Whether you’re a new programmer fresh out of school or you’re a seasoned professional and looking for inspiration — here’s a handful of ways that programmers are leveraging their skill set to bolster their career in a competitive job market.
1. Focus on a single feature and grow from there
There’s a lot of poorly constructed software out there, why not take an existing idea and improve upon it?
Software being used by businesses around the globe can typically do countless tasks under a single dashboard. These all-in-one solutions also come with a hefty price tag, and many features go unused.
In many cases, there’s a handful of features in business software that would suit the consumer market without all the bloat and cost of their enterprise cousins.
If you’re looking for some inspiration, get a trial of different software tools and identify its top 1 – 3 features –then find the best UI framework for each client and port them over to a simple consumer-facing dashboard that’s all your own.
SumoMe, ConvertKit, ClickFunnels, and Ninja Outreach are great examples of new products that started out with only a small handful of key features and later grew to million+ dollar valuations in a short amount of time.
Just because an application exists, it doesn’t mean it can’t be refocused into something better. The secret of all their successes comes not from reinventing something, but merely improving on its front-end user experience.
2. Repackage and share your skills
Start small –hop on a Q and A podcast and answer questions that relate to your skills. Start a blog and discuss things you’ve learned. And down the line, consider public speaking or advising a startup.
There are ways to get paid for your skills that don’t involve trading time for money or having to do the parts of the job you simply hate doing. Cherry-pick what you love about your job, and focus on sharing those skills.
It’s not very difficult to record a screen and put together a course that you can sell access to.
What’s in your head could provide insanely powerful value to someone who finds it easy to listen to and learn from you.
And the best part? Info products like online courses can sell while you’re sleeping. After setting up a passive income, you can circle back and revisit all those side hustle projects you wish you had time to jump into.
Some great examples of online courses made by technical people include ClickMinded, Ivan on Tech, and WPCrafter.
3. Stretch your income
Leveraging your skills doesn’t always mean taking an in-office job, or working from home. Living anywhere can be expensive when you’re earning the same currency that you’re spending day-to-day.
Why not earn USD and then spend pesos? How much is an apartment in Mérida, Mexico, or Koh Samui, Thailand? And how does it compare to the cost of the apartment you’re living in today?
If you’re able to work remotely, it’s easy to stretch Western money in the tropics. This lifestyle is often referred to as ‘digital nomadism,’ and it’s a great way to leverage your skills while working less and saving more.
Living abroad is cheaper, not more expensive. Meaning that you can free up your work schedule somewhat and take on the first suggestion of this list with beach time to spare.
It’s easy to find remote work on sites like Flexjobs, RemoteOK, or Upwork. To learn more about this lifestyle, check out Hobo with a Laptop, Nomadic Matt, Expert Vagabond, Nomad Capitalist, and others.
These days, even with all the competition in the job market — programmers can have it made in the shade. Many want to find their own way to break out of the status quo butt-in-chair jobs, and that’s what this post is all about.