Aim High

I wonder why so many IT people aim so low when looking for jobs. This is especially true when trying to land their first role.

Here is a novel idea – aim high. Here is why.

If you start at the bottom you have a hard slog to try to reach even half interesting or technical roles. If you aimed a bit higher you would receive:

  • More money
  • More variety
  • Bigger challenges
  • More learning

I know that the rationale is to start at the bottom and work your way up. I made that mistake and it was terrible. I was not only bored but broke.

If you have passed a few exams then you have proved to the vendor that you can do the role. If you accept something menial then you lose twice. You don’t use your skills and you become deskilled.

Aim a bit higher before you start setting your sights low.

Paul Browning

15 Responses to “Aim High”

  1. Interesting.

    Let me take what you said, and read into it a bit more.

    Are you doing what you are doing because you

    Lack the confidence?
    Lack the faith?
    Lack the balls?

    If it is confidence, you, in the style of Susan Jeffers, have to “Feel the Fear, and do it Anyway”

    If it is faith, you have to ask yourself why you doubt your abilities? Someone out there has give you a few braincells to rub together, and the only person questioning it is yourself. Take a leap, you will be suprised what you can achieve if you put your mind to it.

    If it is balls, then BALLS to you. Life is about taking chances, grabbing opportunities and living like there is no tomorrow. Procrastinating on situations not only paralyses you with indecision, but you end up in neutral … or worse, in reverse. Life won’t change till you do something about it … so grow some!

    As the saying goes.

    Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss it you will land among the stars

    Chris P

  2. Well said Chris

  3. This is brilliant Chris, ever thought of being a Counsellor?! Seriously though, I think you’ve read my mind as I’m sure these are the reasons why I’m not where I should be.


    • Nick,

      I’ve just had years of practice at feeling sorry for myself. And believing I was not good enough and a loser.

      Then you come to a point in your life and think … you know what, I am getting a bit bored of being negative. And hanging round negative people.

      I think I did my BELBIN/JT report said I was a counsellor 🙂

      I just made enough mistakes to pass on some advice to people 🙂

      Chris P

  4. Chris P

    I know exactly where you’re coming from on this as I am exactly the same. Time for a change and that is what I’m presently doing. It’s difficult to break the mould, but you’ve got to try and that’s exactly what I’m doing.


  5. Nick n ALL
    Don’t try, but do it! If people try they leave room for failure and not putting their all into it! So don’t try do it!

    If U put your heart into it your body will follow!! Be like the Long jump Athlete!

    U can only move upward when you have hit rock bottom! It can only get better from this point on!
    Note: And only if you want it that bad, only if you want to get up, U can!! Use the energy within U! It’s ur birth Power.

    You/We are co-creators of the Universe create and manifest your world, U want to live in!!

    PEACE, Luck n Blessings!


  6. I’d really like to find a job that is not entry-level. I just wonder what I can do to achieve that. It seems like most of what is holding me back is my own confidence about applying for those jobs.

  7. I did the Myers Brigg Personality type indicator. I am ISTJ. Introvert, sensesing, Thinking, Judging. On the top ten list of proffesions , amongst lawyer, accountant , engineer,… etc was IT / Computing. I tend to agree but I would never want to become a lawyer. Just not my cup of tea.

  8. I’ve been thinking about why I aim lower, and I think it is a confidence issue. I’m not sure how high to aim. I could use some coaching.

  9. I use this technique every time and every time i use it, it works profoundly. Whenever I am asked how much I am expecting I courtly reply, That depends how much work you wanna give me. This sounds fundamental, but a lot of noobs out there who always seem to forget this.

  10. Thanks guys,
    I recently passed the CCNA but was some how discouraged with the IT job market trend in my country Cameroon but due to your pieces of advice I think I am one hundred folds motivated to get back on studies for the next level!

    • Good luck with your studies and with your job search. The job market may be tough, but by aiming high you will have a better shot at finding the kind of work you want!

  11. A lot of people undervalue themselves. If they could just step out of that box and see how much human potential they possess if they aimed a little higher. I can’t blame them of course. Most people are programmed not to aim for anything higher lest it seem ridiculous or worse ambitious.

  12. For a related discussion, see Paul’s Dec. 10 blog post at titled “Aim low” The message is “aim low — NOT”. A good message for us all 🙂

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