The Process and Psychology of Getting Hired

How your personal journey will probably look and what you can do to make it easier.

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Working with the psychological component of getting hired is something that is typically missing from the reams of tactics that plague the Internet's advice on the matter. It shouldn't be -- getting hired has a large psychological component both for you and the person at the other end of the decision.

Job-Hunting Sucks

There's one important point that we need to make right away in order to adequately prepare you for the road ahead:

Job hunting sucks. Seriously.

You will go through the same range of emotions that the countless others before you have done. No one enjoys this process and, if you go in with the wrong expectations, you will not be prepared to make it work for you.

A typical job-search process looks something like this:

  1. Initial enthusiasm and hope.
  2. A slow creeping sense of despair when you haven't heard back from anyone
  3. Hope when you get several interviews at once.
  4. Despair when none of them pan out.
  5. Desperation that you'll never get hired anywhere.
  6. Hope when you have a great interview.
  7. Despair when they low-ball offer you or are terrible at communicating.
  8. Terror at having to negotiate your offer.
  9. Hope when you finally accept the offer and get working.

The themes should be obvious -- you'll alternate between hope and despair fairly often, mixed with a bit of burnout. It's a process that can take several months to sort out, and that's pretty draining. Getting through it is as much psychological as anything else. We'll introduce some mental hacks for getting over it (as well as ways to minimize the downsides) but we cannot state enough that you are not alone when you go through these phases during your own search.

Confidence

One underlying psychology of all of this is that you need to be confident in your abilities and your approach. You've probably heard since you could first talk that confidence is key in everything, so we're not going to spout too much touchy-feely stuff about it, but don't underestimate it.

The job-search process will give your self-confidence a hit because you'll fail 99 times before it finally works. You should expect this failure and embrace it as an opportunity to learn. Despite what will certainly be a long list of "rejections", you ARE capable of adding value to an organization and getting hired (usually sooner than you think).

Another thing to remember is that every week you spend in the process allows you to build more skills and become even better.

Timeline

Everyone wants to know how long it takes to get hired. To start out with, here's the standard disclaimer — it completely depends. It depends what time of year you apply (no one hires during the holidays and many are on vacation at the end of the summer), what geography you're applying in, how high your standards are, how much time you devote to it and how many shortcuts you can find in the process. We have had students get hired before even starting the program, students who left the program early to start a job, and students who took several months to find their way into the welcoming embrace of a job they love.

You want "real" numbers? Fine. A very high level general benchmark is that fulltime bootcamp graduates applying in Silicon Valley tend to average about 2-4 months to sign an offer. They are typically working full-time (60 hrs/wk) on job-hunting and improving their skills. This isn't meant to provide anything other than a fair warning — this stuff takes time. It's not a sprint. It will take a few weeks just to ramp up your process, and companies will certainly take a few weeks once you've gotten into the interview/offer cycle.

Being organized about your approach will save you time, which is your most crucial asset now. If you're applying to a bunch of jobs or even interviewing places where there's no chance you'd take the job even if it was offered, you're probably wasting your time unless you're just testing out the process (e.g. to get interview experience).

As we said before, you're either in Job Mode or you're not. Just don't fool yourself into thinking you can half-ass it and still get results in a reasonable time frame. Maybe you'll get lucky, but we're not here to roll the dice. We're here to give you the best odds of success.

Perseverance

Finally, you can't get through this process without actually soldiering on until the finish line. You don't win by quitting, despite how much you will want to. We will ask you to do things which are outside of your comfort zone and you will be uncomfortable. If you can't handle these things, you need to double check your motivation for becoming a developer. It won't be the first time in your career that you encounter discomfort or challenge.

We don't say this to scare you off but rather to give you a realistic set of expectations for how hard job-hunting can be. Knowledge is power and, when you realize that everyone before you has trod the same bumpy road, it makes it much easier to do so yourself.



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