Sunday, October 26, 2014

Soft Skills: Job Hunt Stress

This post targets currently employed developers who want to switch jobs.  

Job hunts are stressful, and my goal for my job hunts is getting the job I want without getting too stressed.  My job hunting stresses come from: lack of confidence, being rushed, not having options, disappointing others and the pressure from my current job responsibilities. By expecting and mitigating each of these stressors I greatly reduce the stress during my job hunt.

Below are my stressors and mitigations:

Lack of confidence
Study for technical interviews - Study Cracking the Coding Interview and system design questions. Expect to spend 4-8 hours a week for 4 to 8 weeks.  The longer it's been since you've interviewed last, the longer this will take.
○ Prepare for behavioral questions - Think through your previous projects for situations that demonstrate leadership, confidence, team building and be prepared to discuss them.
Do mock interviews - ask your friends and colleagues to interview you.  You should fail the first few mock interviews it's normal.
Being rushed
Know your "must be done by" date -  don't get stressed over  your own fake deadlines.
Lack of options for next jobs
Figure out what you want to accomplish - I use the Business model You approach to figuring it out.
Look around for who is hiring
Start and maintain a list of candidate jobs
Have a worst case scenario job
Disappointing others
Be honest with yourself about what you can control and share.
Think about what you can do to reduce the impact to your  customers, partners,  subordinates and bosses
Pressure from current job
Negotiate with your current boss for time to work on job hunt.
Recall your highest priority is the next job, but you have existing commitments.

Even when you know about the common stressors a job hunt is still an emotional roller coaster. Expect to have "ups" and "downs". Have a support network with whom you can vent, share disappointments and gloat.

Good luck on your next adventure and checkout HBR's Setting the record strait on switching jobs.

No comments: