I’ve spoken previously on how to land your first job in the industry. All the advice still stands. The comments over there are great to look at too.

This time, I’m talking about the expectations you need when going to find that job.

Finding an entry level job can be extremely difficult to begin with, but with many articles in the mainstream media of 4-day work weeks, unlimited vacation, remote working, free meals and many more perks associated with a Silicon Valley-style startup, it can give people the wrong expectations when starting out in the tech industry.

All medium to large size employers are looking for experienced people. They’re very rarely looking for fresh blood. They have the time and the resources to hire people with the relative experience that they need. Unless you can demonstrate that you can do everything that they require for that position, it’s going to be tough to get in there. I’m not saying it’s impossible but you’ll need to do lot’s of really hard work. Perseverance is needed.

Entry level positions, with limited experience, may not be where you’re expecting them to be. They’re not in the companies with the aforementioned generous perks.

You may have to get a job doing something you’re technically capable of doing, but not very excited about. Maybe, it’s a company that builds static websites with Bootstrap for trucking companies with no JavaScript or server-side code. It’s just HTML and CSS. It may be in a small office you have a 2-hour commute for every day because they don’t have a remote work policy. The pay may not be as much as you’re expecting because they are a small shop that works with relatively small clients who can’t afford the Bourgeois development or marketing services other larger companies offer.

It’s not the end of the world. Take the position, get to know them and their clients, and they’ll get to know you. You may be able to add JavaScript to projects anyway. Are they really going to do a code-review? Probably not. You can show them how hard you work and gain their trust. Six months on the job may be long enough for you to have made a good impression, demonstrating your capabilities and dedication. Asking your employer to work from home one day a week may be acceptable. They’ll see what skill set you bring to the table and how you increase their bottom line. A pay rise could be in order. Or none of that may happen, you just don’t know until you try.

You’re not expected to work there all your life, a year under your belt is enough experience for other employers. It’s perfectly acceptable to move on after a year. I was in my first full-time development job for a year before I left, and my second job paid about 30% more. After that, 25% more. It’s surprising how it scales. Within 4 years of full-time employment in the industry, I was earning over double my starting salary. Within 10 years, I’m in another country, with many of the perks mentioned above and more and a salary many times over my initial salary, doing the job that I love.

What’s your experience trying to get into the industry? Let us know in the comments below, or if you’re in need of brushing up on skills for your first or next job in tech, start your free trial today!