Hacker Career Advice

Job Hunting Timelines

How long can you afford to look for a job?

If you’re unemployed and burning through your savings, you don’t have much leverage and should take the next solid opportunity that comes along. It might not be ideal, but you gotta eat.

If you choose to leave your job and have enough savings, you can afford to be more discerning and wait for a role that fits your criteria.

Of course, if you have a stable job that satisfies your needs, you can hold out for your dream job indefinitely, provided you don’t burn out first.

This is all common sense stuff, but it’s important to assess your situation before you start your job hunt. And if possible, keep 4+ months of living expenses on hand. Because life happens.

You can’t definitively say, “I’m going to have a new job in 3 months!” But, you can dedicate 2–5 hours a week to networking, applying to jobs, and preparing for interviews.

You also have to consider how the market hires. For students, recent grads, and entry level jobs, hiring is cyclical.

June and January are big for recent grads. September–October is prime time for on-campus recruiting, and by April, a lot of the big FAANG internship programs are full.

You need to plan in advance or you’ll miss your window and have to wait until the next hiring cycle.

Later, once you’ve got some experience under your belt, you’ll find that hiring is need based. Companies hire developers & execs when they need to scale up or have to replace someone.

Look for news stories about companies raising money, expanding to new markets, or launching new products. That’s a sure sign they’ll be hiring soon!


© 2018 Neal Shyam