Good evening everyone, my name is Luna. I’m really glad to have this opportunity tonight to come to the 2021 Alumni Night and give a speech about my journey after graduation.
I graduated from Monash IT Faculty with a Master of IT degree in 2019.
And today I’m going to talk about my first two years’ journey in the IT industry after graduation, I’m also going to share some tips and lessons that I have learnt in the last two years.
So in July 2019, I graduated from Monash and got a job as a Junior Software Engineer, the company is a startup company called resonate solutions with around 30 employees. We are an IT service company doing customer experience for businesses who want to understand their customers better and get insights from the collected survey response data.
Currently, in 2021, after two years working in the same company, I’m a mid-level software engineer, I am the 2020 Resonate yearly award winner for two of the four prizes, one is related to our company core value - power up the circle and the other is called be a wizard.
Another thing that I enjoy is to write technical blogs and share the knowledge with others, I have initiated and continuously drive our tech team’s wiki repo.
Apart from being a mid-level developer, I’m also a tech team lead, I have started my management journey about 1 year ago, participating in different positions’ hiring and recruitment process, currently I manage several interns and some of them are hired by me.
This is a screenshot from our company website about female leadership and I’m really happy to be one of the female leaders.
Now you might be wondering, how did I achieve these things in the last two years? Are there any tips I can share with you guys to help you accelerate your career after graduation?
I am constantly looking back and retro my journey, and today I’m going to share the lessons and tips I have learnt from my 2-year industry experience.
Looking back I feel there’re 3 milestones in my career, the first milestone is to survive the probation.
The probation period is usually 6 months and believe it or not, it’s not that easy to pass the probation, especially when you are working in a startup company where everything is happening very fast.
The most important lesson I’ve learnt in the probation period is to always give your best. No matter how confused you are, how many things you don’t know, you always need to carry on and figure out your way through.
Another thing to note is that you should ask questions in this period no matter how silly the question is, because the onboarding period is a precious time to clarify simple things, if you don’t ask any questions, people will assume you know everything and the worst thing is that you are just pretending to know it but you actually don’t.
While you are working on your own task, you should also spend time observing the others, try to understand what your peers or your manager are doing, try to engage in company activities and fit in the team as much as you can.
You will find there is a lack of skills and knowledge in this period and it’s completely normal, my advice is that you need to spend your own time and keep learning, try to keep up with the team and improve your work-related skills, this can set you to a good position to your career success.
As a manager, the most important thing when someone new joins the team is to figure out whether they are capable of doing their work, whether they can fit in the team and work with others effectively.
Once you have survived the probation, the second milestone is about winning other people’s trust. What this means is that you should be able to get your job done with speed and quality, which are key metrics about your performance.
You are expected to make mistakes while doing your task, and it’s completely normal. The main thing here is to learn from your mistakes, it’s okay to fall down as long as you can stand up and become stronger. Apart from your own mistakes, you can also learn from other people’s mistakes, if you can manage to do this you will grow faster.
The second milestone is about focusing on your own performance and improve your productivity. The third milestone is to become a domain expert, meaning you should be able to identify the team pain points, the common mistakes people make, and the bottleneck that affects everyone’s results.
For example, I have noticed that a lot of times people are struggling with DateTime-related issues, especially when our company is dealing with more global clients. And there’s no one in the team who can answer date-related questions easily and confidently. So I decided to tackle this problem by learning DateTime-related knowledge in my own time for about two months, I shared the knowledge with the team and now whenever people are unsure about DateTime, they will come to me because I am the “date expert”.
Becoming a domain expert is really bringing value to the team and making others’ life easier. The focus in this period is about powering up the team.
To recap, there’re 3 stages in the first two years of my career, the first stage is to fit in, the second stage is to focus on your own performance and build trust, the third stage is to become a domain expert and share your expertise with the team.
Hopefully you will find it useful when you join the workforce and start your early career.