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Andrew Baisden
Andrew Baisden

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Top 5 lessons I learned while looking for my next developer role

Let's be honest here looking for work is a stressful experience there is no other way to say it. It does not matter how much knowledge and experience you have you are still going to have to go through some sort of interview process. With lots of back and forth between yourself, the recruiter and a company. And periods where you feel like doing lots of job applications and others where you just feel burned out and want to take a break from it all.

Getting ghosted and having to wait for responses that may or may not come is not fun at all. These are the top 5 lessons I learned while looking for my next developer role.

1. Document your job search from the beginning

I remember a guy on Twitter who posted a picture of this spreadsheet that he created using the Airtable app for his job search. It was quite detailed so I took his idea and created my own template. Using a spreadsheet to track your job applications is a MUST. It is very easy to get lost in emails and IM messages when you are not tracking them.

I had a spreadsheet setup so that I could track my job applications, interviews, tech tests, job skills and requirements etc... The more details you have the better it will be in the long run.

2. Do your own job applications

When you first start looking for work it is highly likely that you will have a LOT of recruiters contacting you all the time. I guess this can be great for some people but it can become overwhelming if you are not careful. In fact years ago before I became organised with my job search I accidentally ended up doing duplicate job applications for the same company... Different recruitment agency but the same company and job role... That gets you removed from the shortlist...

It is much better when you take full control of your job search in my opinion because sometimes the job descriptions can look different depending on the agency even though its the same company and role! Not every recruiter is going to disclose the name of the company right from the start...

3. Use good timing and planning

It is far too easy to just say yes to every single interview request that comes your way. You have to take into consideration that you also need time to prepare for interviews as well as the time to work on technical tests. You can't be having multiple interviews every day while also working on technical tests and responding to messages everywhere. It becomes too overwhelming and that leads to stress and burnout.

Choose quality over quantity if it's meant to be then it will be if not then there are more opportunities out there.

4. Have a backup plan

As much as you want to get that developer job it is not 100% guaranteed that it will happen when you want it to. These things take time and maybe you are just not ready to get that role yet. Fortunately in my case I had a few passive income streams going and many developers who wanted to collaborate on projects. Paid or not work is work and its something you can put on your resume which will help you when you need it.

Working in a non tech job is also a possible solution until you get the work that you want. You will just have to find the time to code in your spare time which will likely annoy a lot of people but you need to understand that there are multiple ways to get into the tech industry and it does not need to happen overnight.

5. Use multiple platforms

When I was looking for work I had countless active profiles. A few of them are listed below.

Hackajob
Otta
LinkedIn
Hired
Indeed

You will have good days and bad days the key is to never give up. Relying on one platform or one recruitment agency is detrimental to you getting a job offer. Once I chose to rely solely on one recruiter to find me work and they lead me on and did nothing for weeks. It was a waste of time you would be better off widening your reach and using as many platforms as possible. But not too many because then it becomes overwhelming again and you will get lost. I have found that 5 - 6 works well.

Final Thoughts

I really hope that you enjoyed reading this article and learned something from it. As a content creator and technical writer I am passionate about sharing my knowledge and helping other people reach their goals. Let's connect across social media you can find all of my social media profiles and blogs on linktree.

Peace ✌️

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