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Patrick Wendo
Patrick Wendo

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They say search for a new job while you still have your old job. But when do you think you should start looking?

Discussion (13)

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jeremyf profile image
Jeremy Friesen

This is a complicate answer. In tech there's the allure of higher wages. But there's also the opportunity to learn lots of things.

My "rubric" is along the following when the perceived "value" of what I'm learning plus the "value" of the relationships/friendships I'm developing plus the compensation and org heartburn is less than the perceived value of somewhere else.

All of these things are qualitative and complicated. So I look to the wisdom/perspective of others. I also just "put myself out there" and see what the universe delivers.

But to make it less abstract and more specific:

  1. When you think about heading to work, how do you feel?
  2. When you have conversations with your supervisor are you "feeling" like they want to help and see you grow? Or do you get the sinking feeling that they're trying to bleed you for all you have?
  3. When you are done with your time of work, do you appreciate the person you were during that time?

I'm sure there are more.

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w3ndo profile image
Patrick Wendo Author

The checklist actually helps. It re-centers me on what's important, me and my career.

But I would also add

When I think of my remaining contract length, how does it make me feel?

Granted this is derivative of the others, but it begs the question, am I ready to keep working here given how I feel? Am I ready to leave this company given how I feel ?

Follow up question, When is it right to tell your supervisor you're considering other options?

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jeremyf profile image
Jeremy Friesen

When is it right to tell your supervisor? How do you think they will help you find other options or provide you opportunities at your current place?

If the answer is unlikely don't share. If it's uncertain, be more than cautious.

This also has a component of how much asymmetrical risk are you ready to take. Your supervisor has more context than you (as does every hiring manager or recruiter).

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w3ndo profile image
Patrick Wendo Author

That helps a lot. Thank you Jeremy!

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jeremyf profile image
Jeremy Friesen

Really dig into your read of your manager. Some are vipers, many are neutral, and some are advocates for the best you (though retention is always a consideration).

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citizen428 profile image
Michael Kohl

But when do you think you should start looking?

I guess it depends on how you define "looking". Personally I never stop looking, but I also never really look. What I mean by that is that I'm very involved in various meetups, conferences and communities, so I know a lot of people. This means quite a few opportunities flow my way and sometimes their needs and mine align and I change job.

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w3ndo profile image
Patrick Wendo Author

This seems like a great way to go about it.

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philliprichdale profile image
Phillip Richdale

I start looking when I get bored.

Getting bored is usually a sign that efficiency and/or mission purpose in my silo is dropping and layoffs are coming soon. I'm usually spot on with that suspicion. Whenever I start looking for job offerings even just out of curiosity a reorg or offer of exit usually is less that a year away, often just 6 months or so.

When that has happened and someone comes and offers a severance package I take the money, do a polite exit and run. It's usually 6-9 months later that I hear that the entire team was laid off from one day to the next with no severance ar all.

You have to know how businesses work to deal with this sort of thing without taking it personally. That's an important skill and mindset to maintain sanity as a dev.

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w3ndo profile image
Patrick Wendo Author

This seems like a pretty great intuition to have.

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Locky Keaney

I recently moved from a job I liked to a job I'm really liking now. For me, it was all down to the recruiter. They were actually a friend who floated some ideas to me, and I did some interviews and take home tasks but had no plans to leave my job. I'd been there 3 years and I felt they really valued me. But one of the places I interviewed with just felt really good. The interviewers were great, the task was enjoyable and the tech interview was actually fun. They ended up making me a really good offer and I took it.

I think you should definitely start looking while you still have a job, see what's out there and how the industry in your area is going. If you can find a recruiter you trust, you're golden.

Good Luck!

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w3ndo profile image
Patrick Wendo Author

Thank you!!!

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mosbat profile image
mosbat

The truth is, finding a new job in tech is not that easy depending on where you live. Both big tech and small coffee shop wants to become Google with unrealistic expectations. They are ready to burn all the population of Developers in their quest for the "Ideal" or perfect candidate.

My advice is, if you're being paid a fair wage at your current job and shifting to another job won't make that much of a big difference, and you are treated well enough in your current job, then stick to your current job and simply focus on increasing your value by doing more projects and being more proactive.

You will potentially waste a massive amount of time convincing a new employer that you're good enough.

However, that doesn't mean that you can't engage in your personal projects, learning new technologies and making cool stuff. Life is learning and everyday you learn something new, you're one step better than your previous self.

Hope that makes sense.

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tqbit profile image
tq-bit

I stumbled across a simple rule of thumb to weeks ago: 'Learn or earn'.

Ask yourself:

  • Are you learning something new in your current job?
  • Are you earning a decent amount of money to afford your lifestyle?