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Ask HN: Lack of progression in career. Companies that help you fight that?
3 points by ccdev 6 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 5 comments
If you get comfortable working with in a small company with small scope, you could be working yourself into a hole. That's what happened to me. Now I need to dig my way out and into a bigger company with better financial stability and bigger scope.

Main reason I want to do this? Being involuntarily jobless for a year time sucks. And I'm no fresh grad. I'm someone who's been doing this since 2007. If the average programmer with several years experience doesn't have trouble getting job offers, than I am most likely below average. Despite working on personal projects, I don't feel competitive anymore.

Now there's a problem with that. The companies most likely to solve my problem won't hire me. The ones that are more willing to hire me are the kind of companies that will keep me in that rut of being below-average. I'm mostly blind as to where are the "happy middle" companies that combine the better of those two things. And I don't know the "right" people to refer me to better jobs so instead I cold-apply everywhere.

First it is generally a tough problem. There is more room at the bottom than there is at the top. Many people become entrepreneurs because they don't see any way up in the firms they work for.

At a big company you might feel you are not making a big impact, as for stability, all of the time I see headlines like "Intel lays off 10,000 engineers."

Feeling bitter about things won't help you get a job, at least if that attitude comes across in your communications with them.

While there is more room at the bottom, the downside to that is that there is more skills saturation at the bottom. So I'm looking for advice that is more supportive of my goals to be a more competitive programmer and in-demand by more reputable software companies. I would love to work at a company like NVidia or Intel. I'd be in a better position to find work even if I get laid off from Intel vs. getting laid off at a mom & pop web company. My resume would look better.

I'm also not interested in starting my own business. The typical "startup scene" outcome for a typical person is to be in your 30's with 5 short-term jobs and zero net worth. I don't feel like I make a big impact in small companies either.

Are you sending out resumes and not getting interviews or are you getting interviews but no job?

If you want a big name company, look at AMZN, many of the people I know hear from AMZN recruiters more than once a month.

I went through the hiring process with AMZN in March and didn't pass the first tech interview so I've been studying for improving on that. I then submitted my resumes to Microsoft and NVidia and didn't get a reply from them.

For now I'll have to wait until October if I want to re-apply to AMZN, and there are no local companies (I'm from Chicago) that have hiring practices similar to them. I get tons of resume rejects locally.

It's possible the issue isn't your programming skills, it may be your job-getting skills; they're not the same skills. It's possible to be really good at your job and have a hard time getting a job.

So it's worth trying to figure out why companies might not hire you, instead of just presuming it's your skills (unless you have evidence otherwise.)

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