How Candidates Can Keep Their Learning Curve Ahead Of Accelerating Technology

In the last 18 months, with a variety of tech companies facing a solid amount of turnover – as in people leaving after only a year or two – you’d imagine that many candidates don’t need to put a whole lot of work into the entire interviewing process. They’d just use the most recent version of their resume, add one line describing where they’ve been working and bingo! They’d get 15 offers, right?

Actually, that’s not what we’re observing.

On the contrary, the people these companies want in technology or trading – whether it be in Silicon Valley, on Wall Street or in Chicago – are being viewed as very similar and, in fact, less attractive. Why? Because far too many of these people cannot follow through the technical interview process that the market demands. They simply are not that well prepared to handle the questions and challenges given to them during this process.

Putting Yourself In Better Alignment To Move Forward

If we dig deeper as to why some candidates don’t get far enough into the technical interview process, we find that, in some situations, the individual doesn’t have enough of an appreciation in how far software technology has moved over the last five years and its various directions.

Fortunately, there is a way to overcome this and it starts by being a student of the latest technology, trends and processes.

For example, step outside of your own industry for a moment. In what industries, do you see several of the more exciting advancements occurring? Hypothetically speaking, if you were to transition into that industry, how much know-how might be required to seamlessly make that move? What companies appear to be at the forefront of these technological advancements? What do you know about their leadership? Have they been recently covered in a series of articles you can research to gain a sense of where their commitments for the long-term are? What positions do they appear to be hiring for on a consistent basis?

Similarly, what kind of tech leaders do you admire and what inspires you about the work they’re doing? How much of a distance lies between where you are today and what you can learn tomorrow in order to get closer to entering this type of environment? It may not be as far away as you think.

In fact, some candidates hold themselves back before they even begin this level of research for their career growth. Why? They make the mistake of saying, “Well, I’m working somewhere that is more into maintaining old technology, so it’s hard for me to know about new things from here.” While that’s a challenge, you can’t simply give up and let your workplace potentially limit your ability to absorb new understanding, such as the different thought processes on the proper architecture for systems that have come along.

After all, in addition to the merit of continuously evolving your skill set and knowledge, who is to say that a new leader takes charge at your company, causing a shift where he wants to jumpstart new projects in an area of technology that few have studied…except you? Suddenly, you may find yourself with quite the opportunity just by staying on top of new technologies.

Talman Advantage #10: Stronger Negotiating Power On Your Side

The terms of your employment aren’t to be taken lightly. With our 30+ years of industry expertise, Roy Talman & Associates has a keen eye for detail during negotiations. In fact, if the help of an attorney is required for this purpose, we can suggest one. Can any recruiter offer the same result?

Don’t wonder about the outcome. Stand with a recruiter who has the track record to negotiate firmly in your favor. Make the right call and talk to Talman first.

Here’s why it’s so important to keep your understanding moving forward, even if your company is all too comfortable running in place with current systems.

For one, technology is accelerating, which means it now takes fewer years to effectively be left behind if a candidate does not evolve their learning. The half-life of this knowledge used to be five years or so – in other words, after five years, a person could find themselves passed by if they did not enhance their technical knowledge. Now we’re seeing that window shrinking once again. Expect to have only two or three years to further your understanding of emerging technologies and trends.

To illustrate this point, I was particularly surprised by talking to a CTO of one of our clients recently, who said about a very capable technologist, “He was truly state-of-the-art as of five years ago. Ideally, we need somebody who is state-of-the-art as of five minutes from now.”

In other words, the greatest risk is being wonderfully content with what you know now versus taking the opportunity to make your skill set far more marketable. Don’t wait for your current employer to make that move for you.

As you do keep up with accelerating technology and gain an understanding of how best to integrate it into certain systems, you may position yourself well to help companies more easily migrate from an older system to a new one. Until now, perhaps some leaders have assumed that the process is going to be tedious and expensive. But what if you could show them that this transition isn’t quite as slow and painful as they might expect? Perhaps being presented with a real plan for taking a system from point A to point B represents the gentle push that some leaders have been waiting to see. And you might just be the person to deliver it.

If The Future Is Now, Where Can You Most Likely Find It?

We’ve obviously talked about why you shouldn’t rely exclusively on whether or not your company embraces new technology. However, some certain technology companies can be the exception, where you’ll see that change is baked right into their structure. Take a company like Amazon, for example, with their Amazon Web Services growing at such a rapid rate. They know that they need to continually add new functionality because customers are buying the service and older things naturally die off (look no further than Sears for a worst case scenario of a company that saw things die off without aiming to replace them). In this situation, you’re working for a team focused on the future of technology, enabling you to do your work and maintain your pole position in the marketplace.

Managers want somebody who will demonstrate that they are keeping up with the latest technology and staying on the cutting edge. Therefore, it’s going to require a process that helps bring candidates and hiring managers closer together to increase the likelihood that more candidates are fully equipped and ready to deliver what the “best of the best” companies demand.

As a reaction to the challenges candidates face in developing both technical and interviewing skills, we’ve created a process we call The Talman Way. Even before you’re definitely looking to make a change, meet with Roy Talman & Associates and you’ll discover what you need to bring your skills up to speed, whether that entails reading books on interviewing or practicing taking online tests on a particular skill. And that’s just the beginning. Considering it’s the next chapter of your career we’re talking about, why trust it to just anyone? Talk to Talman first.