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How to find a good hands-on mentor to help me with the job search? (Junior to mid-level)

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Mid-Level Software Engineer at Taro Community2 months ago

I'm literally finding it hard to be consistent with learning various software development concepts and practicing LeetCode. I think a good mentor can help me with this issue, correct me if I'm wrong.

What else I can do to target my job search in next 5 months as a mid-level software engineer with 2 years work experience.

Do I really need a mentor at this stage?

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(3 comments)
  • 1
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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    2 months ago

    I'm gonna be honest: I don't think a hands-on mentor is worth it for the job search, especially now. Here's why:

    • A job search mentor that's actually good will be extremely expensive due to basic economics, especially if you're in the US. Given that tech jobs pay so much (even an entry-level in the US will make $100,000 or close to it), a good mentor will rightfully charge at least a few thousands dollars. That is a lot of money.
    • This market is easily one of the worst to have a mentor in given how terrible it is. Only a magician will be able to produce a meaningful change that you can't produce yourself. The #1 skill you need in this economy, especially with <5 YOE, is persistence. The people who make it in this market will all be masters of grit and patience. These aren't skills a mentor can really give you.

    Since you are part of the Taro community, I strongly believe that you should leverage it to find supportive peers who can easily produce most, if not all, of the benefits a hands on-mentor can.

    Here's what you should do:

    If you really do want a hands-on mentor, I recommend these 2:

  • 0
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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    2 months ago

    Do I really need a mentor at this stage?

    This is a really good question, so I wanted to split my response into a separate comment.

    You should never need a hands-on mentor. This is because if you aren't able to sufficiently function in your career without someone supporting you in such a heavy fashion, you probably need to focus on self-improvement instead and building up healthy habits. In other words, I recommend looking deeper if you feel this way and figure out how you can build yourself up.

    Hands-on mentors should be like vitamins: They take existing talent that has a solid foundation and amplifies it. I have had a couple of these throughout my career, but I have never needed them for sheer survival.

    I'm literally finding it hard to be consistent with learning various software development concepts and practicing LeetCode.

    This seems like a motivation problem rather than a skills problem. When it comes to people-oriented solutions, you really don't need a mentor for this - A buddy will do just fine.

    • There's tons of people within Taro and the broader tech community who are happy to be buddies (and you won't have to pay them thousands of $$$).
    • Literally just find another human who is open to pairing with you to trade mock interviews every 1-2 weeks and simply ask how you're doing (and you ask the same of them).
    • Social pressure is extremely effective, and your brain won't want to go into those meetings with 0 updates. Strength of individual will is overrated, especially with something as unfun as LeetCode.
    • You should also watch our DSA masterclass to help with this: [Masterclass] How To Ace Your Big Tech Interview - Data Structures And Algorithms

    In terms of finding the buddy, here's what you can do:

    • Sign up for Taro Networking, attach a detailed and friendly note about what you're looking for (and make it clear that you're eager to help in return), and reach out to people.
    • Ask in #job-searchers-accountability group with that same detailed and friendly note
    • Go to the communal job searching events in Taro and ask there
  • 0
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    Tech Lead/Manager at Meta, Pinterest, Kosei
    2 months ago

    We're thinking about how to embed accountability and knowledge-sharing more deeply in Taro for job searchers -- if you're interested, please ping me!