I feel like I'm doing this wrong. When I want to see what jobs are available, I go on LinkedIn, hit the "jobs" tab, type in "frontend jobs", and scroll through the search results. But that's often unproductive because nothing looks enticing. I scroll past companies that I don't know (because I assume the pay or the benefits will be mediocre), past companies that I've heard negative things about (which is a lot of them), and then I'm left with no options at all.
I wanted to work for a FAANG company, but after all the layoffs and hearing stories from my friends who have boring work and teams, constantly feel anxiety around their jobs, and feel like code monkeys, I am a bit turned off from applying to FAANG-type companies. I work for a well-known fintech company now but I don't have a good manager and the upcoming changes in upper management don't look promising. Plus, I've been here for 3+ years and I want to know how other companies operate, know more people, and just learn more within software engineering too.
Here's what I'm looking for
Location doesn't matter and I'm ok with a remote job too. One tactic I thought of was to look up "great places to work" and apply to companies from that list.
But in general, how should I look for jobs and companies to apply to when I'm not targeting a specific company? Plus, is applying to FAANG level companies worth it for the resume boost and the experience?
Appreciate any insight into this! Thanks!
At a high-level, I think the problem here is that you're working forwards instead of backward. Working forward is difficult as it's inherently unfocused and doesn't guarantee a good result.
One thought is to work backwards from your network and values. We have this video from David Pan (ex-VP of Engineering at Mixpanel), which goes through that in-depth.
The 5 things you're looking for are also all great, but to be honest, only 0.1% of teams will satisfy all 5. I think you should still consider all 5 but stack-rank them. In particular, figure out the top 2-3 and work backwards from there. I also recommend our masterclass on choosing the right team/company for you if you haven't watched it already for additional insight.
Plus, is applying to FAANG level companies worth it for the resume boost and the experience?
It depends on what you're looking for. If you have never worked at Big Tech before, I generally think it's worth trying - There are some skills that Big Tech companies are especially good at building. But I have met a lot of people who are really bullish on growth, innovation, and impact that aren't meant to ever work at these companies, opting for startups instead. That's something for you to ask yourself.
For more information about the pros and cons of working at FAANG/Big Tech, I recommend this video (it's actually part of the masterclass linked before).