, or I should be good at those concepts at least. Why am I saying this? In one of my initial interviews, I was asked about a topic that I had never heard of before, I was thinking why they asked that. Later I was going through my resume, I mentioned a point about that in it. That’s why make sure you’re clear on the things in your resume.

After preparing, I posted it in Naukri and LinkedIn portal alone, though there are enough portals to apply I thought my mails would be spammy and I will not be able to have track of all. Make sure that your profile is 100% in compliance with those portals (certification is optional and it’s an added advantage but I don’t have any) and even I did the usual gimmicks 😎 like updating my profile on daily basis (helps the AI think that you’re active).

Then I started to apply for jobs in my role on both portals. Due to the high attrition rate in IT, the intake of employees was also higher. By the time I am writing this post, the attrition rate is more than before when I attended interviews, and it will be higher till the next two quarters – make us of it (you don’t believe I had attended more than 15+ interviews and got the offer from 7 companies). Because of this lack of talent situation in IT, I got more job roles like my work and applied to all of them irrespective of the company.

During the Interview Process

As a result of higher attrition, I got shortlisted for a few roles and they scheduled interviews. I was a bit nervous before attending any interviews because as an introvert and I don’t have any technical interview experience already since I joined as a fresher in my current organization. Now, Thanks to work from home culture to tackle that, all the interviews turned out to be online and I used this as an opportunity to attend multiple interviews, I even attended two interviews on the same day, and in a week I’ve attended five interviews in a row.

Frankly speaking at first, I thought of attending interviews to know how it was going to be, but I got selected for my first interview itself and got the offer (I was unable to join there due to several reasons), my first offer letter broke many hurdles on my mind and helped me to have a clear view on how the upcoming interviews are going to be. After attending more additional interviews, I got to know what they were expecting, for example, more than my communication they’re expecting a technically skilled person (my communication was a major fear for me at the beginning).

The very first question will be always “Talk about yourself? “For that have a proper self-intro covering all your experience (finally add your day-to-day activities involved in your current project). When coming to the technical rounds, if you don’t know the question for sure leave it and say I don’t know instead don’t blabber and make a mess. But don’t use this for all questions – one or two questions are fine.

If they’re asking a question about have you worked on a specific tool/app? – Even if you don’t have experience but you’ve seen your seniors work or have a piece of decent book knowledge on that. In this kind of situation improvise as you worked on the tool (only if you’re sure of that topic).

Once the interview is over, they’ll ask if you have any questions to ask them at that time, ask some basic questions like more about your role, shift timings, and whatever doubts you want to ask, ask them don’t be blank.

After the Interview

After the interview, immediately note down all the questions asked and find answers for them later. Sometimes, I used to record audio of my interview on the phone and use it in case if I forgot the questions.

At the end of the interview, the recruiter will be signing off with the message HR will connect you. Be patient, don’t try to call them even if you do, they won’t pick up 😂 (unless there is a need from you). If you didn’t get the call after a week or two, for your happiness call him/her once and leave a mail asking about the status of your interview, that’s it doesn’t expect more.

Once you get selected, you’ll get a call from HR, and here comes the salary discussion part. It doesn’t matter how much you’re good at bargaining, but you can’t win them. But I would say to ask the highest CTC which you’ve fixed in your mind and don’t be worried on they won’t give you the offer (because it’s a tiresome process for HRs to start over again with a new guy). Whatever you fixed as your salary, on the other end your HR has fixed a bar on you already and he/she’ll try to make a deal below that bar, or if you’re lucky you’ll get to the bar.

If they’ve quoted a low CTC, you can re-iterate the qualities, skills, and certification you’ve got and try to match your expected CTC. Once your CTC is finalized, make sure how much goes for your fixed pay and how much for the variable pay? And don’t forget to ask for a joining bonus if there is any, especially if you’re able to join before the notice period mentioned (why you must leave when something comes free).

Things will help you to crack an Interview

  • Look at your Job description before attending an interview you’ll get an idea of it and prepare accordingly.
  • Don’t forget to check your mail and job portals daily, there is a good chance of missing an interview.
  • Keep your expectations low after an interview even if you’ve done well. You may think that you got selected but it won’t happen the way you think all the time, we can control only a few variables. Don’t take it to your head, keep your focus on the next one. Just attend interviews and forget.
  • Don’t settle after getting one offer letter, I saw many of my friends settling after one offer. Though it’s not professionally a good thing to do. Your financial status is more important than that so do not settle after your first offer, especially during this high attrition wind.
  • Even if you’re not satisfied with the offer provided don’t reject it if that’s your first offer letter. Get that offer and post paper in your organization, reduce the notice period and get more interviews to find a better one. (Mostly you won’t get interviews if you have a notice of 3 months)
  • After getting an offer if you are posting your reliving paper in your company, reduce your notice period in job portals parallelly from 3 months, 2 months, 1 month, 15 days and immediate joining as recruiters give high preference to folks who have less notice period.
  • Create new job alerts in google search for your role which you’ll receive mail every day. (Personally, this helped me a lot).
  • Apply for a minimum of four jobs a day until the last day of your notice. You never knew what may happen tomorrow, hope the coming example will help this sentence – the offer which I accepted now was applied two days before my last working day.
  • After attending dozens of interviews, you will get to know a template of questions that will be asked commonly in every interview based on your technical domain. Keep that in handy always.

In case you’re not able to clear the interview don’t feel low for that. If you feel so, look at the image below.

The one which is there for you will eventually come to you, you’ve got to do one thing – keep trying!

Thanks. Good luck.

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PERANESH S M

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