|Obviously, the best way to find the right job is through your network. But what about when you're first starting out and your network is small, largely still in college and mostly ineffective?|
Among the classmates that I've talked to – at least among the ones who view it as more than "just a job" – it's a frustrating experience. If you look at job boards, most of them are either asking for an entry level .NET developer with 3 years of experience with UML modeling, which sounds like a terrible fit, or they want a senior engineer.
One friend got hired at a megacorp in Seattle and is trying to lure me in that direction, but as someone who doesn't live in Seattle, NY or the Bay Area and likes where he lives, that reduces the number of attractive megacorps that I know of to zero. Don't get me wrong, I live in one of the major tech centers of the U.S., just not one of those three.
When I was looking for internships, I had very occasional luck just sending out random emails to attractive companies, but the hard part is finding those attractive companies. In the end, I ended up taking something that wasn't right for me because I had to support myself through college. (It's also a big part of the reason I'm a month from graduating and don't have any significant side projects to show.)
What if I want to hack JS/Ruby/Python instead of translate UML to Java and .NET? Is it unrealistic to find something along those lines if the vast majority of my experience is Java and C? Is a recruiter the right answer, or should I just suck it up for 6 months or so while I get some personal projects under my belt in the technologies I want to use? Do I need to be more open to relocation?