So I did a move in my life and decided to leave my soon ex-job. This of course means I'm looking for a new job. And yes, I did quit before I signed to the next place and I still don't know the next place. I wanted to have some extra free time, and once I made the decision to leave I didn't really see a point in prolonging until I would know the next place.
It is my first time looking for a web developer role as a professional, and I'm in a much stronger position than I was when I almost luckily found out about Verkkokauppa.com seven and a half years ago. I passed their validation with my 20 years of hobbyist-only experience that I had at that point.
Looking for a job is much easier now than it was before: there are apps, LinkedIn, and there is a constant need for more devs pretty much everywhere for the skillset that I have (HTML / CSS / JS / React / Node / front-end specialist). I haven't checked on the history of this, but it also seems like there are much more web front-end jobs open these days.
One big advantage on having pro experience is that I now know far more about what to look for in companies. It is easier to rule out most of the places. I also know I'm on the more skilled side of developer spectrum even if I do have many things that I could improve on. It is a never ending race :) But having a confidence on what I do know is of great help, and I'm pretty sure I can ask for a higher salary than I had.
So, that is roughly the position I am at.
My default when looking for a job is to have a look around on my own. I don't like to be dependent on a recruiter, but I've opened connections to some and have noticed there is a big variety of tactics.
The best connections come from recruiters who work in a software company. They know almost exactly what they have on offer and what it is like. Thanks to some talking I've learned to prefer product houses over consultancies as I like more of a long term project even if there are some interesting ways that some consultancies work. I don't have interest on quick small projects.
The other side of recruiters are the ones who work as generalists for many companies and these have a far wider variety in quality. Their challenge is to identify where my kind of developer would fit, and as they apparently get paid by success you can find some of them annoying with far too many suggestions and constant phone calls to check on status. So you may get quantity over quality.
This is ill-fitted with my rather slow paced search where I put quality first. I rather have a go with few places and commit more effort into showing the side of skills they are more likely looking for. And of course it is beneficial when you clearly show interest by doing more than a typical candidate.
To me the most annoying recruiters are ones who give you just bare minimum details on a specific job and then make you be the one who should take action by reserving a time from a calendar. This is probably the greatest opposite to my preferred way to do business as I'm not a calendar person and most of the time I don't live with a busy schedule (outside work hours).
From these contacts I often don't get nearly enough information to know whether the position would be a fit or not. Often the time will be scheduled to a different person than who contacted me with the initial offering. And once you have a call you either get to know more about what you was actually contacted on, or you get several offerings which makes the initial contact feel more like a bait. But maybe this tactic works for people who live in a constant hurry.
Despite putting quality over quantity on my search I do get failures. These are necessary for learning. You know better what a position looks like and what it actually is when you get further into a process. Sometimes some requirements simply don't come up until you're at a technical interview and find out about a need for a skill you don't possess. There is always the human side where not all things get communicated through.
The only thing I'm sure of is that I know my way for looking for a job works. For now I only have one success, but with the job market having so much need I can focus more on finding a very good place with longevity instead of taking whatever is good enough. I'm also lucky to live in Finland where the virus has not collapsed the economy.
I hope this piece of thoughts has some value for someone :)