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Philip John Basile
Philip John Basile

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This Job Market Sucks - 2023 Edition

Hello, dear readers! It’s me, your friendly neighborhood nerd, reporting to you live from my home office (also known as the couch). I trust you’re all doing well? Because, well, I’ve been better. I’ve been on the job hunt, and let me tell you, it’s been more ‘hunt’ and less’ job.’ Let’s dive into it!

First, the job market has decided to take a vacation. I used to have interviews lined up like Black Friday shoppers, from dawn till dusk. But now? It’s as silent as a library on a Friday night. Zilch. Nada. I’ve been left hanging on the telephone (a song reference for retro music lovers out there). If anyone has found the job market, please return it. We miss it.

What’s in demand, you might ask? That’s a good question. Based on the current market, I’d say the most in-demand job is that of a time traveler - to return to the pre-pandemic era. But since my time machine is in the shop, let’s think about some real-world solutions.

Up-skilling: The market is evolving, and new technologies are always approaching. Upskill, cross-skill, down-skill, side-skill – whatever it takes. If you’re a front-end dev feeling the heat, it might be time to explore the back end (pun intended). Or maybe it’s time to add some new languages to your coding vocabulary. Python, anyone?

Networking: If you’re like me, you’d rather wrestle a grizzly bear than make small talk. But trust me, networking works. Reach out to your old colleagues, friends, and that guy you met at a conference five years ago. You never know who might have a lead.

Expand Your Skillset: If you’re a Rust dev feeling undervalued, perhaps you could expand into related, higher-paying fields. Data Science, AI, and machine learning are all hot areas right now.

Self-promote: This isn’t the time to be humble. Make sure your LinkedIn profile sings your praises. Get active on GitHub, start a blog, and speak at webinars. The more people see you as a leader in your field, the more opportunities will come your way.

Consider Contracting: Why not consider contract work if full-time roles are thin? It can often pay more per hour and is a great way to build up your network.

Self-care: Job hunting is stressful, so ensure you care for yourself. Exercise, eat well, and take time out for fun. A positive mindset is a powerful tool.

Reassess Your Strategy: If your actions aren’t your actions aren’t working, it might be time for a change. Are your applications targeted, or are you throwing your resume at anything that moves? Quality over quantity often yields better results.

Now, let’s address the elephant in the room. NYC jobs and their ‘generous’ 120K offers. At this rate, I’ll be able to afford a penthouse on the Upper East Side... if the year was 1985. We can’t control the cost of living, but we can negotiate salaries, explore jobs outside the city, or even consider remote opportunities.

Speaking of remote, where have all the well-paying remote jobs disappeared to? Did they pack up and leave for Mars with Elon Musk? In this case, it’s crucial to broaden your job search geographically. Look for opportunities in regions where remote work is more prevalent.

The rise of the ‘Hybrid’ work model. Or as I like to call it, “The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing." Why does everyone want hybrid? Maybe because they miss seeing half-asleep employees dragging themselves to the printer every morning. Jokes apart, the hybrid model does have its perks - the human interaction, the office banter, and the free coffee. If going fully remote isn’t an option, maybe we can learn to love the hybrid life. NAHHHHH!

You might be thinking.. But.. But.. It's such a beautiful, utopian word. It’s like the perfect blend of coffee - a little bit of office, a little bit of home. But is it really that perfect? Or is it a nefarious scheme to lure unsuspecting workers back into the cubicle farm?

Let’s face it, Hybrid jobs can be a bit of a tease. They promise you the freedom of remote work, but also want you within arm’s reach. It’s like having your cake and eating it too. Only the cake is a bit stale, and you’re not even that hungry.

Now, I’m not saying all Hybrid roles are bad. Some people genuinely enjoy the balance. A bit of office banter, free coffee, and the thrill of wearing pants that aren’t sweatpants. It has its appeal. But what about those who have tasted the sweet nectar of full remote work? We’ve enjoyed controlling our schedule, cutting out commute times, and having our pets as coworkers.

The push for Hybrid feels like a step back, doesn’t it? They’re trying to squeeze the toothpaste back into the tube. But guess what? We’re not toothpaste. We’re talented professionals who have proven that we can work effectively from anywhere.

Stand Your Ground: Negotiate for fully remote work. They need your skills, and you require flexibility. There’s room for negotiation here.

Promote Remote Benefits: Companies may need a reminder of the benefits of remote work. Lower overhead costs, increased employee satisfaction, and access to a global talent pool. It’s a win-win.

Join Forces: Network with other remote workers. There’s power in numbers. Share tips, lead on remote jobs, and support each other.

Look Beyond Traditional Employment: Consider freelancing, consulting, or starting your own business. There are many paths to a fulfilling career.

In the end, the future of work is still evolving. But one thing is clear: remote work isn’t a trend; it’s a movement. And we’re on the front lines, shaping what work will look like for generations.

So, keep pushing for what you believe in, whether fully remote, hybrid, or even a return to the office (hey, to each their own). We’re in this together, each playing our part in the remote revolution.

Stay strong, my fellow digital nomads. Remember, we’re not just working from home but pioneering a new way of life. And that’s something to be proud of.

In all seriousness, if your skills aren’t being valued, it might be time to reconsider where you’re applying. Look for companies that appreciate and understand the worth of your expertise. And remember, negotiation is an art. Time to channel your inner Picasso.

Job hunting is a lot like dating. There are highs and lows, ghosting, and the occasional heartbreak. But remember, there’s a lid for every pot. Keep the faith, stay positive, and keep moving forward. Your perfect job match is out there, waiting to swipe right on your resume. Keep hustling and stay hopeful. Remember, every ‘no’ is one step closer to that ‘yes.’

In the meantime, I’ll be here, navigating the wild job jungle with you. We’ll laugh, cry, and question our career choices, but we’ll get through it. Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned, programmers are nothing if not persistent.

We’re persistent problem solvers at heart. We’re used to overcoming obstacles, whether it’s a buggy piece of code or a tricky job market. We’ve got this. So let’s roll up our sleeves, boot up our laptops, and show this job market what we’re made of.

Happy job hunting, friends! And remember, no matter how tough it gets, we’re not trying to find a job in the Middle Ages. Because, let’s face it, blacksmithing is way more complicated than coding. But it is cooler.. or eerr hotter 🥵

Until next time, keep your Wi-Fi strong and your coffee stronger. ☕ Happy job hunting!

Top comments (7)

anderspersson profile image
Anders Persson

I would say be active on LinkedIn, and focus your profile to match the work you looking for, and write articles about subjects also targets the work you like.
I get many offers this way, because today a lot of headhunter scanns for people in different resources.

valeriavg profile image

Sounds tough, good that you’re not letting it define your standards 💪

philipjohnbasile profile image
Philip John Basile


iplexor profile image
Ash Lawson

Excellent post, just what I needed to hear. Thanks for finding and following me on Mastadon too! You have the final single digit follower allocation of 9! Congratulations, remember it when I break 1,000,000! 🤣

yourmdsarfaraj profile image
MD Sarfaraj

hey nice one

shehab_badawy profile image

In your opinion, what is the reason companies are pushing for getting back to office?

philipjohnbasile profile image
Philip John Basile

I think it's a combination of a lack of trust in it's workers and them not figuring out how to be successful being remote. Some job fields you obviously need to be there if there is lab work or if you are a doctor but us devs do not. I love that I can take my three kids to school daily and pick them up. I do not miss the 3 hours of driving daily I used to do.