Should I just accept the job offers I get offered rather than chasing the jobs offers which don't pay attention to me? I've kind of had this mindset that I should have a nice linkedin profile, and then just work on my craft and participating in the community. I'll apply to the big/medium sized tech companies I wished that I worked for, and if they accept me, great, and if they don't, well I have tons of stuff to do anyways and my current job is fine so it's whatever. Eventually my skills will be so sharp that the cool companies will reply to me, right?
Is this a reasonable approach? Or am I tricking myself here? Should I be more deliberate in my job hunting process even though I'm not really trying to run away from my job?
I'm a fullstack engineer, mostly focused on frontend. On my sparetime, I try to build web apps with the stack that I'm currently familiar with, hoping that they could attract some users. I try to learn about software patterns and tooling that the community recommend, and I try to learn more about cloud infrastructure so I can ship projects (including my own) more easily. Besides this, I participate in my tech community by doing some talks and attending meetups.
I don't dislike my current job, but I feel ready to take on a new challenge. At the same time, I don't know if most people who work in big tech follows a similar recipe that I'm trying to follow. I guess there's no magic formula. I tell friends and family that I'm trying to get into big tech, and I catch myself repeating myself about my plans every time I see them. I graduated university a couple of years ago, so I'm still somewhat new to the industry, but it still makes me question myself if what I'm doing is right, if it's completely wrong, or if I'm just being unpatient.
What should I do? Double down and try to improve my chances of getting replies from the current companies I apply to, or lower my expectations? Or is the answer just based on how much more effort I'm willing to put into it?
A lot of it depends on your personal situation, which I will try to caveat as I give my two cents.
My first suggestion is spending a bit more time upfront to decide what is important to you and assign some rough weighting behind them.
Some common examples include:
Now with that in mind, you want to apply that as a filter to job you pursue and how to rank inbound opportunities. I've had to learn the hard way on my prior job searches and friends who went through a similar experience that you don't want to be thinking about these things for the first time during an interview process or worse at offer stage. It nearly impossible to be objective and level headed at that point and most will gravitate towards the path of least resistance (usually first offer that comes).
Another tip that has helped me personally is to err towards taking an offer that over-indexes on 1-2 of the things you put a lot of weight into vs. an offer that somewhat hits all the criteria. You can typically have more conviction that you will at least check off a few of the boxes thoroughly with taking this gig while you can always pivot a few years later to check another few boxes off.
Here's a personal example to make it more concrete. My first major pivot, I prioritized getting exposure to data engineering & getting to build a team as my primary criteria. I made sure the role I took satisfied at least these two things, which it did even though a lot of the other criteria such as network / comp / pace weren't optimized. I was able to carry over the expertise in data engineering and building a team to land my next role, which hit more on network and comp.
Feel free to DM me if you'd like to chat further or have questions.