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Discussion on: What advice would you give to an unemployed software developer?

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Dustin King
  1. Hopefully this won't be true for you, but: you will probably get a lot of rejection, a lot of just never hearing back, and more rejection from opportunities that you were feeling optimistic about. This, especially the last one, can make you feel like you're garbage. Your feelings are natural in this situation, but you're not garbage. Processing these emotions is just as much a part of the process as applying, interviewing, etc.
  2. Motivating yourself in a job search is completely different from motivating yourself in a job. In a job, you have a boss, deadlines, customers and coworkers that help set expectations and define objectives (and consequences for missing them!). In a job search you're on your own. You may find yourself struggling to move forward. There's no easy answer for this, but it doesn't matter that you couldn't move forward last month (or whatever the time period), it matters what you do this month. When you fall, it may take time to get back up; but when you can, dust yourself off and take the next step, even though you can't see the whole path in front of you.
  3. It's tempting to settle; for example, to apply for or accept opportunities you're less interested in but more qualified for. This may not be a good idea. For one thing, your lack of enthusiasm can show through, so you might not even get it, and if you do you might resent not holding out for something better. On the other hand, there probably needs to be some overlap between your qualifications and the position requirements. My heuristic is: can I see myself succeeding at and being happy in this job for 3 years? You might need your own heuristic.

There are no guarantees and no universals, so the usefulness of this advice may vary, but I wish you the best of luck.