A software developer’s journey to success – part two
Posted On July 7, 2018
Welcome back to the second part of this journey. If you haven’t checked the first part, you can do it here. We will start with the topic of communication, what are common issues or surprises that you might have. We will end when reaching the subject of physical and mental energy, an area that if neglected can have negative consequences in the long term. So grab a cup of coffee and let’s begin.
For more than eight years, I have been working in an international environment with persons from all over the world. I discovered that communication or lack of it, is the main source of issues. There are many reasons why communication fails, from misunderstanding to different expectations before even talking. I soon realized that different cultures or personalities have specific communication preference. For example, some people, prefer making small talk before going to the main point, others feel that small talk is a waste of their time and are even demanding to point quickly what you truly want. Some people prefer face to face conversation others would like to use email or other digital channels like slack or another digital form.
The most critical element in communication is the perceived message.
One thing that helps me the most is to bring up the topic of expectation on communication as early as possible in the relationship with other person. When both parties know what each other prefers the chances that issues arise are quite low.
I find effective if you are asking the other party to paraphrase it or write it down in an email. This method will be able to reduce a lot of misunderstandings or make it easy to spot any differences.
Before going into the topic, let’s find why this aspect should matter for everyone.
Imagine that you are a company and you provide services or products to clients. How successful do you think that company would be if no one knows it?
Having the best products, skills, or ideas will not help you if people do not know about them. To have people buying your products or invest in your ideas they first have to know you.
The same also applies to individuals. If you want to “sell” your skills, ideas or knowledge, you must stand out!
Take advantage of every opportunity to increase your visibility. Start by presenting the team results in the review meeting. Hold presentations and talks to your team and your company. Go to meetups, present to a broader audience, set up your blog.
When twitter, facebook or other social platforms appeared I underestimated how useful these tools could be. They are easily misused or used for trivial things. However, when used correctly you can create a complete brand around you or become an international influencer in a domain or specialty.
Marketing plays a crucial role, and personal branding can open new doors and opportunities that otherwise would be very hard to benefit from. Do not underestimate it!
I find this subject undervalued in our educational system. We are taught to get good grades, don’t make mistakes, learn a specialty and get a well-paying job. I would like that we provide our children with more than one way to become successful, whatever success means in their eyes.
Robert Kiyosaki in his book “Rich Dad Poor Dad” presents his idea that our system creates what he calls the “Rat Race,” a vicious cycle between desire and fear.
For example, once you have the job and start accumulating savings, desires kick in, and you will start wanting a new phone, a new car or a new house. As expenses rise, the fear that you will not be able to afford or provide for your family pushes you to work more, get a raise and have a higher income. Once you reached a comfort level again, you are back to the beginning, and you will start to want more.
It is vital as early in your career or life to take control of your desires and fears and educate yourself. For example, find out the difference between an asset or a liability. Robert Kiyosaki has a simple definition:
Anything that puts money in your pocket is an asset, anything that takes money from your pocket is a liability.
He also shares the importance of building more and more assets, while keeping in check liabilities. Ask yourself a lot of questions and challenge the conventional view on these elements. e.g., is owning a house an asset or a liability, is your blog an asset or a liability, is your car an asset or liability, etc.
The typical mentality for increasing your income is to bring more value to your company, ask for a raise or go to another company that pays better. I don’t say that this approach is bad. However, the possibility to scale this type of income is quite limited. Passive income is a great tool that can contribute to your financial success. Passive income is also working when you are on holiday or doing something completely different (e.g., selling an e-book, blog advertisement, dividends, etc.) For more information on what is passive income and how to grow it go to smart passive income and meet Pat Fly one of the best experts in this field.
My advice is to learn as much as possible about this topic. Create a financial plan for yourself that involves multiple channels of incomes. Put the focus on growing your passive income, and you will gain the freedom that everyone needs.
Physical and Mental Energy
At the beginning of my career, I would never imagine that someday I will write a section about this theme. However, getting older and discovering how valuable time is, I see that it would be a big mistake to skip this area.
So let’s try to make things more concrete. How do you usually feel when you wake up in the morning or at the end of the day? Have you observed how your behavior changes when you are focused or when you are are doing one million things at once or when you are happy or upset?
I think that for keeping a sustainable working pase and preventing the burnout effect, you have to keep these energy levels in check.
Physical energy is quite easy to understand and observe when you are fresh or when you are tired. Mental energy is harder since it involves a reasonable level of self-reflection and knowing when you are emotionally charged or clear headed.
Being able to observe these two elements, will give you the opportunity to schedule your activities and tasks to generate the most output. For example, when I know that I have to concentrate to write an article or analyze some business data, I will schedule a time slot in the morning. For me, that represents the time of the day that I am clear headed and fresh, but there are others who have this state in the evening or the middle of the night. Activities like calling different parties or having meetings I usually do after lunch.
If you are angry or upset, and you go to a meeting or have a conversation with another person, make sure that you keep out these feelings. Be respectful and professional all the time.
We started this journey discussing that it is ok to make mistakes and most important to learn from them. After that, the discipline and a good work-life balance will give you the endurance to have consistent results. Being aware of common issues in communication and how personal branding works can separate you from the crowd and open new doors. We also looked at how critical is to develop financial education as early as possible in your career. We ended by pointing out that we have to take care of our body and mind, so we are in control of the results that provide at any moment of the day.
I hoped you liked the journey and that it made you aware of the elements that can make not only your career but your whole life a success.