I remember the first time I had ice-cream, it was refreshing and I was always super excited every time I sighted it. But as I grew older, the excitement started dropping. Was I still enjoying ice-cream? YES! I was just bored of it. Eventually, ice-cream companies began to produce a variety of flavors and mixing it with different toppings and the excitement bounced right back.
Each one of us is like this when we discover a new career path. We are super excited as we learn the basics, just enough to land us our first job. But as days go by, the excitement starts dropping because we are not exploring the entirety of our found love. Because of how competitive the labor market is present, many of us are focusing on delivering 150% to our current jobs/clients and totally neglecting developing ourselves further or positioning ourselves for a future opportunity. “There are very few good jobs right now” has been an incessant chorus this year but the question is do you have the skills to compete actively for the great roles out there?
Software Testing is also like one of these newly found career paths. Software testing could be time demanding but as a software tester, one of the most important soft skills to have is time management and organizational skill. This skill comes into play even in your personal endeavors. It is important for you to grow and still deliver quality results at work if not; you would experience stagnation in your career. Stagnation in a career could be when you don’t have the necessary testing skills that will enable you to make that career jump or when your performance review at work is acceptable but not outstanding. Here are some valuable ways to grow your career in software testing:
- GET A MENTOR: You need to clearly write down your career goals and ambitions, then ask yourself a question like “where do I see myself in the next five years?”, “How far away am I from my career goal and ambition?”. Once you have these questions answered, identify an experienced software quality assurance engineer that can be of help to you in attaining your career goal and establish a connection with them. Remember that your active network is your net worth.
- BE INFORMED: You need to be energetic about your passion and hungry for more knowledge. You won’t find out about the new automation tool that has just been developed by sitting in company ABC from 9-5 writing test scripts daily. You need to put in the effort to finding content on software testing, subscribing to different blogs, podcasts, YouTube channels, attending various conferences and webinars.
- UPGRADE YOUR SKILLS: To become a competitive applicant, you need to possess the skills that employers are looking for. Always go through job posts and review the skills needed for your next career jump and upgrade your skills to match them. Have it at the back of your mind that opportunity can come anytime and it is your duty to always be ready.
- INVEST IN YOUR GROWTH: The most valuable form of investment you can ever make is in yourself. Financial or otherwise, a commitment to developing yourself will always be rewarding in the long run. Nothing is too much to give up for your career fulfillment.
- PRATICALIZE YOUR SKILLS: Employers are more interested in what you can do with your courses and certification other than in the courses themselves. In an actual work environment, you will mostly have to execute what you know and not write. Practice they say makes perfect.
- SHARE KNOWLEDGE: Louis L’Amour said, “Knowledge is like money; to be of value it must circulate, and in circulating it can increase in quantity and hopefully in value”. Sharing your knowledge makes it very valuable; you could be sharing your knowledge by writing an article, creating tutorial videos, or even teaching a friend.
In conclusion, making efforts to grow in software testing doesn’t mean not putting your best work where ever you are present; it means being hungry for more while delivering quality products. I strongly believe that by the time you implement these things you would be an outstanding Software Tester and a force to be reckoned with!