5 Motivating factors to do well in your programming career

#1: Nitty-gritty reasons like insult, failure, professional embarrassment, and lack of respect. For example,  not getting the job you badly wanted,  being unemployed for a while, leaving a job in unpleasant circumstance, etc. There is no better way to get even with those caused this to you than proving yourself with a success. There is an old saying -- "Massive success is the sweetest revenge".

One can learn more from his/her failures than successes.  If you are not failing, you are not pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. I have failed in many ways like being unemployed for 1.5 years even with a masters degree and left my first IT job within first 5 months due to personality clash with my team lead. These major failures along with other smaller insults and embarrassments have motivated me to do well in my career.  So, don't be afraid of failure, and use them to motivate yourself.

If I didn't get pushed to quit my first IT job, I may not have got out of my comfort zone to become a freelancer. I may not have motivated myself to fast-track my career. So, don't be afraid of failing. Use it to motivate yourself.

#2: Recognition is the validation of your worthiness. If you want to get recognized, you need to proactively get things done like adding value to the organization you work in, getting a good handle in the 16 technical key areas to solve challenging problems both proactively and retroactively,  and use your soft skills to bring out the maximum from other people to accomplish things for your organization. For example,
  • Initiate a quick win project to fix an issue or  enhance a process.
  • Become a facilitator to drive changes.
  • Identify potential issues, and take initiatives to fix them.

Sometimes you don't get the recognition you deserve for various reasons. At times, people working for large organizations move to smaller organizations to get recognized as architects from being senior developers or as CIOs (Chief Information Officer) from being a development or delivery managers. When you leave with a good rapport, you can always move back to a larger corporation in the future with a different title, job role, and responsibilities. You need to embrace change to make things happen.

Sharing your knowledge and experience via creative and unique blogging and self-published books can give you recognition in the form of positive comments, job openings, more subscriptions, speaking opportunities, and invites for new collaborative ventures.

Certification is a recognition of your academic accomplishments. It is a personal recognition, and prospective employers recognize hands-on experience/accomplishments more than the academic accomplishments.

#3: Joy of winning. Some people are addicted to winning. This is what drive sports people. In IT world it means accomplishing your objectives. For example, designing and building an application that meets both functional and nonfunctional requirements within the stipulated time frame. Proactively identifying a security loophole or a an obscure thread-safety issue, and then seeking the approval from the management to fix them. You need to have management visibility when you fix things to get the recognition you deserve and to get the feeling of winning due to your  "know hows" and contributions.

When you have an application that is falling over every second day, fixing it will be the top priority of your middle and senior management. You can seize this opportunity to show off your analytical skills, problem solving skills, passion for the work you do, and the technical skills in the so called "16 key areas" by identifying the root cause of the issue and fixing it. Especially, before your other team mates identify and fix the issue to feel the joy of winning, in a professional manner.

Your scoreboard is all about
  • improving the application performance by 30%, reducing the response times by 60%, etc.
  • being in a position to attend many interviews and choose from multiple job offers.
  • increasing your book sales and number of blog followers.
  • improving the Google page ranking of your website or blog due to your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) efforts.

#4: Money for yourself and your family. People often change jobs and careers to earn more. Money is certainly a motivating factor to do well in your career. Some fear changes, and feel stagnated in their careers without any proper pay rises other than smaller rises to keep it in line with the inflation.

#5: Helping others to share your knowledge, experience, and wealth. In addition to focusing on gaining achievements and success for yourself, it’s better to focus on future generations, and what you can do for the future of the world.

This post was motivated by the following book by Mr. Jim Rohn.

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