For a major upcoming talk in October, I’ve been thinking about how successful testers seem to carve out their own futures. In my twelve years of experience in this industry, I’ve worked with many people over the years who on the face of it seem to be… jammy. They just never seem to struggle to find their next amazing role (or stay in their current one and get promoted, better terms etc).
The thing that has interested me, is that the testers who excel at doing this aren’t necessarily the ones with the best CV’s on paper. The brutal truth is there is not always a positive correlation between your skills and your opportunities.
So what is the common theme amongst these successful folk? Perhaps its right place right time, perhaps its just a good jobs market that keeps throwing great opportunities their way. Perhaps, a little. However, IMHO its largely the number of people they are visible to. They make a point of investing time and effort into growing their reputation – whether that be at work with their immediate team and wider colleagues or outside of work e.g. with former colleagues, select recruiters or the testing community at large.
You can be an amazing tester, but if no-one knows you they can’t tell you of opportunities when they arise. And this could majorly cost you over the course of your career.
If you want to become more visible, my advice would be to invest your time on your reputation in the same ratio as you would on your technical skills.
One way of identifying your weak spots, or opportunities to improve even further, is to complete a Reputation Audit. I designed this myself, and it represents a high level view of where you should look and the sorts of things you can do to turbo charge your reputation. It shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes, and you can start implementing your own recommendations straight away.
Here is a link to a blank repuatation audit to get you started:
Please reach out to me if you would like a blank reputation audit template for your own use and I will send you a spreadsheet – alternatively, if there is a way of adding an excel file into this page without it costing me a fortune then let me know how and I’ll do that instead :o)
***warning*** any actions here must be sincere, and you must be willing to contribute for the benefit of others, not just what you can get out of the situation. Personally, I’ve grown a lot in confidence over the past few months just by doing things such as submitting questions for an AMA, posting a few bits in a chat alongside an online meetup, or reaching out to some of the incredible people in the software testing community and asking for their thoughts or help.
As ever, feedback very welcome.