If you've been following me for a while, you know that I had been searching for a job for quite some time, 444 days to be exact. Thankfully, I have some fantastic news to share with y'all. I started working for FireHydrant as a software engineer a couple of weeks ago. It has been such a great experience so far and I've grown to accept that the long, crazy roller coaster ride that was my job search has been worth every second of it.
Throughout this chaotic job search, I was open and vulnerable with every one of you. Y'all got to experience the many highs and the many lows with me and, because of that, you were some of my biggest supporters. There were many days that the positivity and kind words y'all shared with me are what kept me chugging along and I can't thank you enough for that.
Once again, I find myself here wanting to be open and vulnerable with you. Why? It's because I don't ever want anyone to feel alone. There were many times that I felt alone during my job search, because I rarely, if ever, found anyone who had been searching for their breakout role as long as I had been.
Due to this, I want to keep it real and provide you with the rough numbers of applications submitted, interviews completed, and rejections received during the entirety of my long 444 day job search. Ultimately, I want people, like my past self, to know that all of our careers and lives progress at different speeds and that that is okay.
Over the 444 days of my job search I submitted roughly 430 applications. Before anyone freaks out over that being an outrageous amount, let me break it down for you. I submitted just under 30 applications a month. My goal every week was to send out between 5 and 7 quality applications, which was totally manageable for me and gave me plenty of time left over to build projects, learn new skills, write blog posts, network, and contribute to open source. Oh, and to interview!
In total, I prepared for and completed roughly 53 interviews.
Over the course of my job search, I had around 29 first round interviews.
I endured 20 technical interviews.
Quick Note: In this category, I included all code challenges, technical screens, and take-home assignments.
I had the pleasure of making it to and completing 5 final round interviews.
The total number of rejections that I received over the entirety of my job search was 143.
Side Note: Rejection was my least favorite aspect of the job search. It took a long time for me to accept that rejections are not personal and should not be taken to heart. Lots of tears were shed over this that I wish I could have back, but, like I said earlier, it was all worth it in the end.
I had roughly 233 applications that went into the abyss to never be heard from again.
Of the 5 final round interviews that I had, I received 3 offers. The first offer was to be a software engineering coach at the bootcamp that I completed. The next one was rescinded due to COVID. The last offer that I received was to work at FireHydrant as a software engineer that I gladly and excitedly accepted on June 11, 2020.
Now that we've made our way through those numbers, I wanted to take a moment to discuss a few of the greatest takeaways from this job searching experience for me.
- Do not take rejections too personally. This should help you maintain your morale and mental health.
- Network. Network. Network.
- Ask people who know you and your work to refer you. This will decrease the number of applications you have go into the abyss, I promise.
- Take breaks. Interviewing is exhausting on your mental, physical, and emotional health. Give yourself days off every now and then. Allow yourself to disconnect and recharge.
- Don't be afraid to ask for help. There are so many great communities out there in the tech world with engineers that are willing and excited to help. You're in one right now as you read this article (hint: DEV).
- Be patient and understanding with yourself.
- Continue learning and, if you can, learn in public. Write a blog post, tweet, record a video, live code online, etc..
Hopefully at least one of these takeaways is useful to you! If you are someone who has been searching for your first role for quite some time now, please know that you are not alone and that you will find that role.
Everything that led up to me working at FireHydrant has helped me become who I am today and I am incredibly proud of that person. It is my hope that you'll get to say that one day as well.
Note: The cover image for this blog post is brought to you from a hike at Caslte Rock State Park in California that I did this past weekend.