Have you ever heard about a friend or a colleague landing a kickass job – the kind that evokes envy – and thought to yourself, “I wish I had heard about this company”? But you weren’t on the job hunt. You wouldn’t just happen to hear about such jobs. Ever.
Or someone calls you up and tells you about this great VR app company that is interested in you and would you like to talk to them? You had to say no because you started your new job last week. It wouldn’t be appropriate to meet them, not even just to satisfy your curiosity.
Some variation of these two scenarios has happened to all of us. There are a few interesting jobs around, but somehow they elude us. Why does this happen?
The job hunt is a bad idea
Most people hunt for a job when they need one. It’s a bad idea. It limits your options to jobs that are available in the brief 1-2 month window you’ll be scouting. And the complex, non-transparent process that follows simply cannot result in the best move. A standard journey to the next job goes somewhat like a trial in phases.
Phase 1: Looking for a needle in a haystack
If you just google “senior developer jobs” you’ll see results like “thousands of jobs for developers”. Thousands! You need to essentially narrow it down to 10-15 interesting ones, and also cast a stronger net by looking at other sources. It’s a lot of hunting, but doable if you dedicate an hour every day for a month or so.
Phase 2: Knock and it shall be opened occasionally
When you apply to 30 companies you’ll possibly hear back from fewer than 5 within a “reasonable time” of one month. Some companies send automated responses once the screening software has decided the fate of your CV. Some don’t. If you know people in these companies, you could get some inside updates. That’s one of the ways it works, according to this job seeker who built a bot to apply to thousands of jobs at once.
Phase 3: Leading multiple lives
With rounds of interviews coming up at the 3 or 4 companies you heard from, it’s now time to split yourself into different entities. You have to be at work pretending it’s just another day while thinking of excuses to take a half-day off for an interview. You can’t dress for an interview ever because everyone will give you the smile and the wink and your boss will start watching you like a hawk. If you could only clone yourself, your life could go on as usual while the job hunt could get all the attention it needs.
Phase 4: The masterclass in waiting
If you felt that in the previous rounds there were inordinate delays, once the interviews are over, there will be even more of that. The companies will get back soon. They have to interview all the candidates before they can decide. Keep Calm and Wait On.
It’s unambitious of the industry as a whole that there is nothing better than this to help people find good jobs. Thousands of jobs which thousands of people apply to! It probably works for large companies that need to fill hundreds of positions at once. But for the candidate who is looking to make a career move it’s short-term, short-sighted and a short-change.
So when should you look for a job?
Never, or in other words, always. We like to call this staying job aware. Keeping an eye out for amazing opportunities. Even when you’re not looking for a move.
In a world where you’re job aware:
- You have the power to see what kind of interesting jobs are out there
- You know who is interested in hiring you and what kinds of salaries you can expect
- You can see how your skills will be valued in the market and evaluate your best options
- Companies interested in you pitch to you and if you respond, things happen fast and you proceed to meet a decision-maker instead of going through a maze
And all this without putting your life on pause for a job search expedition.
This was the idea that led us to start Geektrust as a job awareness platform for techies. There are several tools on the site, designed to help developers know more about themselves and their options in the job market. Some of these are Find Your Startup, Know Your Market Worth, Geektrust Coding Problems and Awesome Companies. The companies featured on the site are curated. They do cutting-edge tech work, are stable product firms or startups and provide an empowered work environment. And we’re off to a good start, making a difference in the way developers find interesting jobs. Check out the platform and see for yourself how different it is from traditional job search. And if you think it’s interesting, sign up to switch to a job aware way of life.