Feeling lost. What should I be doing at this point in my journey?

Hello, campers! Hope everyone is having a good day. Sorry if this next post sounds a bit depressing.

I’m feeling very lost as to what I should be doing next at this point in my quest to become a developer. I thought having a degree in Computer Science would have given me at least a good chance at securing a job after graduating. So far, this hasn’t been the case. My hope was that, even though I did not necessarily have any languages or technologies quite mastered, I had enough programming background that employers would be willing to let me quickly learn on the job.

When that plan did not work out, I thought maybe I just did not have good enough projects to showcase. So about 2 years ago, I decided to pursue web development because it was something I really enjoyed doing. My plan was to learn enough technologies and build projects that I could be a strong candidate when applying for entry level roles. This is what I had thought after reading numerous articles of what employers are looking for in ideal candidates.

It has literally been almost 10 years now since I have started this journey. And I still have nothing to show for it.

I am feeling like an absolute failure now. I have applied to at least 100 jobs throughout a number of resources just last month alone, and I have been rejected or ghosted by all of them. As much as I enjoy programming and want to become a developer, I can no longer justify this dream. I am coming to the realization that 10 years is far too long, and far too much of an investment for the slim chance someone will be willing to hire me. Even if I learned PostgreSQL, Typescript, AWS, or some other technology now, I would still be lacking one more requirement in the job description. Maybe I do not know .Net, or Python, or Java. Maybe I did not use the right words in my resume. Maybe I do not have enough projects. Maybe I still do not have enough “years” of programming experience. There is always something missing. Job requirements feel as though they have become so holistic I would need a PhD if I ever hoped to get an entry level role.

At this point, my life is demanding that I make a livable wage. Working in a warehouse sorting boxes was not something I thought I would be doing after graduating from college. Honestly, I do not know if I should keep trying. What started out as an ambition has become a nightmare.

I do not even know what kind of advice I am looking for. Maybe just want to see if there is anyone else in the same boat as me.

Sorry for the long post. I just really needed someone to express my thoughts to. Thanks so much for any one who spent the time to read it.

Hi @vincent.salinas.2022 !

I am sorry that you are going through this tough time right now.
Here are my thoughts, and hopefully it can help in some way. :slight_smile:

I saw that you posted your portfolio in the #project-feedback section but I moved it over to the #career section since that is the more appropriate place for it. Also, you will probably get more eyes on it now.

You didn’t mention if you utilized your university’s career services or alumni services.
Have you participated in job fairs, internships, apprenticeship opportunities through your college?
One of the advantages of going to the college is the built in career services and networking opportunities which plays a huge role in landing your first job.

I would definitely reach out to your school and look into alumni groups or other career services opportunities for alumni.

For an entry level job, you don’t have to master any technology.
It is called junior for a reason. :slight_smile:
My hunch is that your online approach is flawed and not your skills.
But I have some tips that could help with that. :slight_smile:

I would first make sure your resume is on point.
I would edit your post to include your resume so people can take a look at it and provide feedback.
Even with a CS degree, if your resume is not strong then you can still be rejected and ghosted.
I would check to make sure that your resume is ATS friendly and not being rejected by the software.
Here is a good article on how to create an ATS friendly resume.

For my resume, I didn’t bother to get fancy at all.
I just kept it simple and easy to scan and that would be my advice for you.

You also need to make sure you are properly utilizing linkedin.
That is where hiring managers and recruiters hang out.
If you have a strong profile, then people will reach out to you.
I would highly suggest looking into Danny Thompson’s linkedin series.

He talks about how to optimize our profile so you get noticed by recruiters and hiring managers.

I would also use linkedin as an opportunity to reach out to hiring managers or recruiters at the companies you are interested in applying for.
Let them know that you have a CS degree and are qualified for the job.
Some people will disagree with this but I do think this is helpful if you know how to reach out in the right way.
You should check out this discussion thread on how to properly reach out to hiring managers.

Make sure to check out other articles too.

Don’t get caught up in thinking you have to learn 20 different technologies to land a junior developer job.
Also, don’t think you have to match the job requirements 100%.
Most of those job listings are just wish lists.
It is more important that you can learn a few technologies really well and demonstrate that you can learn on the job.

In conclusion, make sure your resume is on point, try to connect with an alumni network are your college for potential opportunities, leverage linkedin to connect with recruiters and hiring managers.

I am someone who doesn’t have a CS degree(or any STEM related degree) and was able to learn how the system worked and land a job.
I don’t think you are being rejected for your skills.
I just think you don’t know how to work the system in your favor.

Make those changes to your approach so it is more targeted and effective and you should see a difference in the results.

Good luck and hope that helped :slight_smile:

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