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Background and Goals
I currently work as a WordPress developer for a client through a recruiter. I live near a major USA city that has many frontend developer jobs and IT Meetup groups.

I do some frontend work (like JavaScript) but eventually want to move into a role where the majority of my job is React, and possible Node.js. I'd also like to work for an a good company, do interesting work, and get paid enough.

What are some effective things to say to other more senior frontend developers on LinkedIn to:

  1. Connect?
  2. Schedule a 15 to 20 minute call to get some advice about how to proceed to reach my goal?

I'm looking for scripts here and will target people in roles and companies I aspire to work in.

I don't want to ask someone for a job straight out, but also do want to get connections for when I start actively applying for frontend jobs.

Problems
My main issues in reaching my goal right now are:

  1. Gaining the skills I need to proceed with actively applying for a job. I feel a little overwhelmed with the amount of knowledge I need to obtain (Webpack, Docker, advanced git, AWS, JavaScript algorithms, React Native, etc.), along with learning React and Node.js.

Right now I'm watching tutorials online and coding along to increase my skills.

  1. Upgrading my portfolio site with projects (React and Node.js) and resume and LinkedIn profile (to add keywords for SEO, along with new project info).

3 Answers 3

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First, I wish you all the best and hope you accomplish your plans for your future!

Now, let's consider the message you're proposing:

Hello [frontend-developer-here], you don't know me, but I noticed that you're a frontend developer for [awesome-company-here] and I'm trying to get into that field! Do you have any advice for me for how I could train for that sort of role? I'd love to set up a 15-20 minute call if you have the time. Thanks!

Did you think about how you would feel if the roles were reversed and you got a message like that?

  1. You don't know who the sender is. With all the phishing schemes and other scams floating around, would you really trust unsolicited messages from strangers?
  2. You wouldn't want to commit your free time to answer the asker's question (and possibly any follow-up questions) directly, would you?
  3. There is no advantage to you personally to schedule a call or to write the person back.
  4. Do you normally give out your contact information to anyone who asks for it on LinkedIn?

All of the reasons above make it pretty presumptuous on the part of the asker to ask someone they don't know for career advice. While your goal of getting professional advice on how to grow your career is a good idea, your way of accomplishing this is bad because it lacks any consideration for the other person's time or willingness to help. I don't think you will build the right kind of reputation if you try to start your career like this.

A better approach would be to either get to know people in the industry through networking events or message boards and then ask, or to ask your question somewhere that puts no obligation on the answerer, such as an appropriate Stack Exchange site, a relevant subreddit, or other online forums.

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  • Thank you for the info. Right now because of the coronavirus it is difficult to find Meetups in my city that are still meeting online. Also I don't trust going to one in person. Yes, I'll look at the single Meetup that is meeting online that I can join to network. Aug 31, 2020 at 0:17
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I think you're really going about this the wrong way. Messaging people via LinkedIn about asking what you need to know or understand to get a job is, in most cases, going to be ignored.

Rather than "cold-messaging" via LinkedIn, have you looked for events where you can socialise with the right people? Look for coding jams, hacking events or something similar. It's a better way to connect than sending a mass message to lots of people for them to ignore. You need to find events where you can meet and join up with people who are open to discussing technology stacks. If you can't do it in person, there are plenty of virtual events you can also join up or messaging boards where you can get to know people.

Think of it from your point of view, you're are home and you get a call from a company wanting to sell you a product. You didn't want it nor request it. How annoying are those points of contact?

Now, change it and you go to a convention about holidays, there you mind less being approached by people trying to sell you a holiday.

In the end, you are trying to increase your network, don't do it via messaging people you've never met. You're most likely going to be met with a large lack of response.

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Friend, I've been in this business for ... koff, koff ... and one of the best series of articles that I ever read in trade-magazines of that ... wheeze ... time was called: "A Sip From the Fire-Hose." 🤠

"You will never(!) have 'sufficient knowledge' in advance!" Instead, you will always find yourself "racing to catch up," and, lo and behold, you will find yourself becoming rather good at it. Like any good house-cat, you'll develop the skill of "always land 'four paws down.'"

"No matter what it is ... no matter what new job you've talked yourself into ... the fire-hose will always be there." However, you will not only strengthen your ability to do research "on the fly," but you will also enhance your reliance upon co-workers.

"No matter how experienced you are, and no matter how much you know, you can never know 'it all.' However, you come to realize that you actually don't have to. Because, you are never actually alone. You are always part of a team. (A team which, by the way, inevitably includes many other people who know far more, about this thing or that, than you ever imagined. "Get used to it.")

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