Life After LEARN, What’s Next?

Ok, so you did it!

You dedicated four (intense) months of your life to learning the art and science of web development. But then the question lingers…. What’s next?

I hear this repeatedly from alumni: The first Monday morning when you DON’T have to set your alarm, rush to the train station, and arrive at LEARN academy by 9 am for a full day of learning is quite confusing. How will you spend your day? Should you apply for jobs or work on projects? How many positions should you apply to? What’s the best way to go about your search? The answer: It all comes down to establishing a structured schedule for your day.

While you may enjoy the idea of lazily rolling out of bed at noon to casually begin applying for any jobs you come across online, I promise you – this will not set you up for success… and I want to see you succeed! Think of the post-LEARN life as your next job role. You must incorporate blocks of time to apply for new jobs, follow up on previous applications, study languages, work on projects, and network. Here is an example of daily schedule I recommend:

9am – 10am: Study Web Development. Reading, reviewing & honing your skills. This can mean teaching yourself a new language or reviewing one you learned in bootcamp.

10am – 12pm: Project Work. Interviewers will inevitably want to hear about what you are working on & how you are applying your skills. This can be via tutorials, challenges or personal projects you’ve designed.

12pm – 1pm: Lunch

1pm – 3pm: New Applications. First review job boards for openings, then locate the job posting on the actual company site (when possible), tailor your resume and cover letter, and finally: Apply. Keep a weekly spreadsheet that logs what jobs you have applied to and when. BONUS: Save the Job Descriptions. They often will be removed from a site before you get the call to come interview for a position.

3pm – 5pm: Networking & Follow up. Use LinkedIn to your benefit. Review your spreadsheet of jobs that you applied to one week ago and did not hear back from. Use LinkedIn to identify a company contact and follow up on your application. Another awesome way to use LinkedIn: Build your network by finding new local connections and invite them to coffee. Consider this coffee chat an informational interview and come prepared with plenty of questions to ask the contact about their career path & company.

I promise you that if you follow these steps daily, it’s only a matter of time before you have your own business cards that say Web Developer, below your name. So, instead of spending your day binging the new Stranger Things season on Netflix, design your own structured schedule to launch your job search. Your schedule does not need to fit the exact mold highlighted above, but design a method that will work for you, yet challenge you.

I’ll be here to celebrate with you when all of your hard job searching work pays off and you are rightly promoted from “job search extraordinaire” to “web developer”!

Questions or thoughts? Let me know!