Dealing with problem-solving concerns — Early career advice

Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash

Professionals naturally need a confidence boost in their early career, and part of this is due to the concern of failing on solving problems timely.

Here are three strategies for dealing with the concern of coming to a situation where you cannot to solve a certain problem by any means:

Do not be afraid of asking for help

Approaching problems effectively demands professionals to focus on the big picture, analysing problem’s root cause and its possible consequences prior to start taking action. Experienced team mates might be great source of information, so don’t feel pushed to solve everything by yourself and ask for help when it’s necessary. Communication is the greatest soft skill, practice it.

When asking for support, according to Karin Sato in her article regarding questioning professionals, it’s important to be open to listen colleagues’ advice thoroughly.

Use all the tools you have

Googling recently started to be considered a skill, and to make a point against everyone whose opinion is that you should memorize information for it to be considered knowledge, Sophie Koonin published an article listing all terms she googled during an entire week. Google Search is a tool, and, for you to extract the best results from it, invest energy to master concepts and understand the context behind your tasks.

Master the concepts to apply on any tool. Tools come and go.

For example, if you are a Web Developer, focus on mastering Javascript and how the HTTP protocol works, rather than memorising statements to perform an API call. If you are required to use a new programming language, the protocol knowledge will be helpful, while pieces of code of another language would be obsolete.

The task is done, your job is not

Documenting your discoveries is a good practice after you managed to overcome a challenge. Keep this notes accessible, like a text file on your personal folder. Include possible key words to allow you to find it easier.

Furthermore, if the solution you applied is helpful for your team, create a small presentation to show them or share your notes team-wise.

Make sure you learn on every difficulty you face, summarising your takeaways is an excellent ally for your professional development. Also, share your learnings with your mentor, if you don’t have one, I strongly recommend you to, because this person can explain you different ways you could have approached the situation and you can try to apply those options next time.

Thank you for reading! Feel free to leave a comment!

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Software Engineer @ Viaplay. I write about Leadership, Node.js, Go, Agile and Cloud Computing.

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Danilo Cardia

Danilo Cardia

Software Engineer @ Viaplay. I write about Leadership, Node.js, Go, Agile and Cloud Computing.

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