Good news everyone! I finally found a full-time job as a front-end developer, starting in 2014. It's been quite a hectic semester for me, looking for some sort of employment in the industry before I graduate next May, and I am happy to say I found the perfect job to get started. After all the fuss over perfecting my résumé, fine-tuning my portfolio, and sending out the most personalized cover letters after scouring AuthenticJobs for hours at a time, I was surprised to discover it actually was, as the title implies, who I knew that finally landed me a job. I honestly believe it's the best way to find employment for almost anyone in any industry.
Getting to know people within my chosen industry started with Twitter and a bit of Googling. I began following local web agencies and consulting shops, who would tweet about upcoming meetups and events discussing the various aspects of the industry. So I would attend those events, like Startup Weekend, and meet like-minded folks who enjoyed creating awesome experiences for the web and beyond. Ever since last November, my involvement with the web community at large has snowballed into attending my first conference, where I met the most amazing designers and developers like Dave Rupert and Chris Coyier, and giving my first design talk next month. Every experience has further cemented my passion for being a part of the infinite collective that is the web.
Over the past year I have done many things to improve upon my hard skills as a designer and front-end developer, including rebuilding my entire personal site and blog (with plans for some tweaking coming soon), but my soft skills have also aided me even more in making numerous connections that evertually led to my current employment. The projects found in my portfolio, GitHub, and CodePen are all great for proving that I can complete the tasks required by prospective employers; however, it's the words of my acquaintances in the industry that are more powerful than pictures and demos when it comes to finding the perfect position with a company.
So as the new year draws closer, I am so very thankful and appreciative for everyone I have had the chance to interact with during the last 12 months. I know each person has influenced, in one way or another, how I proceed with my chosen profession, and I look forward to meeting many more people in 2014 as I graduate with big plans ahead.
Take action, make friends, and keep in touch because you never know where that connection may lead you.
Cheers and Happy Holidays!