5 Ways on How to Survive Year One in Tech – Our Guide

Whether it’s through formal education or just self-learning, learning the ins and outs of tech is a challenging endeavor. While everyone wants to pursue a tech career due to its growth into one of the largest industries the world has ever seen, not everyone pulls through with it. The whole concept seems ideal, as you can land some of the coolest jobs with enough knowledge on things like coding and programming. However, many do not realize the difficulties of being able to stay competitive in the field. 

Before trying to get competitive, it pays to learn how to float and survive at least a year of running around like a headless chicken. The various coding languages can be overwhelming for most, and even with various YouTube tutorials, it can seem like learning a whole new communication method. When you do get the hang of things, you’ll start to get faster and more efficient, so here are five tips to surviving your first year studying the world of tech:

1. Live Through the “Ego Death”

Even the best people who work in IT staffing firms and are incredibly proficient at their jobs have started from the bottom. The “imposter syndrome” can often throw off people who are new to the game. This syndrome happens when you might feel like you’re not good enough to be in the field, as there is always going to be someone better and more knowledgeable than you. 

Your ego will take a hit, which is why remembering that not everyone knows everything is the first step to surviving the first year. After all, isn’t learning how to be good at things why you started studying tech in the first place? Growth isn’t linear in this field, and even the best partners in IT staffing struggle with difficulties at their respective levels. Don’t be too hard on yourself because making mistakes while you start is better than costly errors at the top ranks!

2. Punch In That Time Card

As important as taking care of your health and wellbeing is at all times, there is no doubt that you’ll need to make sacrifices. Whether it is giving up time for hobbies, seeing friends very often, or sleeping some days, these will all contribute to your growth. Technology is an extremely competitive field, and those who exert extra effort and time into their development will always show at the end of the day. 

Whether you plan to work for Google or NASA, those extra hours you dedicated to learning something new will be a grand entry on your resume. More time invested in your education is never a bad thing, so be sure that you’re prepared to put in the hours just like any other course. 

3. Problem Solving Is Better Than Showing Off

It can be tempting to create impressive code lines, but at the end of the day, companies are looking for the quickest and most efficient way to solve problems. Tackling the problem head-on is the best way to go and often saves plenty of time and resources. Overall, it’s quality over quantity in technology, as problem-solving skills are the most valuable trait in the field. A career in IT staffing or wherever you plan to go will require quick action rather than complex strings of code and development, so be sure to move with urgency.

4. Small Wins Matter

Make a list of everything you have accomplished, whether these are big or small. Knowing that you have gone a long way since you started is the key to keeping motivated, and starting your career will be easy when you list all these things down for employers. It can also help to have a mentor who can guide and support you through difficult times, so find someone you trust and work hard while celebrating your victories. 

5. People Matter Over Projects When Starting Out

Tech is an industry that has plenty of smart minds and brilliant personalities. You never want to burn bridges or put others down because of potentially significant projects. Keeping good relationships with a wide range of people around you who have similar interests can be useful in future business endeavors. Remember that projects are not doable without the people you choose to work with, so being easy to work with and a good sport will do wonders for your future. 


The first year in tech is the most difficult, as there is much to learn, and the struggle to keep up can be difficult. However, knowing that progress is non-linear and that pacing yourself is part of the mix makes it all the more satisfying. Enjoying all that you learn and the people you meet is the key to success in this field. 

Technical Paradigm is a premium strategic IT staffing company in Chicago, Illinois, that assists in filling technology-centered roles for startup businesses and all kinds of enterprises. For cutting-edge services in information technology and development, contact us to know more about what we offer for companies getting into the tech industry. 

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