Finding your first mission can be difficult, especially if you're just starting out. But once you've reached that threshold of your first job, your confidence and credibility gradually improve. Here are some tips for IT juniors from Comet Mentor Abderrahmen Maiza.
Top 8 tips to find your first tech mission
Create a great profile
Consider creating your profile everywhere: freelance platforms, LinkedIn, Monster etc... Then choose your best professional picture, give as much information as possible about your background and your web projects. You will have more chances to be visible and to attract interest. To have the best professional photo: a little smile, a quality camera, a plain background and a nice professional outfit will do the trick!
- Set your ADR
Also do a little comparative research to set your Average Daily Rate (ADR): depending on the position or technologies, and your years of experience, you'll end up finding the right price range. But don't sell yourself short, because that really does a disservice to the whole community as well as yourself #dignity.
- Show your passion
You're not just a collection of professional experiences, so try to explain it to recruiters by showing a web project you worked on, a well-filled Github account, participation in an associative project, recent training... all elements that will also show your passion and least your motivation to learn.
- Develop your professional network
To increase your visibility, think big and don't limit yourself to working on your Linkedin profile. Indeed, real (physical) professional exchanges such as meetups, conferences and other events are just as helpful to meet future clients or intermediaries.
- Have confidence in yourself
What plagues many juniors is the tendency to devalue themselves and only see their weak points. A more effective attitude would be to look for your qualities (we all have them and that's what your client wants to invest in) rather than your faults, and to know how to highlight them in your projects and experiences. In short, the proverb "Know thyself" is really good! For example, I didn't put much stock in the fact that I'd worked for major clients, until recruiters pointed it out as an asset to their clients.
- Prepare for your interviews
Find out about your potential clients before you see them (website, key figures, news), learn about their objectives, learn about their difficulties, ask questions about their technical constraints. Simply show your curiosity and involvement in their project, get out a small notebook to take notes during your meetings and prepare at least three questions in advance. These details make the difference!
- Don't slack off during the assignment
Know how to listen carefully to your client, be punctual, be honest about your technical level, respond in tense situations with composure and restraint, and be humble when you've made a mistake (instead of blaming it on yourself). All these attitudes are so simple but can quickly lead to the end of a mission or deprive the freelancer of good recommendations... One of my missions lasted only four months when there was enough time to stay much longer... I suspect that my lack of composure during a phone call (where I was wrongly accused of having created graphic problems in a page) was at the origin of this! :D
- Stay agile throughout your career
Curiosity and anticipation are essential qualities in this ever-changing field. Technologies change quickly: if you don't keep up, you can quickly find yourself out of the loop and in trouble on the job market. Therefore, self-training is almost mandatory, whether in web development (back, front, fullstack), design (tools change often), network, cyber security, etc...
Finally, the difference between freelancers and employees often comes down to one thing: the fear of starting! But when you ask freelancers, few of them regret their decision... So, face this fear, prepare yourself by having support around you and if possible some cash flow on this side and launch yourself!
Also to help you, I have also developed a useful little tool: superlist.