Career Advice from the Trenches

This section contains career advice from people who typically have the necessary background and knowledge to answer specific questions posed by the job seekers. Most of the following Q&As are taken from sites such as, and include any typos and grammatical mistakes in the originals. A link to the original source is always provided at the end of each question/answer. The answers given here are for information purposes only, and not to be treated as professional or legal advice. Please consult with a professional before taking any sort of action. The section also contains articles of possible interest to job seekers from different publications.

This section is updated regularly; future Q&As will be shown at the top of the page. Please visit often.


3 Obstacles Your CS Degree Won't Prepare You For

AngelList Blog, Feb. 28, 2019

Irrespective of how rigorous and challenging computer science programs are, there will always be bits and pieces (and sometimes entire skillsets) of real-world software engineering that school doesn't teach you. Your CS degree won’t teach you:

  1. How to handle an angry Twitter mob
  2. How to build around hacky, legacy code
  3. How to stop that one engineer from performing unauthorized writes to the DB


Naval Ravikant's Guide to Choosing Your First Job in Tech

AngelList Blog, Feb 21, 2019

The beginning of your career is one of the hardest parts to navigate. By default, you're at a disadvantage. You probably have little-to-no professional experience, you don't know how to evaluate which company will be best for your career, and you likely don't have much of a network to lean on. At the same time, your first job—especially in tech—can have an outsized impact on the rest of your career.

Naval Ravikant offers a simple and effective framework for choosing your first startup.



The 50 Best Internships

Vault surveyed thousands of current and former interns about their internship programs. Vault’s 50 Best 2019 Internships reflect the highest-rated internship programs across the survey pool. The Top 5 internships are:

  1. Infosys InStep
  2. Kleiner Perkins (KP) Fellows Program
  3. Elliott Davis (ENVISION) Summer Internship Experience
  4. Frank, Rimerman + Co. LLP’s Summer Internship Experience
  5. Wilkin & Guttenplan, P.C. Winter and Summer Internship

See the full list at:


And, the Most Prestigious Internships

  1. Microsoft ($7,100 per month)
  2. Tesla ($26 an hour)
  3. Facebook ($8,000 per month)
  4. Goldman Sachs ($5,700 per month)
  5. Amazon ($6,100 per month)
  6. P. Morgan ($25 an hour)
  7. SpaceX ($26 an hour)
  8. The Walt Disney Company ($16 an hour)



See also Vault’s other internship rankings (such as The Best Consulting Internships, The Best Internships for Compensation, etc.):


The highest paying internships at investment banks in New York and London

efinancialcareers, July 5, 2018

Facing stiff competition from thriving tech companies, many investment banks have had to open up their purse strings to land top-level interns. This is particularly true in the U.S., where Silicon Valley looms large. Wall Street firms are paying a premium for interns this year. Investment banks in London haven’t felt the need to do the same. The article offers data on current salaries for summer analyst interns working in investment banking divisions at 15 of the largest banks in New York and London.

Read more at:


Ex-international students who got H-1B full time jobs, what is your advice to me who is struggling to get H-1B jobs?

10 Answers

Archana Manjunath, wants to help grad students

Answered Jun 17, 2018

I can only answer this on behalf on engineering students, as my background was in engineering.

Focused Effort:

What international students get wrong about job search is that they apply for jobs they think they are suited for. However job search with H1B sponsorship requires a much more focused effort. To start with, you should filter your job search by companies that sponsor H-1B visas.

Even before I started applying for companies, I made a list of every company I knew who had employed a student like me. To do this, I compiled a list of seniors in my area who had graduated from my department. I then visited the LinkedIn profile of all of these people and noted the companies they working for. After I had compiled my list, I researched jobs in these specific companies that I was interested in. These are the jobs you must give your best shot to. Finally, I made sure to tailor my resume for every position I was interested in.

If you need tips to prepare yourself for landing a good job after your MS, read my article on 5 helpful tricks to land yourself a job/internship | Grad School Advice - MS/PhD | Gradvisors

Networking and referrals:

Leverage the power of networking. If I knew a senior who was in my field and working in a company I liked, I would reach out to them and ask them to refer me for an open position that matched my skills and interest. Companies generally reward their employees for successful referrals so it’s a win-win situation for all.

Apply to institutions exempt from H1B cap

Another thing students (especially PhD students) can leverage while applying for jobs is that Universities, non-profits, and some hospitals are exempt from the annual H-1B visa cap. So you can also look at job opportunities at such places while applying.

OPT and STEM extension:

Some companies (mostly startups) might be willing to employ you till they need to sponsor you. Engineering students can leverage their OPT period and additionally, the STEM extension to buy time as well as gain experience and eventually switch to companies that offer H1B.

I have also received advice that you should even apply for companies that are known not to take international students. The argument here is that if you can leave an impact on such companies, they might make an exception and be willing to sponsor you. However, my experience with sending out emails to hundreds of such companies reveals otherwise. I received automatic rejections from 99% of these companies and was rejected in the very first round in the remaining 1% as soon as I re-iterated I needed H1B sponsorship. Thus, I would strongly recommend making sure you spend the time to nail your applications to companies in your list rather than wasting time on other companies.

22.9k Views · Upvote · 46


Nikolay Makarov, Management Consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers (2016-present)

Answered Oct 27, 2017

There’s no easy answer on this.


I went through 20–30 sessions with either my peers or other people that worked in my industry. They all helped me to improve in my storytelling. I also went through numerous books and articles on how to improve and used those techniques in front of real people.

Try Recruitment Events

I went to those and failed miserably. It might work. I had friends who landed real jobs there, but you have to send your resume in advance and practice your pitch. You might get 50 no’s, and that’s alright. I went through that. Its painful but there’s a chance to get yes. I’ve seen those people with an international passport.

Develop Sales Pitch

You need to know how to show your impact in 10–60 seconds. Practice it in front of real people. Get their feedback. Practice again.

Use Your Diversity Card

Tell recruiters what they can win by hiring you. You have a perspective that no local has. You can generate ideas that no one else can. Practice it before you do it. Get feedback. Practice again and again.

Get Good at What You Study

Find an unpaid internship. Do projects. Join clubs. Learn everything. No question on an interview should surprise you. What is the radius of the earth? Sure - here it is. How to identify a number of balls that you can fit in star wars ship? - this is how you do it.

Reach Out to People Directly in Companies that Sponsor H1B

Find them on LinkedIn. They can be from your university, or they might be complete strangers. Try to find a connection. If they went through the same process, its great. Ask them to go for a lunch with you. Ask them to tell you how did they get that job. Show that you’re likable. Show that you care. Show that you will work harder than anyone they’ve ever met. Show how smart and bright you are. Ask intelligent and sincere questions. Let them give you a chance. Ask for other people’s referrals. Ask them to suggest you to their recruiter.

Meet with People

Don’t sit at home and watch tv. Go and meet people everywhere. Show how awesome you are and tell them that you’re looking for a job

Practice English

Practice your accent. Practice how quickly you say everything. Practice casual talk. Practice professional discussion.

Don’t Forget Plan B

Finding a job is actually the first step. You later have to convince your company to file your h1b case. Once it's filled in April, you will go through the lottery. For a regular person, the chance of winning it is like 30%. Some will have another try next year, but it's an awful process. Once you get H1B, you will have somehow ask your employer to file your case for a green card. A lot of companies don’t do it. The wait is like 10 years for citizens of India. For others, it's at least 2–3 years now. It might change it 2–3 years with all those executive orders. Canada, Singapore, London, Dubai are all good places. You can find a pretty good job in Poland, Spain, or in many other countries. You got the education in the mecca of educations. Your career might actually grow faster in other places with your US degree. Be positive. Show that you’re better than locals. Practice, practice, practice. And do really well on that one interview you’ll get.

Good luck!

2.9k Views · Upvote · 16


See also other answers at:


What are the pros and cons of buying a house in the US while you are on an H1-B visa?

2 Answers

Vamsi Yarlagadda, MBA Human Resources & Management Information Systems

Answered Apr 27, 2018

First of all, I do not think there are a handful of pros pertaining to buying a house while you are on H1-B visa. Unless you invest or buy a house in a highly appreciated ROI area like California or some other super duper locations that suddenly surge a very high increase in purchase value in just a matter of few years. If you invest in an area that is already over priced far behind from the current year property values, then you might definitely end up being a loser if you encounter any H1B visa issues and should you intend to sell off your home quickly because of that issue. Think about the interest rates, HOA charges, property taxes etc, and on top of it H1B uncertainties. I strongly believe that it is not a wise decision to butt in a plan of buying a house.

Again every individual has a different opinion of buying a house. Few prefer to own a house rather than renting; some purely believe in home value appreciation and reap benefits out of the surge in invested numbers.

Truly, the combination of H1B and purchasing a house is a BUMMER!!

Good luck!!

14.8k Views · Upvote · 9


Arun Agrawal

Answered Apr 28, 2018

disclosure: I am on h1-b and I own 2 properties in Bay Area.

Buying a house is a big decision regardless of your status. It requires a big commitment in terms of cash (for down payment or all cash purchase) and long time horizon for property to appreciate.

Provided you feel comfortable with those aspects, it is not a bad decision to start an “investment” in terms of purchasing property. The pro is long term growth while cons are managing that property. It all depends on how much time and effort you want to put into this. Sometimes people prefer to invest in stocks/bonds and each have their way to invest.

I was personally under the same boat where I did not want to buy a property as long as I’m on h1-b. I changed my decision because of ever increasing rent and not able to find ways to park my money. Now I could not be happier as I found this to be a good way to “invest” money.

2.3k Views · Upvote · 5



I recently graduated with a master's of economics degree from a top economics school and am having a hard time finding a job. I love economics and problem-solving in general. Is there anything I can do on my own, as in working for myself?

3 Answers

Pureum Kim, loves economics

Answered Nov 13, 2014

Here are some things that you could do.

1. Keep increasing your skills. There are great economics, finance, programming, and statistics courses online in Coursera, EdX, and Udacity. You can take those and sharpen your skills.

2. Participate in competitions. There are business plan competitions and analysis competition like Kaggle. You can participate in those and make a portfolio of your work, which helps your thinking but also be useful to show to your potential employers.

3. Start investing. If you have some money invest in stocks. You will learn a lot about firms, markets, and about yourself. If you are good and lucky, you will make money but it is more about learning. Once you have a solid investing process, you will earn money ^^

4. Network. Networking opens doors. Go to local meetings and try to meet new people. It will expand your thinking and your network.

5. Do things you have not done before. Once you get a job, you will be quite busy and have limited leisure time. I suggest that you take this time and enjoy and do things you want to do. This will help you learn new things and also make you happier.

Good luck!

2.7k Views · Upvote · 4


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What is the best way to save maximum money when staying in the USA on an H1B visa for an Indian’s perspective? I know this can be very subjective. I don't drink or smoke, like to work out and travel.

5 Answers

Ramamurthy Guruvayurappan, Five thousand followers; most viewed writer 90 plus subjects

Answered Apr 24, 2018

This is what I told both my daughters who went for US education and ended up with loans ( while I took care of their Rupee loans in India), both of them ended with Dollar loans for their MBA.

It does not matter whether you have Rupee loans or Dollar loans. Suppose you carry student loans of about Rs 50 lacs. There are not much of investment avenues in US which carry zero risk or no risk. So continue a frugal life, better than the student life what you have done during your MS . Loans will carry about 6 Percent (Dollar loans) or 12 Percent ( Rupee loans back in India).There is no better investment than repayment of these loans. Your return on such investment is 6 Percent or 12 Percent respectively. You need to continue this frugal life, till such time you repay 50 percent of the loan or in this example to Rs 25 lacs. Interest paid on Dollar loans or Rupee loans are eligible for some tax set-off.

Don’t Buy a new car. Please buy less than 3 year old car with loan. This loan also will carry about 6 Percent interest. Again you are able to get a good return in repayment of this loan.

Make best use of 401K plans and contribute to the maximum to leverage on the maximum contribution by your employer. It is optional to contribute more to take advantage of employer’s next slab of 50 Percent contribution.

Some employers offer employees stock option. Over and above this, they also give an option to buy company’s shares at a discount say 15 percent to lowest price of 6 months price of the shares. Make best use of this window. You have some lock-in period and when it is over , if there is some profit, encash. The profits are taxable.

Only when your loans come down to 50 percent of the original amount ( both student loan as well as car loan) , now think of spending some amount on yourself, like work out or travel. Make use of free gym facilities or do running in nearby parks, till such time.

Once the loans come to 25 percent of the original level, start contributing / saving in a special account for accumulating towards margin requirements for home loan. Mostly you may be employed in Bay Area. It is not possible to buy a home less than million dollars. You need to save about 200K minimum ( I would say build up 250 K ) . Elsewhere it will cost about $500,000. While in H1B, you can buy homes in US. If you are not sure to buy home in US, you can always buy back in India for your family. Buying a home in US has certain advantages. You can save on rent and itemised home loan interest deduction is possible for tax purposes.

While Life Insurance is not popular in US, you cannot afford to live without health insurance. Mostly you may be covered by your employer. You can get tax exemption over and above this towards health savings account. Make use of it.

If you are going to save thru Rupee fixed deposits back in India, you need to be aware of exchange risks with Rupee depreciation over time.

If you have exhausted all these, it may not be a bad idea to invest S&P 500 index mutual fund.

Marriage/wedding expenses, trips to India will need to be provided for in your budget.

1.5k Views · Upvote · 9


See also other answers at:'t+drink+or+smoke%2C+like+to+work+out+and+travel.


What is an average salary for a front-end developer?

13 Answers

Ben Oliveri, Content at Codementor

Answered March 22, 2018

Front-end Developer salaries range by location, and level of experience. According to Indeed’s salary pages, the average salary for a senior front-end developer is $101,747 in the United States. Junior front-end developers make significantly less, averaging $61,784 per annum.

In case you have a specific location in mind, here is a list of front-end developer salaries for a selection of U.S. states with tech hubs or a high ration of software development job openings.

Front-end developers doing freelance work can also command a respectable salary. According to Codementor’s survey of over 5,000 freelance developers around the world, the average rate for front-end developers is $61.50/hr. Note, this average was calculated based on a global data pool. Skilled front-end engineers based in the U.S., Canada, Australia, or New Zealand can command much higher rates at more than $100/hr.

Here is an estimation of monthly and annual salaries for freelance front-end developers:

40hrs/Week x 4 Weeks = 160 Hours
160 hrs x 61.5 = $9,840 Per Month

$9,840 x 12 Months = $118,080 Annually

Again, based on geographic location and experience, actual salaries may vary higher or lower.

If you need more info on front-end developer communities, events, and interview questions, you can check out the full Front-end Developer Hiring Guide.

1.3k Views · View Upvoters

Upvote · 10


(See older answers through the link give above)


If I am not supposed to say bad things about my current employer, how do I address the question of why I am looking for a new job?

16 Answers

Matt Becher, Arts advocate, illustrator, and freelance writer

Answered March 2, 2018

I always try to frame this discussion around the job I want to be in, not as a critique of the job I have.

I do not say “I don’t like the industry I’m in,” I say: “I really love [industry X] and I’m looking to get more involved in the field.”

I do not say “I don’t like the people,” I say: “A positive work environment is huge to me and I’d love to be on a team where I can be my best self.”

I do not say “they don’t pay me enough,” I say: “At this stage I’m looking to take the next step in my career, and I want to work with a company that encourages that growth.”

These changes still generally convey my sentiment, but they do it without casting blame or directly putting down someone I have a working relationship with.

You should always look for ways to portray your goals for a new job as ambitions or hopes instead of criticisms or gossip. Some interviewers will be very attuned to how you speak about your peers, and may see any naysaying as a red flag.

If there’s something very specific that you find you can’t spin, I would follow a tried and true adage: if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. You are ideally there to get hired on your merits, not your ability to make cutting remarks about your current employer. Stick to the good stuff.


Upvote 5


Kevin McGovern, Biomedical Equipment Engineer (1980-present)

Answered March 2, 2018

Good question. You must be diplomatic: don’t just say the pay/hours/workplace/boss/company suck. You’ll sound like a whiner at best; a really lousy prospect at worst. Try one of these after saying, “I enjoy my current position, but—”:

I believe I can contribute more in a different role…

There is little opportunity to grow in my current role…

I’m looking for a more challenging role…

I don’t feel I can contribute as efficiently in the current/new climate, since the management/ownership/company changed/merged/was sold…

My compensation has been stagnant for too long… careful with this one!

I need more time for my family…

I’m seeking a more challenging opportunity in location/industry/both…

You get the idea. Don’t stress compensation much, unless you are trying to leave Scrooge & Marley for Cratchit & Sons in your local area, and it’s an “enough said” situation.


Upvote 1


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I was offered a better pay and better position at another company. Should I go or use that as an advantage to demand more from my current company? Will it be considered unprofessional to demand from my current company?

21 Answers

Kay Nejim, Founder of, YouTuber, Internet Marketer, and Amazon Seller.

Answered Jan 24, 2018

No it’s not unprofessional. In fact, you coming forward and telling them the truth about what is going on is the most professional thing you can do. While it seems like you have to make a decision here, the whole situation plays itself. You have this opportunity that you want to take. If you take it then you would have to tell the company anyway to give them notice (assuming you are on good terms and there is respect between you and your current employer). All you have to do is let them know you fully intend to take this new opportunity. If your current employer wants you bad enough, they are going to take the action to make you a better offer. If not, then they will let you go on good terms and wish you good luck.

No matter what, if they do want to make a counter offer get it in writing. No handshakes, no promises. Last thing you want to have happen is them say they will give you something good, you stay, and then they take it back.


Upvote 2


Joe Homan, 33 years consulting, software company COO, adjunct professor

Answered Jan 24, 2018

I note that you use the word “demand” twice in your question. Given that emphasis, I say “Yes” it is unprofessional to DEMAND more from your current company.

As an employer, I will gladly discuss and negotiate in good faith with employees. Professionals can calmly and openly consider each other’s viewpoints and come to a mutually beneficial and agreeable position.

If an employee comes to me and DEMANDS better pay or a better position, I will politely deny the demand and wish the individual success at their next job. A good/positive attitude is one of the most important aspects of a quality employee. I learned that very early in my career from a wise, seasoned VP. Someone with a negative attitude who thinks they can or should DEMAND more money or a better position has no place in my company.


Upvote 8

Bryce Christensen, I've had 3 already

Answered Jan 24, 2018

I have been in this position a few times. If you are going to stay, don't use it as a negotiating tool. If you even mention it to them, do so to demonstrate your commitment -- I was offered a position by the other guys, but I knew it just wouldn't be the same.

If you are going to leave, then leave. The only time telling them details about the new position has made it easier for me was when it was a raise for an amount I knew they couldn't reasonably match. If you aren't happy, then telling them so isn't a win for you or for them. Go in peace and maybe you can salvage some of the relationships later.

If you were to try to use it for leverage, if I was your boss, I would call your bluff. If you are unhappy, I would like the chance to fix it, but if you are on the way out, I wouldn't be doing you a favor to try to stop you with golden handcuffs. If you really value working with me less than working with strangers that offer you more money, then I have already lost the battle. I will be looking to replace you on my timeframe rather than yours if I get you to agree to stay. You won't be with me in the long term.


Upvote 4


(See also other answers through the link given above)


Ex-international students who got H1-B full time jobs, what is your advice to me who is struggling to get H1-B jobs?

Nikolay Makarov, Management Consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers (2016-present)

Answered Oct 27, 2017

There’s no easy answer on this.


I went through 20–30 sessions with either my peers or other people that worked in my industry. They all helped me to improve in my storytelling. I also went through numerous books and articles on how to improve and used those techniques in front of real people.

Try Recruitment Events

I went to those and failed miserably. It might work. I had friends who landed real jobs there, but you have to send your resume in advance and practice your pitch. You might get 50 no’s, and that’s alright. I went through that. Its painful but there’s a chance to get yes. I’ve seen those people with an international passport.

Develop Sales Pitch

You need to know how to show your impact in 10–60 seconds. Practice it in front of real people. Get their feedback. Practice again.

Use Your Diversity Card

Tell recruiters what they can win by hiring you. You have a perspective that no local has. You can generate ideas that no one else can. Practice it before you do it. Get feedback. Practice again and again.

Get Good at What You Study

Find an unpaid internship. Do projects. Join clubs. Learn everything. No question on an interview should surprise you. What is the radius of the earth? Sure - here it is. How to identify a number of balls that you can fit in star wars ship? - this is how you do it.

Reach Out to People Directly in Companies that Sponsor H1B

Find them on LinkedIn. They can be from your university, or they might be complete strangers. Try to find a connection. If they went through the same process, its great. Ask them to go for a lunch with you. Ask them to tell you how did they get that job. Show that you’re likable. Show that you care. Show that you will work harder than anyone they’ve ever met. Show how smart and bright you are. Ask intelligent and sincere questions. Let them give you a chance. Ask for other people’s referrals. Ask them to suggest you to their recruiter.

Meet with People

Don’t sit at home and watch tv. Go and meet people everywhere. Show how awesome you are and tell them that you’re looking for a job

Practice English

Practice your accent. Practice how quickly you say everything. Practice casual talk. Practice professional discussion.

Don’t Forget Plan B

Finding a job is actually the first step. You later have to convince your company to file your h1b case. Once it's filled in April, you will go through the lottery. For a regular person, the chance of winning it is like 30%. Some will have another try next year, but it's an awful process. Once you get H1B, you will have somehow ask your employer to file your case for a green card. A lot of companies don’t do it. The wait is like 10 years for citizens of India. For others, it's at least 2–3 years now. It might change it 2–3 years with all those executive orders. Canada, Singapore, London, Dubai are all good places. You can find a pretty good job in Poland, Spain, or in many other countries. You got the education in the mecca of educations. Your career might actually grow faster in other places with your US degree. Be positive. Show that you’re better than locals. Practice, practice, practice. And do really well on that one interview you’ll get.

Good luck!


Jane Davidson, New Zealander who studied in the US (F-1), then worked (H1B)

Answered Oct 23, 2017


The reality is that it is irritatingly easy for some people, and impossibly hard for others. Easy for those with connections, easy for international students who are native English speakers, hard for anyone else.

My advice is to stay the hell away from people who can’t help but brag about their multiple job offers.

Apart from that, work your networks any way you can, and never let anyone down after they recommend you.

If an American company offers you a great job outside the States, seriously consider it. It may not be the way you have mapped out your master plan, but if you turn it down you may be stuck with crap or nothing.

I wish you all the very best of luck that a positive path will open up for you, even if it wasn’t the exact thing you envisaged.

56k Views · View Upvoters



(See also other answers through the link given above)


Should I lie about my salary in an interview in order to get a higher offer?

This question previously had details. They are now in a comment.

91 Answers

Aiyswarya Sarathy, Environmental Engineer

Answered May 8, 2017

Don’t even think about it.

If they find out, you will never again be trusted with anything.

And believe me when I say employees in the Human Resources dept talk. It will take about five minutes to cross check your information. Also for the most part, your position’s salary (not yours as an individual) may be available on glassdoor, monster etc. It’s not uncommon. They could easily make a guesstimate. Your salary won’t be too far off from the ones put up on these career websites.

I would suggest that instead of lying, the much safer and sensible option is to not reveal it all.

You are not under any obligation to reveal your current salary. Work on your interview answers, and be firm on not revealing your salary. That’s fair. Lying on the other hand has catastrophic consequences.

(See also other answers through the link given above)


Is it really hard for an international student pursuing actuarial science to get a job in the USA?

3 Answers

Minh Vu, Actuarial student

Answered Nov 17, 2017

It’s not hard, but the job market is definitely getting more and more competitive:

  • Companies start hiring really early. Summer actuarial internship applications are usually opened during August and September, and by mid November most positions are filled. As you may know, getting an internship is crucial, especially when most companies rehire interns as full-time employees. As a result, the race for internships also starts early, by your Junior or Senior year in college, or by your last year in a Master’s program, you should have at least one actuarial internship.
  • People pass more and more exams. I passed 3 prelim exams when I started applying for internships as a college Junior. And to be honest I was pretty confident with the number of exams I have, and was thinking they will give me somewhat of an advantage. I couldn’t be more wrong! While traveling to on-site interviews, I talked to college students who have 4 - 5 exams in their pockets. It was insane! As enrollment in actuarial science programs increases, the average number of exams per candidate probably increases as well.
  • Only so many companies hire international students. In fact, most companies don’t hire international students because we require Visa sponsorship and other complicated legal procedures to get hired. I’ve got straight rejections right after identifying myself as an F-1 student during applications. Only a few companies recruit and sponsor intl’ students, most of which are big firms, which makes the process even more competitive.

On the other hand, it’s definitely not impossible to get a job as an actuary in the US. You just have to put a little more effort, pass a few more exams and demonstrate yourself a little bit more compared to other US candidates and no company would be able to say no. Best of luck with the job search process!

1.3k Views · 12 Upvotes


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Will I be able to find a job after graduating with my Business Management degree?

2 Answers

Tom Stagliano, Senior Aerospace Engineer (studied at MIT)

Answered Dec 20, 2017

I will provide an analogous story: My youngest son graduated from the Villanova University with a bachelors degree in Business/Management in 2014. The management department’s placement office set up a large number of interviews for the graduating seniors in the Fall of their senior year. My son has two job offers and accepted a full time job starting July 2014 before Christmas of 2013.

It is Business or Management: That is what the department is Supposed to do. Alumni who attended your college will be All Over you to get you to sign on with their company.

Go to your department head and ask: “When will the department arrange for contacts with job offers during senior year?”

The department should facilitate the interview (by phone at first) and then it is Up To You to land the job.

There are a Lot of very good jobs out there for Good students with bachelors degrees. My son started with an annual salary in excess of $60,000 and he continually gets bonuses.

All the best.


Benito Salazar Jr., Bachelor of Business from Texas State University (2016)

Answered Dec 20, 2017

If you “manage” your priorities, find the companies you want to work for, and interview before you graduate you will.

You’ll at least find a job your more interested in instead of rushing to find any job right after graduation because bills are stacking up and your debt isn’t shrinking either.

I graduated with a business management degree. With a business management degree don’t expect to jump right into management, set your bar lower, get yourself in an entry level job at a company who’s mission and goals you believe in.

The beauty of a degree like ours is that once you have it, there are many doors you can open. Don’t feel overwhelmed by it, instead focus on what you would like to do. Match what you’re good at with what you like, and get better at that. Also, be grateful for your degree when times get tough.

There are many people out there who think they chose the wrong major, or that with their degree they won’t find a job. It might be true for some, but for you, this excuse is not valid. Business is all around us, and as long as there’s business, there will always be a need for good managers.

Best advice I’ve heard: If you’re asked to work on something new, and you know you can’t do it say yes anyway. You’ll be jumping on the deep end, but you’ll be learning something you didn’t know before, and your credibility within the company will increase.



Is it hard to find a job as a foreign student who graduated from an American university with a master's degree in bioengineering or biomedical engineering?

Tom Stagliano, Senior Aerospace Engineer (studied at MIT)

Answered Oct 31, 2017

It comes down to “Who is going to assist you with a work visa?”

If you did your masters work in the USA on a F-1 student visa, then under OPT (optional practical training) you can get a job in a related STEM field for upwards of 36 months after earning your masters degree: Optional Practical Training (OPT) for F-1 Students

Towards the end of the OPT period, if you are well liked and the company/laboratory for which you work can get H-1B visas, then you may be able to get a H-1B visa for five years. Or if you are really valuable to your employer they may take the time and money to sponsor you to become a permanent resident of the USA.

In general, OPT opportunities abound, because you are cheap technical labor.


Michael Tieran Filkins, M.S. Biomedical Engineering, University of Minnesota (2018)

Answered Oct 31, 2017

It depends on how well you can communicate your knowledge.

If you can speak and understand English well you shouldn’t have a problem. Writing is important once you start the job so you need to be proficient in it as well.

It can be easy if you know English well.

**edit: knowing English well doesn’t exclude people who have a strong accent. They need to focus on speaking clearly so they can be understood though.

89 Views · View Upvoters · Answer requested by Olivia Chen

Upvote 1



How could international students find jobs in the USA?

15 Answers

Johann Kuzma, studied at University of California, Berkeley

Answered Oct 23, 2017

Job Hunting as an International Student

As an international student, job hunting will be a little more complicated for you than it might be for US students. Here are some tips to keep in mind through the process.

Start Early

This is good advice for all job seekers, but it especially valid for international students. It is going to take you longer to find employment with a company that will sponsor employees who need work visas, so the sooner you start, the better!

Research Your Situation

You are going to need to know the rules and regulations of your specific situation. Make sure you know which visas you need, including the different possibilities, deadlines, and potential costs. The more familiar you are with these things, the more confident you will feel when applying for jobs.

Take Advantage of Your School's Resources

Your school is sure to offer career services, and they are likely to have a good deal of experience helping international students to find jobs in the US following graduation. Take advantage of that experience, and set up a meeting with a career coach to discuss your specific situation and goals. You will also want to attend career fairs and talk to the recruiters, build relationships. And follow up with them for potential interviews.


Around 70% of jobs are found through solid connections. Take advantage of your school’s community; talk to alumni groups who have gone through the same process you are. Build up relationships with your professors and even parents of your American friends.

Stay Positive and Be Persistent

Job hunting can be exhausting and demoralizing. You might feel that you are working yourself to the bone, with no noticeable results. The important thing now is to not give up. A positive attitude and confidence in your abilities will show in everything that you do, and will make employers want to invest in you.

Meanwhile, here are 3 easy part time online jobs:

  1. Paid Social Media Jobs - Visit Official Website

Did you know that businesses all around the world are hiring people just like you to help manage their social media accounts such as FacebookTwitter, and YouTube?

There is a lot of money in it, and the best part is that you don’t need any qualifications, prior experience or specialized skills. All you need is a few spare hours per week, a computer with an internet connection and a good knowledge of how to use Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.

They are hiring people just like you to do it for them! They are paying people just like you great money to work from home doing simple tasks such as:

  • Creating their Facebook Fan page
  • Posting status updates and comments
  • Creating Twitter profiles
  • Tweeting special offers and promotions
  • Engaging with their customers through comments and posts
  • Spending time messing around on Facebook and Twitter!
  1. Writing Jobs Online - Visit Official Website

The Writing Jobs Online website is a place where freelancers can find a ton of different writing jobs. Here anyone even (inexperienced writers) can start to work, doing many different writing jobs. Some examples of jobs is writing content for blog sites, ebooks, books, websites, magazines, etc.

If you’re already a good writer or have some knowledge regarding online writing, you will have a major advantage over people who don’t. You will be able to begin with work right away. The online platform offers a wide range of subjects that are updated everyday. Therefore, you will be able to choose subjects, and write about topics that generate your interest.

In simple words it works like this: writing jobs online how it works: You choose a writing job, You submit your work, You get paid.

  1. Get Paid To Play Games - Visit Official Website

And I guess you've heard that some smart cookies are actually getting paid to play video games and you're wondering if it's just an urban myth? So I'm happy to tell you it is NOT.

You see the video game business is now bigger than the movie business - worth about $62 BILLION currently. And with that sort of money at stake, games have to be as perfect as humanly possible. Because if a game is released with a even few bugs in it, the bad news will spread like wildfire on line, sales will bomb and the game's creators will lose millions.

So - with that sort of money at stake - it's a drop in the ocean for the games makers to pay you up to $30 an hour to test their games to destruction, so they can fix any bugs before launch day. And while $30 might be a drop in the ocean to the games companies, it soon adds up to a handy income for you - particularly when you're ALSO enjoying yourself playing games that no one else in your neighborhood has even seen yet.


Chintan Shah, Sr. Software Engineer at Western Digital (Sandisk)

Answered Mar 16, 2016

Find job is tough but not impossible. So many students make a big hype on it. There are few firm steps to find a job. I always find Brute Force algorithm helpful in this process. Of course it depends on the time you have and the knowledge and attitude you carry.

  • I always prefer positive attitude with 90% of truth in your communication.
  • Spend approx a week to make a resume (1 page till 3 years of experience). Resume should be short and eye catching.
  • Spend couple of days to make your Linkedin profile stronger and eye catching
  • Add your field regarding friends in connection.
  • Search some big companies' recruiters and add them as a connection  [Direct way to connect with the company and show your resume]
  • Find Companies and apply:
    • Gather the companies list (some 100).
      • Go to the companies' websites one by one.
      • Go to the career section of the website
      • Make an account and apply properly.
    • Go to the Linkedin.
      • Search jobs regarding to your location liking and position keywords.
      • They may have direct link or company website link.
      • Go to that link and apply.
      • Linkedin have dynamic search so search everyday and you will get different results regarding to your job preferences.
    • Try to find some friend's or alumni's companies' position and try to apply with internal reference (Big Shot if you are lucky).
  • Not Getting Call On First Attempt (Don't worry)
    • Now try to find out the mistakes you made in resume that is not perfect fit in current market requirement.
    • Change the resume and try to make it best.
    • Again repeat the cycle of find job positions and apply  [I already mentioned in earlier step]
  • Learn from the mistakes you made in the phone or personal interviews.
  • Try to improve your communication and speak comfortably and politely.
  • Eye contact is the most important thing in on sight interviews.

This is the best I can guide you on my experience.

Best of Luck...!

12.4k Views · View Upvoters

Upvote 38 


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How do I get an internship at Google?

74 answers

John Qian, Upcoming SWE Intern at Google (2017-present)

Updated Dec 30, 2017

As a freshman from a non-elite school who just received a SWE internship offer from Google, I know many peers will ask me how to do the same. The answer I want to give requires too much patience for normal conversation, so I’ll just write it out and refer everyone here.

The other answers offer some great short-term advice on how to get a Google internship. To sum it up, learn well in school, make personal projects, go through good books like CTCI, try competitive programming, do mock interviews, be active in the tech community, get referrals, seek résumé reviews. If you’re already a good software engineer, that’s all you need to do. And I’ll add something I don’t see here: try the challenge; it’s how I got my interview.

However, living in a CS-centric school, I’ve noticed that most fancy internship seekers have frustratingly misguided motivations. For that reason, I’d like to offer a more long term perspective.

Although a Google internship can be an amazing, life-changing experience, it shouldn’t be what drives you. Your motivation for everything software engineering related should not be a résumé pad, nor a higher GPA, nor any other superficial qualification that supposedly leads to an offer; it should simply be to become a better software engineer.

I understand that this is hard to internalize. You excelled in high school by designing your schedule to maximize your GPA, begging teachers to round you up, memorizing notes for tests and forgetting later, running for leadership positions in clubs you didn’t care about, getting a couple teachers on your good side for nice recommendations, and writing bloated essays focused on making you sound smart rather than sending a meaningful message. In short, you gamed the system for maximum reward with minimum effort. And it worked, as far as you’re concerned. All of these efforts directly contributed to the college you’re now in.

The vast majority of students carry this “game the system” inertia into college, sometimes even for the rest of their lives. It’s so common that it’s considered cool. This disturbs me.

The problem with gaming the system is that its benefits (reputation, adulation, getting laid) don’t extend beyond a small bubble. It’s very hard to convince high schoolers that the world is bigger than the bubble they live in, because it’s by far the most dominating bubble they’ve ever experienced. But you’ve already made the transition from high school to college, and have probably noticed how minuscule high school feels with some distance, so you should now recognize that college is just a new, slightly bigger but still tiny bubble.

The people who make it in life live for themselves, guided by visions reaching far beyond their bubbles. The coolest kids don’t try to be cool, the guys who attract the best girls don’t put girls on pedestals, the most funded entrepreneurs aren’t money-driven, and the most successful software engineers don’t lust for flashy internships. Watching from the outside, it’s easy to be captivated by the external rewards successful people receive, not realizing that their lack of desperation for these rewards is precisely the reason they receive them.

The beauty of the CS community is that it’s very much a meritocracy. Minor injustices do occur, but in the grand scheme, they get balanced out. I can’t say the same for other professions.

To illustrate, let’s suppose you’re the ultimate bullshitter.

You continue your high school antics in college to get good grades, an exaggerated résumé, and referrals.

You apply for a hundred internships, get a few interviews, and prep for them intensely.

You fake enthusiasm for each project, get a few offers, and pick the most prestigious one.

Your peers envy your ‘success’, seek advice from you, network with you. You feel like a god.

This can all work like a charm, and many do it.

But for what? If you’re not a good software engineer, you’ll live through your internship feeling like a fraud, because you are, and it’ll catch up to you eventually. Your progress will be slow, your code will suck, your employer won’t like you, your coworkers won’t like you, and you won’t like yourself. Moreover, you won’t get a return offer, and you’ll have to put on the same show to get a different offer. One day you’ll burn out and wonder why you chose to pursue this crappy career in the first place. You should have majored in business.

It’s important to realize that interview practices will change, tactics to game the system will change, the entire structure of education will probably change, but the fundamental qualities that make you valuable as a software engineer are forever.

So if you want a good internship, become someone who deserves it. Learn to love CS. Learn to love people. Learn to love changing the world. Work hard on your résumé, but remember that it should ultimately undersell you because it can’t reflect your energy, integrity, or ability to understand users. Lead an interesting life, pursue ambitious projects, take risks, make mistakes, laugh, build character, and never forget that you’re not getting any younger. At some point, you’ll know that rejecting you would be a naïve mistake. Your confidence will radiate from your interviews and your actions, and eventually you’ll be discovered by someone worthy of you.

23.4k Views · 247 Upvotes

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How can I increase my chances to get an internship at a well known company like Facebook or Google?

1 Answer

Sief Khafagi, Recruiter @ Facebook, Hired 100s & Interviewed 1000s; B.A Communication & Business, San Diego State University; Lives in San Francisco Bay Area

Updated Dec 21, 2017

I recruit people to Facebook so from a recruiting perspective, I’ll share some tips and tricks to get noticed by people like me.

At the bottom of this post, there are also some additional resources to help you get the job and prepare.

Note: This is a blended post from two other original answers I answered about how to get a job at facebook and interview tips. However, this post is more of a guide for those focusing on internships and many of these tips should work for both Google or Facebook. You can find those original answers here and here.

Technical areas to focus on

There are 3 areas I’d really focus on doing really well on. These 3 help you become an end to end engineer; someone who knows both the software and systems pieces of how something works. You should focus on both what the “answer” is but even more importantly, showcase you can think you’re way through the problem.

  1. Systems - More specifically, linux troubleshooting and debugging. Understanding things like memory, io, cpu, shell, memory etc. would be pretty helpful. Knowing how to actually write a unix shell would also be a good idea. What tools might you use to debug something? On another note, this interview will likely push your boundaries of what you know (and how to implement it).
  2. Design/Architecture - this interview is all about taking an ambiguous question of how you might build a system and letting you guide the way. Your interviewer will add in constraints when necessary and the idea is to get a simple, workable solution on the board. Things like load and monitoring are things you might consider. What you consider is just as important as to what you don’t. So ask clarifying questions and gather requirements when appropriate.
  3. Coding - algorithms, data structures and clean production ready code is the end goal. Binary trees and link lists could be topics to review and you’re free to use whatever language you like.

Practice. Then practice again.

It makes a world of difference. Especially with the pressure of an interview. Practice with a friend on a whiteboard with a 45–60 minute time constraint. Then ask for direct feedback. I’d even record it, watch it later and see how you discussed certain things. Then reverse the roles. Sometimes, you’ll learn more being the interviewer. Not to take it to extremes, but consider teaching it to a friend or two. This is often how you absorb information at a faster rate.

Have an online presence

We use a lot of tools, both internal and others, to find people who might be a good fit for the roles we’re hiring for. Some of these include things like Linkedin for example or searching Github (if you’re technical). At the very least, I recommend having a fully flushed out and up to date Linkedin profile, especially if you’re actively looking. A personal website would also help.

Have an offline presence

We host events all across the world looking to meet and network with others, specifically for engineering. In many cases, we’ll post about these or send you an invite if we think you might be interested. We also attend a ton of conferences to both give back and share our knowledge with the community but also to meet people who might be interested in joining Facebook.

Contribute to the open source community (if you’re technical)

Speaking of conferences, we’re huge advocates for open source.

Here are a couple of links depending on what’s most relevant to you. Android, iOS, Web, Backend and Hardware. If you’re working on any open source projects, add them to your Github, Linkedin, portfolio or any other online sites you might have and mention them on your resume.

Network your way in

Networking is by far one of the best ways to get a job at Facebook. If you know someone directly who can vouch for you, referrals go a long way in getting your foot in the door. If you don’t, begin to network with others in your industry, including those who work at Facebook. It’s likely someone you know can introduce you directly or might know someone who can. In fact, I was referred to my recruiter by a colleague of mine which fast tracked my interview and within a week I had 4 offers, including Facebook. One of the best decisions I ever made too. You can read more about why here. Networking is one of those skills that will never go out of style and keep on paying off.

Optimize your Resume

There isn’t technically a right or wrong way to format a resume but we’re human after all. Here are some things to consider.

  • Keep it to 1–2 pages (and not super crammed). It should be easy to read.
  • Focus on impact in your past experience
  • Highlight the things that help you stand out whether that be your education, your projects, your past experience or any contributions to the community you’re a part of.
  • Keep it up to date anywhere you have it posted online
  • Don’t use buzzwords for the sake of using buzzwords. Yes, we recruiters search by words but we’re also conscious of seeing every buzzword in the industry on your objective statement (which btw, totally not needed). If it makes sense to use the word, use it.
  • Look at other people’s resume who have the job you want, especially at Facebook. If you can’t find it online, look at their Linkedin. Can you learn anything from it? Are there specific commonalities? If there is, you should consider it. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying copy someone else’s experience. This might give you a few ideas on what to focus on.
  • Be truthful. Don’t just put something on your resume that isn’t accurate because we’ll likely ask you about it or it might come up in a conversation. If you can’t back it up, leave it off.
  • More tips here

Cold email a recruiter (and not just any recruiter)

You can reach out directly to a recruiter that focuses on your area of expertise - with an emphasis on area of expertise. Most recruiters will identify what areas of engineering or non-technical roles they hire for. Be strategic in who you reach out to and be personal. We love to meet people who might be actively looking and within our specific scope of recruiting. It literally makes our job that much easier. If you know someone who got recruited to facebook but don’t know them well enough, you can even ask them for an introduction to their facebook recruiter. Maybe they’ll be willing to help.

Apply Online

It goes without saying that it probably doesn’t hurt to just apply online. We have a fantastic team that looks at inbound applications and refers them to the appropriate recruiter if and when it makes sense.

Build your brand

Engage with your tribe (whether that be tech or non tech) and begin to build your brand. This is the one piece of advice I wish I learned sooner. If you’re well known in your industry, publish content, speak at conferences, write a book, blog and share your contribution to the world. We all consume content but we need more people to create it.

Start prepping now

Don’t wait to start preparing for your interview. Every day is a new day to improve your skills, pick up new ones and continue getting better at whatever you do, wherever you do it. When that day comes you’ll want to be as prepared as possible. Here are some tips on making it through the interview process at Facebook.

It’s also important to note that if it doesn’t work out the first time, it’s not the end of the line. Many people don’t get offers their first or second time interviewing and you’re welcome to continue interviewing for the same or different roles, typically within about a year (although some roles/teams could be different).

More resources

  1. How to make it through the interview process at Facebook
  2. How your interview is different by level
  3. Tips for internships and recent grad roles
  4. Why Facebook is a great place to work



I have applied for over 20 internships and have been denied or not heard back from all of them. Does this mean my resume sucks?

College kid with 6 internships

Answered Jan 9, 2018

This can be a couple of things:

  • Your resume doesn’t communicate your skills effectively
  • Your resume doesn’t show skills those companies are looking for
  • You’re applying for internships that you aren’t qualified for

Your resume doesn’t communicate your skills effectively

You see, a resume has one job and one job only: to communicate to the read why you should be hired.

That’s it. If your resume can do that, then it has accomplished all it needs to accomplish.

This is a problem that many people face because everyone tries to follow the generic resume format of listing your work experience, clubs, volunteer, education etc.

What you should do is . . .

Tell the recruiter why you should be hired

Include a section on your resume that tells 3–5 reasons why you should. Put it at the top of your resume, so recruiters can see it first.

Your resume doesn’t show skills those companies are looking for

Only include skills and experiences that relate to the position you’re applying for.

  1. If you’re applying for a computer programming job, don’t include that art project you made.
  2. Only include thing that they will care about.
  3. Take keywords from the internship application and find ways to include them on your resume.

Put yourself in their shoes.

If you’re looking for a person to build a house for your family, would you want to look at people who have experience building cars?


You’re looking for people to build you a house not a car.

The same goes for internships.

No employer would want to look at your resume if it doesn’t include what they’re looking for.

You’re applying for internships that you aren’t qualified for

This is something that I didn’t want to admit, but I knew was true for a lot of the internships I was applying for.

I would get rejected by almost every company that I applied to.

I thought I had skills, but in reality I didn’t.

So what did I do? I went and got more skills.

I learned new skills online and practiced them by completing projects. After doing this for an entire year, I got more interviews and more offers the following year.

If companies aren’t offer you interviews you need to look at yourself and your resume.

Are you qualified?

Does your resume show that you’re qualified?

Would I hire someone with this resume?

Ask yourself those questions, then determine if you need to keep applying or need to work harder on becoming the candidate that companies want.

If you have any more questions, you can read some articles I wrote. These articles discuss how to build a resume that gets you an internship, how to get an internship as a freshman, how to use LinkedIn, and many other topics. Click here to read them if interested and they’re all FREE.


(See also other answers through the link given above)


Failed in 9 tech interviews in the last 6 months, I just can't take it anymore. What should I do?

Neel Shah, Software Engineer at Drawbridge (2017-present)

Answered Dec 9, 2017

Being a recent graduate student in Computer Science, I can definitely relate myself to this question.

I was going to graduate in Spring 2017 (in May). The search for a full time job began in my 3rd semester right after my internship (around September).

The internship search had already exhausted me. Even with applying to more than 300 companies and having a decent profile, I couldn’t get the one I wanted. There I realized that I need to work on my skills, work on course projects related to current hot problems being solved and yeah coding !

I started filling online job applications of almost every company I came across on LinkedIn, Glassdoor and other job websites. It all started with Amazon (ML Scientist position), but got rejected after two phone interviews, the third being an onsite in Boston. This was just the start, got further rejected after phone interviews by companies like Twilio, Google, Tesla, Electronic Arts (after an onsite), Palo Alto Networks, Bloomberg, Zynga, Yelp,, Qualcomm, Two Sigma etc.

There are other numerous companies where I got a reject even after solving their HackerRank correctly. And there were others which did not even bother to send a reject.

While giving interviews at all the above mentioned places, it was not that I was bad at coding. I had already solved around 300 questions of LeetCode (not just easy, but medium and hard too). I used to practice those 2/3 times in a week and also solve all the interview questions specific to a company before an interview. From every failure in interview, there is definitely something you can learn. Besides coding, there are areas like Databases, OOP, Distributed Systems etc. which you should concentrate on.

Solve more coding questions, not everyone is good at formulating solutions on the spur of the moment. But if you have solved something before an interview, that will be a plus point. My job search finally ended in May 2017, a week after my graduation. With every reject, you get one step closer to the thing you deserve. So just work hard and have patience ! All the best.

7.1k Views · 90 Upvotes


William Beeman, Ph.D. Anthropology & The Middle East, University of Chicago (1976)

Answered Jul 8, 2017

Interviewing is a skill that is quite separate from job performance. You don’t say anything about your cultural background, but American companies are expecting a high degree of enthusiasm during an interview. Aside from testing your skills, they want to know that you are eager to work with them—and most important, that you have done your homework about the company and have pertinent questions for them about their product, their operations and their work style. If a candidate comes in showing that they know nothing about the company, that is an automatic black mark in the interview. You must answer the question: Why do you want to work HERE and not some other place?

The great linguist John Gumperz had a wonderful study of an Indian applicant for jobs in the Bay Area who clearly didn’t understand the rules of the interview as a linguistic and cultural institution. He was asked: “Why do you want to work here.” His answer was; “Well, actually, I don’t, but I have all the skills you need—in fact I am overqualified, and I need a job until something closer to my interests opens up.” The candidate thought he was just being honest, but that was the end of the interview and the end of his prospects.

Enthusiasm and excitement is something quite unique to the American work place. If you are coming from another cultural tradition where putting yourself forward in this way is considered to be shameful or too egotistical, that can be a terrible disadvantage.

One more piece of advice. If English is not your native language, you do need to work with a counselor to make sure that your speech patterns and behavior appear natural. Two examples may suffice. One of my students was brilliant, but was also failing in interviews. He was Korean, and had come to California for high school and lived with a California family that had only daughters—four of them—living in the San Fernando Valley outside Los Angeles. His English, based on his exposure in the family sounded like “Valley Girl” speech. No one could take him seriously in his interviews with these speech patterns. He went to a speech therapist for a short while and modified his speech patterns and was instantly successful.

The second case comes from Australia. Australian educators teaching English as a Second Language to Chinese students were able to educate them perfectly in vocabulary, grammar and syntax. They became completely fluent in accurate English. However, they never mastered the body language and gestures that made their speech appear natural to native English speakers. As a result they were continually failing in their interviews. When the teachers contacted employers they found that the students appeared “robotic” or “inexpressive.” They were then sent to acting classes to learn how to appear natural when speaking, and the result was dramatic. They immediately succeeded in their interviews.

I hope I have not insulted the questioner by bringing up these examples, but I wanted to emphasize that the job interview involves a great deal of social and linguistic skill that is not taught in books (although there are thousands of books on developing interview skills). Interviewing goes far beyond merely having the ability to solve problems on the fly.

2.9k Views · 14 Upvotes · 13 Upvotes


Shakerin Ahmed, Senior Engineer at Qualcomm (2017-present)

Answered Jan 17, 2018

You got call for 9 interviews within 6 months? That’s a pretty good sign. That means, your CV is good enough (you can always make it better) to attract employers or recruiters.

Now, there can be many reasons why you are not hired. Three possible conditions (considering the recruitment process was perfect) that I can think of now are-

(a) someone had better skills - In that case, keep applying for jobs and keep improving your skills,

(b) your CV exaggerated your skills - Recruiters got interested, then realized, something seems fishy. In this case, either develop skills as you mentioned in CV, or just don’t put things on CV that you don’t know enough.

(c) your CV matches your skill, but you could not present it properly - In this case, work on your presentation skills, it is a must do thing. Not everyone focuses on it. But, it can take you a long way.

I would like to suggest few things.

(a) find out on what category you fall in for each job.

(b) when you apply next time, keep few versions of your CV. Highlight the related skills and mention other skills too.

(c) Improve you skills (that is a must thing to do throughout your career, in every aspect of life, just putting it here as a reminder :))

(d) don’t stop trying. If you need a job, what to do? Give up? Obviously not. Try until you get what you want. Upgrade until you reach the desired level. Giving up is not an option, Sorry! So, go apply to some other jobs.


383 Views · 2 Upvotes · 1 Upvote


Ross Ledehrman, former Quant, Investment & Risk Manager

Answered Jan 16, 2017

Keep going.

I've failed dozens and dozens of interviews ever since I started working from the age of 15.

For all sorts of reasons

  1. Being late
  2. Simply not showing up
  3. Being rude or arrogant
  4. Dressed inappropriately
  5. Over qualified - under qualified
  6. Too social - not social enough
  7. Coded wrong - too long - too short and everything in between

And that's all okay.

I've even once did two interviews at the same firm, one for stress testing the other for risk. The stress testing one, I got rejected for - too rude, overqualified, probably won't fit in the team.

Week later, same firm, one floor lower, got the job offer in the risk department. Social qualities as well as my experienced background were a plus.

Never take a rejection personal.

2.6k Views · 18 Upvotes · 17 Upvotes


Oliver Smith, 12+ years working on MMOs including WWII Online and WoW

Answered Dec 19, 2017

I was guided towards a career guidance company called “Lee Hecht Harrison”. I met with a consultant there, who turned out to be a former senior exec at Cisco and who had absolutely phenomenal, laser-pointed insights and questions.

Attended a couple of their sessions which were vastly more informative than I imagined, and I found the interview coaching sessions tremendous.

Be both more and less picky about your interviews - talk to more recruiters and contacts, put more into those initial conversations, and follow through with less of them.

Make sure you are taking full advantage of the recruiter or hiring manager you are talking to and asking them a lot of questions. Get a good sense of what skills they saw on your resume that make them interested in you.

If you’re a programmer or data analyst of some kind, solve some interesting problems and put the code on github or bitbucket.

Get a cheap whiteboard or some large paper and practice describing how you solved problems you’ve worked on.

Also remember that there are some really awful interviewers out there.

1.5k Views · 11 Upvotes · 10 Upvotes


Nikhil Wayal

Updated Jan 2, 2017

That day when rejection pushed me ahead after the 49th attempt and touched the magical 50th try that eventually succeeded.After completing my Engineering in CS I worked at my start-up but quit after a year in pursuit of programming that led me to return to my academics. It all started after my Pg-DAC in February. My friends were getting hired one after another with lucrative offers and here I was determined “this time I will convert the call into offer”. Months after months ,9 months passed away but it wasn't working at all.Each time I had faced rejection. It proved to be a test of my tenacity,a total of 115 rounds of interviews,resulting in 7 final rounds and 3 offers.

Reasons-There were several reasons why it wasn't working out.for many companies I wasn't the right fit at all.while other times I would stumble to answer few questions that would take me far away from destination . sometimes it was the technology that I cared for which & I always wanted to work with finally I am working in what i wanted. I never lost faith in my self and in my skills.

Do's :

  1. Resume : I improved my resume from time to time as per the feedback I got.I also experiment to added my GitHub Repository Links to prove my skills this worked and resulted to restart my calls that had once halted.
  2. Attitude : Hiring process varies from company to company,so if you didn’t make it to the next round doesn’t mean you are not qualified enough . Also its really hard to continue with positive attitude and not lose your heart after you see Check-in posts of your peers enjoying their office party.
  3. Feedback : After so many tries,I later learnt to recognize when it was "NO". Have the courage to ask to give you a constructive feedback. It will help you to be clear what skill you are lacking & help you while introspection why they didn’t offer you?
  4. Keep-going : accept the reality of life as it isn’t perfect and you won't get everything you want at once.
  5. Practice: I studied for 8 months full-time 5:15 am to 5:30pm as I had no other choice. Keep practising code challenges & algorithmic they are very important its like a mind gym that keeps you fit.

Don't :

being too exited

  1. It will pressurise you with higher expectations that often leads to disappointments.
  2. It might put in defensive mode when negotiating a job offer.

Never, never, never give up. - Winston Churchill.

9.1k Views · 80 Upvotes · 79 Upvotes

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I've applied for many jobs without getting a single interview. What am I doing wrong?

72 Answers

Karen X. Cheng, learned to dance in a year

Answered Dec 17, 2013

My senior year of high school, every day I’d run to the mailbox. I was waiting to hear back from my dream college. I was so excited when the envelope finally came. I ripped it open, my heart pounding.

It was a rejection letter. I was devastated. I asked them if there was anything I could do to change their minds. Sorry, they said. There’s no waitlist and no appeals process.

But I really wanted in. So I redid my resume and essays, made a glossy brochure, and made them a video about me.

They reversed their decision.

By rejecting me at first, college admissions taught me the most valuable lesson of my life. It doesn’t matter if you’re told no. Everything’s negotiable.

Do everything in your power to change their minds

If you really want this job, the first question you should ask yourself is: Did I do everything possible to get the job?

If the answer is no — congratulations! Time for the fun part.

Do everything in your power to change their minds. If you really want this job, put in 100 hours to get it.

You might think putting in this kind of effort is overkill. But you’ve probably spent 100 hours working on something for a job you already have. Why not do it for a job you really want?

What would 100 hours look like? You can do a lot with it. Get creative. Trying to get a web designer position? Give their existing website a facelift. Marketing position? Put together a marketing plan or a concept for a viral video. Don’t wait until you’re hired to show them you can do the job. Show them when you apply. You are going to run circles around all the other candidates sending in their paltry resumes and cover letters.

Do something that makes you a stronger candidate not only for this employer, but for others too. That way if it doesn’t work out, you haven’t wasted your time. If you redesign a site or make a creative video, that’s a piece you can put in your portfolio to show the next company.

Ask them why they rejected you. If they give you reasons, brainstorm ways to demonstrate how you can overcome them.

It can be tempting not to try your hardest

If you don’t try your hardest, you always get to fall on a safety net:
“Well I didn’t get it, but it’s not like I tried that hard anyway.”

Your safety net is holding you back.

Yes, failure is hard to take. Rejection is tough to stomach. But better to try your damnedest and fail than to hold back and always wonder what if. The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried.

100 hours doesn’t always work

I wanted a job at Evernote, and I wanted it bad.

So I put in my 100 hours. I made a custom resume that I illustrated with little Evernote-style animals. I got out my guitar and sang a song about why I wanted to work there. I designed a custom iPhone app for them.

It wasn’t enough. I didn’t get the job.

You know what sucked? There was nothing left for me to do. No fight left for me to fight. My friends told me I’d find another job. But I didn’t want another job, I wanted that job.

Life is funny, though. Pretty soon after, I discovered a new startup, Exec. And I wanted Exec so bad. I put in my 100 hours. This time, I got the job.
Now I get it. Evernote was right to reject me.

They could see what I couldn’t see at the time — that I was not right for their company. Evernote has several hundred employees. But I like to do a wide variety of things and not be confined to one role — I belong at a smaller company.

I love Evernote and still use it every day. I’ve met many employees and they’re good folks. But the best thing Evernote could do for me was reject me. It gave me the freedom to find Exec, which was a much better fit for my skills and personality.

If you give it your all but still get rejected, be proud. Be proud, not ashamed. You had the balls to try your hardest — fear of failure be damned.

Consider this: what you think is a dream job might not be so great after all. You’re an outsider looking in, and you don’t actually know what it’s like to work there day by day. The company might be able to see something you can’t — that you wouldn’t actually be happy there. Have faith that rejecting you was for the best.

And show the next company why they’d be damn lucky to have you.

If you’re serious about committing every day to your job search, you might enjoy a project I’m running to keep you motivated: a 100 day challenge.


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Does being on LinkedIn really help me get hired?

22 Answers

John L. Miller, Worked and recruited at Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Oracle. 25 yrs industry. PhD.

Answered Oct 1, 2017

This is my personal opinion, and does not represent Microsoft or LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is like a corner of the web dedicated to advertising yourself and your work experience. Many major employers count on this, and use it as a mechanism for sourcing desirable candidates.

For example, suppose a cloud business can’t staff up quickly enough just on internal referrals. A natural next step is for them to look at the people who are or were experienced with the required technologies at other major cloud providers. The business buys a linked-in recruiting account, and searches for people with specific work experience in their profile. Suddenly everyone who lists Azure or AWS on their linkedIn is getting asked if they’re interested in finding out more about a GREAT opportunity.

Searching is IMO a more effective way to hire than posting job openings. If I were a business owner, I’d rather talk to 100 people I chose based on their experience than sift through random applicants who may or may not have relevant experience.

If you’ve got significant work experience and want to be contacted about opportunities by a wider audience than those who have worked with you before, I strongly recommend having a detailed LinkedIn profile. It will lead to a significant number of ‘feeler’ messages, which can be an easier way to get interviews.

Good experience and a good LinkedIn account helps you get hired by helping you get more interviews from people looking for experience like you’ve listed. It’s well worth doing.

71.3k Views · View Upvoters

Upvote 277


Chia Jeng Yang, Janitor/ Global Venture Development at Rocket Internet (2017-present)

Answered Oct 7, 2017

If you’re asking this question, you’re probably around my age.

I got my first graduate job through LinkedIn.

I found the CEO on LinkedIn, dropped him a message with a brief introduction, and we arranged a few interviews.

I didn’t even know if they were hiring at the time. To be honest, I still don’t.

Within the span of a month, I, a Singaporean, moved from my graduation in the UK to working in a warehouse in Pakistan, but that’s another story.

Why does LinkedIn work?

LinkedIn is a massive game-changer in the field of hiring. It connects you directly to the founders, CEOs and directors of a company.

The people who are actually making the decision to hire.

The people whose ‘yes’ overrules obstacles and arbitrary processes to you getting a job.

LinkedIn lets you connect with and message them.

Does it work all the time?


I must have emailed 70 CEOs before I got a job.

But neither do online job portals. Really.

On the flip side, you also don’t want to work for just anyone. LinkedIn is a great opportunity to learn more about the kind of people you would be working with.

This lets you apply to a company with a greater awareness of how closely you fit with the kind of people they hire.

The manager used to organize hackathons in my city? I’ve been going for all his hackathons!

That’s a great line to drop in an interview or email.

You have to have something interesting to say, or offer though. Always have some substance. Update your LinkedIn. Fill it only with the most interesting things you’ve done. Find interesting things to do, potentially also through LinkedIn! It’s not hard to follow the posts of the most interesting people in your field.

Take the plunge, there’s nothing much to lose.

9.2k Views · View Upvoters

Upvote 27


John Marty, Amazon Manager of Product Mgmt. | YouTuber

Updated Jan 2, 2018

It was Feb 2017, when I received a call out of the blue from Amazon. When I asked how the recruiter found me, she replied “LinkedIn”. At the time I had been working for American Express as a Senior Product Manager. I was making a nice six figure salary, but Amazon gave me an offer and role I COULDN’T refuse.

Having a LinkedIn profile changed my life. I spent a lot of time the past two years refining my profile, learning how to create a compelling story, and amassing a network by going to events and reaching out to people (I now have 1,390 connections). The time was well-spent, with LinkedIn recently granting me with illustrious title of “All-Star” based on my industry, description, education, skills, profile photo, and connections. According to LinkedIn, people with completed profiles “are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn” because only 51% of members have a completed profile.

LinkedIn has empowered me to flip the traditional “apply and pray” model on its head, making recruiters sell me on opportunities, as opposed to me attempting to sell myself. This creates a tremendous amount of leverage and allows me to simply say “If you want me, then show me the money”

I now have recruiters reaching out to me every week (including Google two months ago).

So, does being on LinkedIn help you get hired?


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How do I prepare for Data Engineering Jobs at Amazon/Google/Facebook/Quora?

Sriraman Madhavan, Stanford Statistics, Facebook Analytics Intern

Updated Dec 11, 2017

I’ll be joining Facebook sometime next year (2018) as a Data Engineer. I was an intern in its Applied Machine Learning team earlier this summer.

Disclaimer: This may not be applicable to other companies. Or even to other teams at Facebook for that matter.

I’ll divide the necessary skills into two parts. The usual: Technical skills, and the creatively named: Other skills.

Technical skills:

  • SQL: Must-have.
    All pipeline queries and exploratory data analyses are done in SQL (Hive or Presto). Many people think it’s just SELECT * FROM stuff. How difficult can it be? Well, just tell them “SELECT finger FROM hand WHERE id = 3”[1] :P Also, at Facebook’s scale, efficiency becomes key. That’s evaluated during the interviews too.
  • Python: Must-have.
    Most pipelines are written in Python. Not just as a framework, but for data manipulation (when SQL isn’t enough) and statistical tests as well. But, the interviews only evaluated coding skills, like what you would expect in a typical software engineering interview.
  • Unix: Good-to-have.
    All engineers get a dev server. So, knowing the basic tools and functionalities will go a long way as far as productivity is concerned. This is not really an expectation during interviews, though.

Technically, that is it. There are many other good-to-haves (like the inner workings of HDFS, Yarn, MapReduce, etc.), but hey! Is there any thing which is not good-to-have? … No, don’t answer that.

Other skills:

  • “Get into the mind of the end user.”
    Here, ‘end user’ may either mean the end user of the product (Facebook, Quora, etc.), or the end user of your deliverable (product managers, research scientists, etc.).
    Product intuition and Empathy are perhaps the most important (yet underrated) skills that an engineer should have. Use the hell out of the product before interviewing.
  • The ideal Data Engineer mantra: “Think like a software engineer, speak like a data scientist, sting like a bee.”
    Wait, the third part is from some other saying, please ignore. Do not You’re not a product manager.
  • “Debugging is a skill. Understanding Hive logs is an art.”
    Hive errors are like that really annoying baby which unintelligibly cries for everything. (Wait, I’m being told it’s all of them.) Difficult to decode at first, but eventually, you’ll begin to understand what each mindless tantrum exactly means.
    So, like in parenting, previous experience with such systems really really


[1] Mysql Select Finger From Hand Where Id 3 Funny T Shirt: Clothing

51.2k Views · 996 Upvotes


Gautam Gupta, studied Software and Applications & Computer Programming at Jawaharlal Nehru University

Updated Jun 6, 2017

Data Engineer is one of the most popular job these days. You get a very high salary for Data Engineer job. To enter this field you have to learn following skills.

Step 1: Learn SQL: Yes this is the mother of all the data languages. If you already know SQL then it is very good. If not then at least learn the basics of SQL.

Since most of the Data Engineer transitioned from the old school of sql querying to the new school of Big Data, can expect questions on this topic.

Step 2: Learn Hadoop: Once you know SQL, you can start learning Apache Hadoop. This is the base of most of the Big Data platforms that are used in Data Engineering. Therefore learn it well. It will help you clear your doubts on MapReduce algorithm and its implementation in Hadoop.

Step 3: Learn Hive: Once you know Hadoop, you can start learning Apache Hive. This is the most popular querying engine used in Data Engineering. You can learn Hive syntax and basic theory. Then you can practice Hive queries.

Step 4: Learn Apache Spark: Apache Spark is very popular option that claims better performance than Apache Hadoop and Hive. Many companies are using it. Therefore it is very important to learn it.

Step 5: Learn Scala: Along with Hive, Hadoop and Spark, you may have to learn a language like Scala or Java 8 streaming. You can select one of these languages. Once you master all these skills you are well prepared for Data Engineer interview.

Books: I can suggest you some good books on Data engineer interview preparation:

Courses: If you like video courses then there are some good courses on Data Engineer interview preparation on Udemy.

I hope this information helps. Let me know your feedback on this.

Follow me at Gautam Gupta to learn more on Data Engineer topic.

9k Views · View Upvoters

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How much do you make on an H1B?

29 Answers

Ash Murthy, Software engineer, freelance writer

Updated Apr 11, 2017

I now earn about $250K including base pay, restricted stock units and performance based bonus, but excluding a one time signing bonus, and benefits which include free meals, and the usual stuff like insurance, 401K, and an employee stock purchase plan.

In 2010, as a fresh college grad, I received my first H1b visa and joined the everlasting wait for a greencard. My pay was $100K including performance based bonus but excluding benefits like 401K, insurance etc.

To those of you who think every H1 b engineer is a low cost labor to replace an American: Why do you think my employer pays me significantly above the average American salary, in addition to going through the hassle of sponsoring my visa, if I am just a low cost replacement of an American worker? (The median San Francisco California Household Income is $88, 000.)

Join me in making the world a better place by donating a dollar a day: I’ll match a percentage of donations helping this six year old unable to afford life saving treatment for a fatal blood disorder!

66.2k Views · 81 Upvotes



Answered Mar 15, 2017

I started working as a Statistical Programmer in the pharmaceutical industry in the Midwest from May 2014 (Dec 2013 graduate with no professional experience). Excluding benefits and compensation (PTO, 401k, Bonus etc), my salary since then is as follows:

2014: 54,000

2015: 57,000

2016: 60,000

2017: 79,000 (includes promotion)

14.1k Views · 12 Upvotes



Answered Mar 12, 2017

I work at a major Silicon Valley tech company. I make $140k base, about $200k total comp.

H1b salaries are public, you can check them here: H1B Visa Salary Database 2016.

9.4k Views · 2 Upvotes



Answered Mar 20, 2017

A slight departure from most of the other responses here which seem to be by people in the tech/software/engineering industry.

I came here to the US in 2009, went to an ivy league school for my masters, and unlike most of my peers, decided to go the non-tech route. It was challenging at first and it took me a while to find my first job because I wanted to go into marketing and was looking mostly at Advertising Agencies, most of which didn’t sponsor visas. Finally got an offer from an agency that liked me enough to bite the bullet. I ended up being the only Indian (or for that matter, the only non-US employee) working in the agency of over 200 people, for the four years that I was there. While the pay is below that of most of my peers who either went into finance or tech, I couldn’t be happier about my decision.

Location: Philadelphia

2011 - $61,000

2013 - $70,000

2016 - $95,000 (Job Change)

16.1k Views · 9 Upvotes



Answered Nov 26, 2017

My comp: 210 grand all inclusive. 150 grand base.

Average H1B salary is around 75 grand and it’s rising fast. Changing the minimum H1B wage to 90 grand is barely gonna make a dent.

If Americans want to reduce the number of IT jobs going to H1Bs then they must vote for some one who is going to bring down the cost of professional education. Even it may take decades to get the results using this approach, it’s the best route IMO.

A faster route will be to have a per country limit for H1Bs. There would be a significant drop in H1B usage very fast in a few years, and no one will have a legit reason to cry foul.

8.4k Views · 5 Upvotes



Answered Nov 25, 2017

2012 - $58000 per year

2013 - $61000 per year

2014- $65000 per year

2015 - $67000 per year

2016- $80000 per year(due to promotion salary increased this year)

2017- $82000

All the above mentioned salaries are on paper I.e. gross income.

Now let’s talk about in- hand salary,

Current year gross salary is 82000 per year , I will getting $4600 per month after all taxes , insurance deductions.

So literally income is just $55K per year.

15.7k Views · 11 Upvotes



Updated Mar 14, 2017

I'm Canadian with a STEM PhD working in a rust belt city. My first job out of grad school. I'm a data engineer.

I started at 80k in 2013. I'm at 100k now in early 2017.

Not all H1-Bs are the same. Outside of sweatshops and lower tier developers, most H1s earn wages comparable to their American peers. In my pay slip there's a Compa-ratio number: mine is above average for my position in my geography. I rate my competence significantly above that of my peers in this geography—American talent doesn't want to stay in rust belt towns.

We need a way to differentiate H1s.

You can look up H1-B salaries online by location and job title. This is public information.

H1B Visa Salary Data Search

9.8k Views · 2 Upvotes



Answered Mar 12, 2017

I got a masters degree in Financial Engineering from a good university and joined a high frequency trading firm. I’ve been working for about five years. I started with about $150,000 (including bonus) the first year and now make between $400,000-$500,000 a year. My base salary is $200,000 and the rest is bonus + 401K etc.

18.5k Views · 13 Upvotes



Answered Nov 26, 2017

2010 65k

2013 135k switched jobs

2015 160k

2017 155 + 15k bonus

You will be surprised to know my friends who have started a software consulting firms are earning 3 to 4 times more than me.

Entrepreneurs ALWAYS earn more.

3.2k Views · 3 Upvotes

H1B Salary Database:


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How did you screw up your interview with a tech company like Google/Facebook?

12 Answers

Eric Addison, studied at Utah State University

Answered Feb 2, 2018

I’ve interviewed with Google twice: once many years ago for an internship, and again more recently for an engineering position.

I royally screwed the earlier interview (phone screens) by being woefully unprepared. I was in grad school for physics at the time, which gave me a bit of an unwarranted chip on my shoulder… I figured that since I had been programming for a while, and that my school research was writing simulation code, that I pretty much had this whole software thing pegged. Of course, that was a pompous and absolutely incorrect assumption, for which I was rewarded with a “thanks but no thanks” email.

The specific screws-ups in this first interview boiled down to: poor data structure knowledge (hash tables), poor algorithm knowledge (estimating time complexity), and poor coding skill (memory leaks). Looking back, it is no surprise that this one didn’t work out.

What is the lesson? Prepare your butt off!

The more recent screwed-up interview was more subtle. It was in one of the five on-site interviews, in which we immediately dove into a coding question. My task was to write code for a function that accomplished a given operation on a text file. Performing the scripted dance of asking clarifying questions did not reveal much useful information: most notably, I was allowed to assume any form I like for the input. It was this freedom that led to my self-perceived downfall in this particular interview. Essentially, I made a choice for the input format that limited my ability to see a clean solution. Sure, I mucked through a messy solution, but if I had, at any point, stopped and reevaluated my initial assumptions (input format), I may have had the important “ah-ha” moment and changed course toward the simpler, more obvious, cleaner approach. What’s really unfortunate is that this was possibly (probably?) just a warm-up question, meant to be answered quickly, on which I spent the entire 45 minutes churning through a gross solution :/

Lesson? If things get messy, don’t be afraid to back up and rethink your initial assumptions!

38.3k Views · View Upvoters

Upvote 81


Safia Quinn, worked at Alameda County, CA

Answered Feb 21, 2018

So my major screw up is in the final round at Facebook. I was recruited for the position so I was beyond excited……too excited. I prepared like crazy! Mapping exercises, case study questions, consulting past professors and even doing mock interviews with friends. Now some context about me, I interview really well. That was my track record until Facebook. With all the prepping, corporate history research, news topics memorization and culture vulture (ing) interviews I did with past employees. I still crashed and burned. Why? Because I think with all the studying and Facebook culture shock, I forgot the golden rule. That during a interview, before and after you are being judged. And I did and said some stupid things out of nervousness. Like…… having money (a lot) fall out of my purse while fumbling around for chapstick during a tour. Or having a casual conversation about what zodiac sign I disagree with, with someone that I did not even know was interviewing me. Needless to say, I impressed some people but looked like a fool to others. I learned so much from my Facebook crash and burn.

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As a freelance translator of an in-demand language and topic, is it possible to earn a full-time wage with part time hours (20-25/week)?

5 Answers

Jonathan Orr-Stav, Hebrew-English translator, editor, and author.

Updated Jan 4, 2018

Translation work is like acting work—don’t leave your existing day job until you are absolutely sure you can make a living from it. I can’t emphasise that enough.

I eased into translation work initially by doing ‘overflow’ work for an overloaded professional translator. Those clients liked the results, so returned to me (I was cheaper than my mentor), and then referred their colleagues to ...

I eased into translation work initially by doing ‘overflow’ work for an overloaded professional translator. Those clients liked the results, so returned to me (I was cheaper than my mentor), and then referred their colleagues to me—who did the same.

At that time, it was still a sideline for me, but within four years (note how long—mind you, with no marketing on my part, apart from a simple website) my translation workload had reached the level where it was difficult to manage along with my day job (teaching at a design college). That’s when I made the leap and left my day job to do translation and editing on a full-time basis.

And I haven’t looked back. But—as with any business—it must be your passion. Translation and editing is my third career, but it’s the first that I’ve done truly whole-heartedly. I live and eat and think about translation and language usage all the time (except when I’m doing amateur theatre, which is another passion of mine). I produce a blog and a newsletter about it, and write about it on Quora—not because it’s the ‘right’ thing to do as a marketing tool (I know diddly squat about marketing), but because I have an irrepressible need to tell other people about correct translation and language use (even when they don’t care).

If your heart isn’t in it, your clients can tell, and will eventually go elsewhere.

Oh, and one more thing. Note that I said ‘translation and editing’—that’s important, because with the ever-improving abilities of artificial intelligence of recent years, translators are being asked to edit machine-translated content, rather than translate from the original. Since editing involves a slightly different skillset (and even greater command of the target language), you need to be sure that you like (and are as skilled at) editing as much as translating. See my answer to Is translation a dying profession\field, given technology and potential mass bilingualism in the next (5 to 10 years) generation?—and follow the links.

96 Views · 4 Upvotes · 3 Upvotes


Cecelia Smith, Opinions - Unlimited Free Samples (Created during my life.)

Answered Jan 3, 2018

Well, you may be looking at this the wrong way. When you say “part time translator” do you mean that you do not actually translate for 40 hours a week? THAT is the norm, by the way. Very few translators/interpreters are actively interpreting 40 hours every week.

As a free-lance translator, you need to set your fee for interpreting in a way that pays for more than just the actual time spent interpreting.

You are running a business. Your time seeking new jobs, promoting your services, doing paperwork, writing contracts, negotiating your services, cost of office space, professional attire, business cards, insurance, gas mileage, etc. are all part of the service you provide. Even research you may do, and any continuing education classes you take to help round out your skills or keep your certifications up to date.

How much time to you actually invest in running your business? I can guarantee it is much more than the “part time hours” you are thinking of.

Calculate ALL of those expenses, and also find out what other translators are typically charging for their services. Then you can set a realistic price on your services, and create a budge that will make sure that you are not literally losing money when you are working.

You might consider checking out your local community college to see if they offer any basic accounting/bookkeeping classes for entrepreneurs. Learn how to manage your business properly and charge correctly for your services.

THEN you can decide if you are “working part time” or not.

107 Views · 1 Upvote


Richard Pérez, Freelance Translator (1972-present)

Answered Jan 3, 2018

You are putting this question in a way I would have to say, keep your day job and don’t try to be a freelance translator. If you want to earn more working less, then you should target a job in the stock market or politics. To get into translation you have to love the job, not use it as a means to make money, least get rich. In fact, I’d say many translators throughout the world love what they do, but scarcely make ends meet, and in most cases it’s due to amateurs like you who think they can be “professional” working part-time and earning the equivalent of a salary, and visualise their work as something far from a profession where you serve higher values.

Maybe you should try playing football, the salary is great and instead of working you play.

55 Views · 1 Upvote


Marc Wilson, IT consultant, director of Cleopatra Consultants Ltd

Answered Jan 3, 2018

A lot depends on how in-demand it is, and what you consider to be a “full-time wage”. If you’re comparing it to the full-time wage of a teenage burger-flipper, almost certainly. If you’re comparing with the CEO of Walmart, definitely not.

Check the median wage for where you live, then multiply the likely hourly rate you can charge by 20 or 25, and compare the two figures. If you’re in the same ballpark, you then need to consider the tax and expenses situation to get a rough idea of how the two will compare in real-world circumstances.

And don’t forget that you won’t get paid holiday etc as a freelance, so don’t use figures that assume working 52 weeks.

Make sure you really can get 20–25 hours of paid work a week. If it’s available, be prepared to go higher for short periods, to make up for times when things are quiet,

And good luck! The life of a freelancer is not always the easiest, but at least you don’t have an arsehole boss to please.

31 Views · 2 Upvotes · 1 Upvote


Eugen Grathwohl, Translator and Writer at Freelancing2005-present; Dipl.-Ing. Agricultural Science, University of HohenheimGraduated 1982; Lives in Manila2005-present

9.8k answer views3.2k this month

Answered Jan 3, 2018

The short answer is rather NO.

You decide your price and as such you can demand what you want. In reality there is a big difference between what you want and what you can get.
On top of that your actual rate is not the money that ends up in your pocket but you need to pay insurance, tax, rent, electricity, Internet, computer and other programs.

You also should consider that at least in the beginning between contracts you have no paid work but need to do the overhead and advertising of your service and improving you scope and quality (learning).

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Have you ever changed careers in your 30s? How?

5 Answers

Lukasz Laniecki, I quit the legal profession after 10+ years. Then I switched again.

Answered Jun 24, 2017

I was good at fighting people in the courts of law.

Actually, it wasn’t other people I was fighting, but their argumentation, their reasoning, their part of the story.

I think this distinction is important and I wish more people saw it that way.

I particularly liked smashing other lawyers’ arguments. In court battles people almost always focus on the flaws of their opponents’ story and forget to thoroughly examine their story. They take too many things for granted. They believe the flaws on their part won’t be noticed by their opponent. Or they simply can’t see them due to this thing called tunnel vision. And that’s when their arguments get smashed.

I enjoyed this moment when their well crafted story fell into tiny pieces because of one small detail they overlooked, because they were so convinced about their rightness. I think most lawyers like those moments. But do they like their job as a whole?

I didn’t like this job.

I hated the legal industry. I knew too much about it. I knew judges aren’t fully independent. They never are. I knew there are always deals that can be made within a particular case and that everyone has his or her personal interests. All people have those interests and most are unable to fully forget those when they execute some kind of power.

I’ve tasted it and I didn’t like it.

People told me I was good at it. I didn’t care. I couldn’t imagine myself being part of this whole machinery my whole life.

So I quit after 15 years of being a part of it. Almost 10 years of education. I didn’t care.

I wanted to do something I’d really enjoy. What exactly? I didn’t know yet.

All I knew was I didn’t want to be a part of it and that at 35 I could still reinvent myself and start a new career.

I took interest in methods of alternative dispute resolution (including negotiation) and that’s where I headed.

I didn’t know if I was (was going to be) good at it or whether I would like it. I thought I’d explore it for a while and we’ll see.

Because there were like no blogs about it at that time (or very few) I started blogging to mark my presence in this new field.

In less than a year I was invited to speak on one of the national radio stations. What did I speak about? The methods of alternative dispute resolution, of course. Turned out someone found my blog and liked my stuff enough to call me. I was stunned.

Then came invitations to speak at conferences, workshops, seminars, etc. I was invited by some of the country’s most reputable institutions (schools, universities). Within two years after I started my blog I was invited to be a judge on international negotiation competition for students (mainly of business and law schools).

Was I good at it?

I think there were many people better than I, but I knew I was just starting. Although many people already knew me and thought I was some sort of a leading authority.

I also had a chance to do some workshops for law school graduates. I immediately realized I was, again, very close to the legal industry. Too close. This I didn’t like.

In general, did I like this new thing?

Sort of. Definitely more than being a litigation lawyer.

But I realized something else.

It was my writing skills plus the fact that I was a good storyteller (and that I was good at connecting the dots) that made me good as a litigation lawyer.

It was my writing skills plus the fact that I was a good storyteller (and that I was able to consistently produce good content for my blog) that enabled me to reach quite a lot of people in a short time.

It was writing I enjoyed the most.

Turns out writing was something I was good at in school and I always enjoyed written assignments. I also did a lot of writing just for the sheer fun of it - for myself and to entertain others.

Some of my teachers even thought my written assignments were actually my mother’s written assignments. But it was never the case. My mother never, not even once, wrote anything I was assigned with. I guess because I genuinely liked those written assignments.

So it took me something like 25 years to finally realize that writing is what I should be doing day in and day out. That writing was always a potential passion of mine (unsuspected and thus untapped). Something I both, greatly enjoyed doing and am good at (for which I got a lot of praise from my teachers).

Why the hell did it take so long?

Maybe because I never imagined myself doing it “for real”, and nobody ever encouraged me to pursue it, and I wasn't smart enough to read between the lines when my teachers praised my writing.

I think it was very important that ever since I decided that legal industry was not for me I was always in DO mode (I did other stuff) and that I trusted my decisions and choices.

I didn’t ask people what else could I do. I didn’t take personality tests to determine my strengths and weaknesses. I didn’t ask people what’s the best way to find your passion.

Here are top 10 things I wish I had done differently.

As a young adult (in my late teenage years and early 20s)

  1. I did too many things to fit in,
  2. I was too anxious,
  3. I believed in following instructions,
  4. I believed we were all supposed to have our lives sorted out in our late teenage years,
  5. I obsessed about the fact that the clock was ticking and I feared not being where my peers were,
  6. I wanted to be an instant success,
  7. I wanted to make my parents proud,
  8. I wanted to provide my parents with a peace of mind,
  9. I wanted to impress people,
  10. I wanted to play it safe in life (and was too scared to trust my own judgment, my own decisions, make my own choices).


This is a copy of my previous answer Lukasz Laniecki's answer to Is it too late for a career switch after more than 10 years? Can you let me know how you did it, if you have done it successfully?

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Nathan Hayes, Project Architect (2016-present)

Answered Jun 18, 2017

When I was 30, I was laid off again from my role as Draftsman at a 500+ employee national A/E/I firm. It was late 2009, and I had been laid off four times over five years. It was not a question of poor work or dedication; I was merely one of the lowest people on the ladder and we were in the middle of the GFC.

I determined that I needed a qualification to make me more valuable.

So I went back to school full-time over the next six years and completed a Bachelor of Architectural Studies and a Master of Architecture (Professional). My wife worked full-time while I worked several part-time jobs, both in my industry and not. We even had a few kids during this time. It wasn't easy, but we did it, primarily due to student loans and other forms of credit which we will be paying off for awhile.

I am now happily working as a Project Architect and add a lot of value to the company I currently work for.

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If I get caught cheating on a technical interview, will I be blacklisted from that company forever? A few friends have told me they got through their first round interviews by Googling the question.

59 answers

Ian Douglas, Given 800+ tech interviews from interns to VP of Engineering

Updated Nov 6, 2017

At a previous job I did a phone screen of a candidate who answered my questions appropriately. I sent him a coding assignment to see his level of skill in PHP (our programming language at the company at the time), and he sent it back in a few days and it looked great. I called him to arrange on-site interviews, and when he arrived, I told him that we'd be working on his code submission to add a few features or to fix a few bugs. (I like to assess whether someone cares to maintain buggy code or only work on new code) He got a scared look on his face and he fumbled around quite a lot trying to track down where some bugs were.

After watching him struggle for several minutes, I asked him if he was the person who wrote the code. He admitted to me that he had a friend write the code. We tried to make progress in adding those features and fixing those bugs, but it was clear that his programming skills and debugging skills were very weak and he was therefore not suitable as a candidate. But first and foremost, he lied to us by submitting code that was not his, and we blacklisted him from ever applying at our company again.

If you cheat, it proves that you're a dishonest person, and very few companies will want to risk hiring such a person. If I can’t trust you with something small like an interview test, how could I possibly trust you with important things like customer data?

Update: over a million views and 7k votes, wow, thanks for the response! The most common question in the comments below was whether I hired his friend. Of course not, his friend would have been in on the scheme.

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Jedidiah Chow, Senior Manager at Informatica

Answered Jan 19, 2016

As a software engineer, a manager, and a frequent interviewer, I am looking both for competence and integrity when I interview. 

I've had folks copy answers for our HackerRank system, and we do our best to root out such situations, but you can never really be certain so we approach those situations carefully.  I never assume that someone is cheating or copying, but I never rule it out.  Because I look for integrity, if there is any dishonesty, I will cancel the remaining interviews and blacklist the individual.  I actually would prefer that the candidate be blacklisted everywhere, because I believe that as engineering professionals, our conduct is of extreme importance, and no formal one exists for software developers.  This is problematic, you need only look at VW, Uber's God-mode, and other recent applications of technology to see why. 

As an interviewer, I always do my best to come up with questions that are not easy to replicate.  I train my team members to push on critical thinking skills like creativity, analysis, and judgement in the software and programming domain.  This helps us side-step the issue of the interviewer's already having seen the question, and even if they did, that's somewhat okay.  It becomes an advantage over other candidates, but they must still prove themselves to be thoughtful and creative with the question.  Plus, the interviewer can take it in a direction that differs from person to person. 

I also expect that if someone has heard the question already that they be honest and tell me.  Sometimes this happens because any given full time hire might be interviewed by 6 different employees, and sometimes employees mistakenly ask questions from the same standardized bucket from which they are trained.  So whether the question was encountered internally or externally, I always ask for and expect honesty (and will always look for whether the answer is being regurgitated)

I have had instances where folks were dishonest on their resume and we escorted them off the premises mid-day.  I have had instances where our receptionist was getting yelled at and we ended the interview panel before it even started.  I'm not afraid to end an interview abruptly, but I'm also not afraid to take a chance on someone who demonstrates more integrity and thoughtfulness than he does coding skill. 

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If you get an offer from Google and/or Facebook and you decline and choose another offer, do you get black listed?

10 Answers

Chris Heemskerk, Sales Manager - North America at Google

Answered Jun 8, 2017

Absolutely not, provided you play fair.

Just like many other markets, the job market is ‘free’ and based on supply and demand.

It's up to you to decide what job offer suits you best, and provided you remain respectful with the recruiter in question, he or she will likely want to stay in touch with you for future opportunities that may arise. Note: you may not necessary want to mention the competing company.

Rationale: you got to that final stage for a reason. You demonstrated amazing capabilities. No strategically oriented hiring protocol would blacklist talented candidates for life just because ’it didn't work out for you at that specific time and place’.

After all, this is a mutual commitment and it should be a win-win for both parties. Imagine the immense opportunity cost for companies that frequently process ‘impulsive’ hires who are not truly committed and end up leaving the company after 6 months of extensive training and investment.

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David Seidman, Security Engineering Manager for Google. My opinions are my own.

Answered Jun 8, 2017 · Upvoted by Daniel Richardson, former Software Engineer at Google (2015-2016) and Marc Donner, former Adwords development in New York at Google (2007-2009)

Rather the opposite: once you decline an offer, you're forever on the recruiters' short list, assuming you aren't a jerk about it. You can expect whichever company you decline to call you back 6–18 months down the road “just to see how everything is going”.

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Sief Khafagi, Engineering Recruiter at Facebook

Answered Dec 24, 2017

I’m a recruiter at Facebook and I can tell you that 90% of the time, everything David mentioned is accurate. There are a few things to remember so you don’t leave a “bad taste” in the other companies mouth.

  1. Don’t use the offers as a method to simply get more money from the company you want to join. It’s okay to go back and negotiate for more money if it makes sense but if you’re a jerk about being all about the money, it’ll likely never work out.
  2. Respect the recruiter at both companies. They are often the ones who will keep in touch with you and re-engage you in the next 6+ months. If you tell the recruiter to stay in touch, actually respond back when they contact you. It’s a two way relationship.
  3. Keep attending events you’re invited to. It’s okay to be a passive candidate. In fact, at any given time, most people are passive candidates. If you get invited to go to a happy hour or dinner, take it up if you’re free and continue being “top of my mind” for the other company.
  4. Don’t bad mouth the other company; especially with companies like Google and Facebook who are almost always competing for similar talent. Each company is almost always aware of the other’s culture and the pros/cons. In general, it’s never a good idea to bad mouth another employer.
  5. Lastly, say thank you, to both the recruiter and hiring manager at the company you’re declining. This goes a long way for building relationships that can sometimes open doors another time.


Yangshun Tay, Front End Engineer at Facebook (2017-present)

Answered Oct 11, 2017

No, quite the opposite in fact. I recently asked a Google recruiter about any rules/caveats that candidates have to be aware of if a candidate were to reject Google’s offer but apply again in future.

His reply was that such candidates are welcome to apply with Google again at anytime in the future.

Typically if the candidate applies again within a year, they might not have to interview again. If it’s under two years, then Google may only need two additional interviews.

Each case is looked at individually, and will be looked at by Google’s hiring committee to determine what will be needed.

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How bad is it to decline a job offer just a couple days before you are about to start it?

9 Answers

Semira Amiralai, Technical Recruiter

Answered Sep 3, 2017

There’s no straight forward answer to this question and, in my opinion, it’s neither; that is, neither bad nor otherwise. It’s, really, a matter of circumstance; it’s a factor in the Recruitment cycle that keeps Recruiters on the edge of their seats; HR personnel planning with numbers for the next onboarding and new-employee orientation; and new managers looking forward to another team member who’ll augment their overall team’s output.

However, I quickly learned, in the earlier days after I transitioned into Recruitment and from the stories and circumstances experienced by my peers in the industry that, in the business of People, anything goes and should be expected. Well, expect the unexpected; sh*t happens; life happens; people are people; etc., and so on and so forth.

If you’re working with a Recruiter, they may be held responsible to a certain extent: “Didn’t you know? Didn’t you fact-check? What else could you, no, should you have done?!” If you’re not working with a Recruiter, and - really - irrespective, you’ll have to provide a reason for your decline and do so professionally. People, of course, will be disappointed and for varying reasons specific to their scope of investment in your onboarding. Fundamentally, however, you must do what is right for you.

You see, this is my perspective for and with all placement opportunities; frankly, it’s a learned understanding in life. In the business of People, People have become my specialization; but I’m by no means an expert on People. Rather, I hold myself accountable to Risk Management. What are the probabilities that the Candidate will commence, will withdraw, will stay, will make it through whatever prescribed probationary period, etc.? It’s this perspective that I also convey to my candidates but from the other angle; that is, an opportunity always carries risk. What if the employer suddenly realizes the position is no longer required? There’s no budget; the role is on hold, an internal employee has expressed interest, the posting was a formality only and someone was already selected despite any effort undertaken by HR at the command of some decision-maker at the top.

It happens. As long as there’s no evidence of Discriminatory practices, a lot of … well, sh*t happens! Ethics and Professionalism don’t walk hand-in-hand; nor is the Conscience the resulting offspring of the former two. As mentioned, this isn’t a matter of good versus bad, it’s just part and parcel - rather, it has become so - of the Information Era where loyalty to self has risen as a consequence of Workplace experiences. Employers are obligated to conduct layoffs knowing very well that it’s not ideal. They don’t change their minds because “It’s Friday afternoon.” Nor do they hold off when closing a plant or reducing the workforce just before Christmas or New Year’s. Bad? Yeah, and painful.

The nature and culture of work, coupled with the myriad of opportunities available and highly encouraged, in addition to the vast structures open for consideration (remote worker, contractor, seasonal, consultant, etc.) only complement and complicate our choices and the options available to Employers and Employees alike.

So, you’re going to decline, just do it gracefully. Pick up the phone and call, explain your reason - although don’t feel the need to do so with guilt or a sense of embarrassment. Such circumstances happen; manage it professionally, submit an email as well, thank them again… make the decision that is right for you, do it carefully, with sound judgment and pretend not that it will be celebrated. Timing isn’t great but…they’ll fill the role and your realization now is far better than commencing then leaving which - while it also happens - is far more costly for all.

It’s good you know now, however, a point to keep in mind is the possibility that your new employer may effort to influence your decision. That is, they may attempt to convince you to stay; perhaps they’ll ask about the offer; perhaps, pending just how investing in your particular candidacy they are, they may try to counter your decision - as one may encounter upon resignation. Now, keep in mind that, should this experience occur, some of the same factors involved in a counter-offer may apply. That is… it’s possible that after they find your replacement, they’ll terminate your employment within the probation period. After all, if you’re showing lack of commitment 2-days prior to your new role, that’s a possible red-flag for them. Am not suggesting this will occur but, as we advise all our candidates prior to their resignations, a probability of having your arm twisted to remain, should be recognized and prepared for.

All the best.

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Leah Roth, 20 years in corporate recruiting and human resources.

Answered Nov 2, 2017

How bad is it? It’s pretty bad, at least for the recruiter/hiring manager who has done a million things to get everything ready for your first day - ordering and purchasing your hardware, software, etc. cleaning, clearing out and preparing your work station, setting up your phone number and email, getting payroll ready, etc. There are a lot of things that have to happen when a new employee starts. Having said all that however, if it has to happen, then it has to happen. As someone who has been a recruiter for a very long time, I get it. Life doesn’t always work out according to the timeline that we want it to and if you find a fantastic opportunity after you have already accepted a job somewhere else, well then, you certainly shouldn’t NOT take it because you committed to this other company. Ultimately, it’s in everyone’s best interest for you to be in the job that you really want and to be successful. So, the best thing you can possibly do if you find yourself in this position is to immediately talk to the employer who is expecting you to start in the next few days…I mean, immediately. Be honest, be apologetic and appreciate their offer to join their team. You can deliver this message via a phone call or email, in fact, the latter might be a bit less awkward for everyone involved. But it’s your choice. By letting them know asap, you give them the opportunity to start resuming the search for the right candidate. Yes, they’ll have to put stops on everything that was scheduled for your start date but that’s okay, worse things have happened…and besides, they will fill the job and when they do, that computer will already be there for that new person. Now, having said all of that; a word of warning: before you do anything, make absolutely sure that you do in fact have a good reason to decline the job. Especially if you found another great job opportunity, make sure that job is still open and that you will be able to step into that role. Nothing worse than declining a job offer so you can take a job elsewhere only to find that job is no longer available to you.

PS: if you decide to decline the offer via email, it can something like this:
Dear Employer,

First I would like to thank you for the opportunity to interview for the xyz position and for your generous offer of employment. After giving it much thought and consideration, I have to decline the offer to join your team. Something has come up in recent weeks that has caused me to reconsider my current plan to join ‘employer name’ and I must graciously decline your offer. Please forgive my late notice but it was unavoidable. I wish you the best of success if filling this position. Thank you again, Your Name

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What is some best advice to make my LinkedIn Profile more accessible to recruiters?

13 Answers

Aditi Sharma, works at Rezoomex

Answered Apr 21, 2017

LinkedIn is already become a very important website not only for searching job but also for searching candidates. Most important thing is LinkedIn has become an essential personal branding tool.

Why LinkedIn???

LinkedIn is place where HR managers and many recruiters hanging out.This is a place where you have an opportunity to get connected and do the networking. So its a big possibility they are looking for you.

If you are already there on linkedin then go ahead and increase your possibility of get noticed.

What recruiters want to know?

From your LinkedIn Profile recruiters wants to know about you before they need you. Your profile should represent you and it should reflect your skills, background, experience, ted with what you have done in your past, education, in short everything.

How to catch the recruiters eye?

Below are the very simple, but effective tips to improve your LinkedIn profile:

  • Update your work summary: Keep it short and simple, include your area of expertise and give a brief about your work profile.
  • Keep your experience up to date: include all the companies that you have worked with and duration as well.
  • Grow your network
  • Start blogging: Share your contents like blogs, articles, your research to get positioned in market, that will help you to do personal branding.
  • Get a mind of recruiter: Think like a recruiter, they are more focused on keyword searches. So mention the keywords that matches your profile and skills, it will improve your position in the recruiters search result.
  • Recommendations: Ask for recommendations and referral from your superior, subordinates, clients. It will give a good impact on the recruiters, who are visiting your profile.
  • Join Groups: Be a part of groups that are relevant to your profile, post relevant articles and participate in discussions.

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Saurabh Karnik, HR Executive at Webonise Lab (2016-present)

Answered Apr 21, 2017

A recruiter spends average 10 to 30 seconds in initial screening. If one can catch attention of an recruiter within 10–30 seconds, chances are high that he/she will get in touch with you. Following are some pointers

Summary is Key: Every recruiter quickly checks the summary of prospective candidate and then decides to move ahead or not. Keep it comprehensive, short and interesting. Use pointers and headings where you want to catch attention. Start with something very innovative and interesting line to catch the attention.

Headline: Keep a headline which can stand out and provide exact details which recruiter want to know or you want recruiters to know.

Keep profile up to date: It includes employment history, projects, certifications, educational details. Key Words: Most of the recruiters come form non technical background. Control + F is their solution for shortlisting (Though its a really bad practice!). Use the keywords which are usually mentioned in the JD or you would like to get a job into. Identify Potential Recruiters: Connect with the recruiters prospective organisations where you want to get in along with influential recruiters. Like their posts and updates, wish them on anniversaries and b’days , do everything to be noticed. Publish updates of StackOverflow: Publish your repositories, discussions over Linkedin. It will definitely get you an edge over othe professionals. Join Linkedin Groups: Identify groups relevant to the technology and job-seekers of your skills. More opportunities will be available.

Profile Pic: Linkedin is a professional networking platform and recruiters love to keep it as it is. Use a photo possibly in formal attire or at least in a attire which expresses your peculiar characteristics.

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Lalitha Priyadharshini, worked at Shell

Answered Feb 18, 2017

I started my job search in 2017

  • LinkedIn Premium- I registered on LinkedIn premium. You will be a featured applicant for jobs and it will get better visibility.
  • Tailor your profile- I went through numerous LinkedIn Profiles of candidates looking for jobs and made mine look good (All star rating- Fully completed one)
  • Start networking- I sent connections requests to Head-hunters and Recruiters in the UK.I visited at least 20 recruiter profiles day - They will look up your profile. Visited manager profiles and friends of friends and sent them messages regarding jobs. They will visit your profile as well
  • In- Apply - I applied to jobs through LinkedIn (In-apply option). The hiring managers will look you up.
  • Attach your profile Link- When you mail a recruiter, attach your LinkedIn profile Link to your signature.

Recruiters in UK started contacting me after I put all these efforts from my side. Took me about 6 months to get to this state.

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What are the biggest career mistakes to avoid?

100+ Answers

Joshua Otusanya, Accountant, Stand up Comedian, Former Division 1 Athlete

Updated Jul 28, 2017

Not asking for what you want. I literally JUST got off the phone with my friend William Beteet and we were just talking about this. It’s a simple concept to understand but can be pretty difficult to execute.

To be successful in any area of your life you need to become comfortable with asking for exactly what you want. I have a friend I played soccer in college with from Zimbabwe and he’s an incredibly successful guy. He did well in soccer and studied accounting. At the end of his four years he realized he needed to secure a job with a large company who would sponsor him so that he could stay in the United States. Most big companies however look for accountants that are CPA (Certified Public Accountant) candidates. To become a CPA you need at least 150 credit hours and you need to have completed the CPA exam (which is incredibly difficult to pass).

The problem is, four years of school only gets you about 120 credits, and since my friend was finished playing with the soccer team, he didn’t have a scholarship or way to pay for another year of school to get those credits and stay in the United States. Long story short, our school ended up paying for all of his tuition and housing until he acquired his credits. He got a job with Deloitte and ended up passing his CPA exam.

A lot of people thought it was unheard of that he essentially got a free year of school.

“How did he do that??”

“He is super lucky.”

“I’ve never seen a foreigner get that kind of treatment.”

A couple years after we all graduated I was talking with him and asked him how it all came together for him, because our school helping him out gave him the platform to become as successful as he is today. His response?

“I just asked bro.”

All he did was set up a meeting and laid out the situation. He said he understood how odd of a request it would be to get a year of free schooling, but it was essentially his only way of being a good enough job candidate to stay in the States. They gave him a deal where if he worked on campus during his entire time acquiring his credits, they would pay for his school.

The phrase is true, if you never ask you can’t expect to receive.


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How many slides should I put in a PPT about myself? What content should I add? I have been asked to submit a presentation about myself from a potential recruiter. The role and job description is not defined yet.

3 Answers

Brad Yundt, Mechanical engineer and Excel aficionado

Answered Jan 20, 2018

When asked to give a presentation, you should always start by asking yourself what does the audience want or need to learn? In this case, the answer is obvious: show that you would be a wonderful hire for that organization.

Don’t start with your name, education and past positions. All of that is in one ear, and immediately out the other. Instead, identify a problem you know they are facing, and say that you have been working on just that. Make them want to know who you are.

Next, you need to ask yourself what is the attention span of your audience? If this is a swipe left/swipe right type of situation, you had better catch their attention with the first slide. Your goal should be to get an interview, either by phone or in person.

If your audience is more deliberative, then you should ask yourself what stories would make it seem like your experience, abilities and performance match their needs? Even if they haven’t told you the role and job description, if you are worth your salt, you ought to have a good feel for what they might regard as significant.

A story can be as simple as describing the problem, approach, your contribution and quantifiable results. If you have more than one story, you should be able to do each one with 1 to 3 slides. Use pictures rather than bullet points. Show, don’t tell. If you don’t understand what that statement means, watch videos of some of Steve Jobs’ keynotes. He was a master of showing, not telling.

When you are done, practice making trial presentations of your slide deck. Say the words out loud. If you find yourself reading the slides, you have either the wrong content or too much content on them.

If you have captured their attention, they will want to know who you are and how to contact you. That’s the last slide, because now they need it to take action.

Venkata Kumar, lives in Hyderabad, India

Answered Jan 19, 2018

Just one slide is enough as below example. Use these headers and include that information as per your profile.

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Are the paid courses on Coursera worth it?

Answer byAdi Yagil, Design. UX. Marketing. Human behaviour. Owner of The Crowder

Dec 11, 2017

I think that’s a great question - especially since there are so many free courses out there (not only within Coursera).

From personal experience of trying out free and paid courses - the short answer is - totally worth it (hands down). The longer answer depends on what you’re looking for and what you expect to get in return:)

Some things you want to learn just to get a basic understanding of. In these cases, free courses might be good enough. However, when you’re serious about a topic because it relates to your academic / business life - there's no question about it and paid is the way to go.

Point to consider: Paid courses are more thorough in structure and are usually taught by very experienced mentors in the field. Since these experts expect to be paid for their knowledge - it only makes sense that this payment should come from users.

When you’re about to pay for a course, make sure you compare the options with other top rated learning platforms that provide a similar offering to Coursera ( i.e. Udemy or Lynda). There are similarities but also a few differences:

What’s the same

  • Paid platforms - each course / specialization has it's own pricing
  • Fall within the ‘leading learning’ platform category
  • Offer a wide variety of topics to learn

What’s different

  • Coursera & Lynda focus more on extensive courses and specialization paths VS. Udemy which focuses on relatively short courses.
  • Udemy relies on the crowds (almost anyone can register and teach) VS. Coursera which cooperates closely with universities and mostly offer courses that are thought by experienced academics (if that’s important to you)

Additional things to consider might be courses variety and no. of students currently using the platform (although it is not a direct indication of the quality of the materials - it does provide a popularity metric).

To make things simple, I’d recommend using sites like The Crowder which have a really good way of comparing between the options.

Good luck!

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Upvote 20


Answer by: Akhil Cherian Verghese, I've done a lot of MOOCs, sent a lot of resumes, received a few responses

Updated Jun 5, 2015

Okay, so, short answer, NO.

If you're asking if it's worth it from the point of view of making your resume look good, it's not. Let's be honest, you have 1 page (2 at the most) to list all the professional accomplishments of your lifetime. A Coursera course would, at best, be contained in a list of relevant coursework, along with the most important classes you took at college. It certainly doesn't deserve its own bullet under your "Education" section.

There may be some exceptional recruiters who bother to go over your resume thoroughly enough to notice it, and some percentage of those may care, but it's not going to count as an accomplishment. Coursera certificates are not difficult to come by (the standards for passing are not high), and they are (or should be) really minor compared to your projects, publications, etc.


If you're asking if it's worth it from the point of view of - "Is the education provided worth X $?", absolutely! The knowledge is easily worth what they charge for the certification (If I remember right, it's 30-40$ per course), but you can gain the knowledge in the free version of the course (Coursera never makes it compulsory to pay - I just confirmed that you can take each course in the Data Science specialization for free, for example), so that money is entirely being used for the certification part of it.

One could argue that it's a way of giving back with some small benefit, and that's true. So if you have the money, it's something I'd encourage to keep material like this out there.

I can say without exaggeration that I am a Software Engineer today (and love it) because of Coursera, EdX and MIT open courseware. I don't have a degree in Computer Science, but what I gained from their material was the information it contained, not a certificate.

1) Using the information in Andrew NG's Machine Learning course, I designed a text classification algorithm using SVMs along with a few friends, that won us an award at a rather large Hackathon, which we then implemented at our office at IBM.

2) With what I learned from Tim Roughgarden's algorithms courses, I won the Hackerrank contests that led to my first job offer (and still helps on interviews today).

3) Using the data from the Signal Processing and Robotics courses, there are systems I've designed that constitute some of my most important projects.

Coursera and other MOOCs are ALL over my C.V., just not directly. What they offer is knowledge, which is everything. If you have the money, the certificate might be a good way to give back, but don't think that's the important bit. The important bit is what they give for free, and I'm so grateful to them for it.

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Upvote 694

 (See also other answers at Quora through the link given above)


How does it feel to get fired from your job suddenly?

100+ Answers

David Spinks, CEO of CMX Media

Answered Dec 14, 2014

(Adapted from How I Got Fired from a Hot Startup)

When I’m at my worst, it’s because I feel like I’m irreversibly behind. I’m constantly catching up, treading water, taking sips of air but never quite getting my head above water.

In the last month before I got fired, I found myself in that scary place while working at a well-known startup. It’s hard to say how I found myself there exactly. Lack of communication, my own inexperience, confusion around direction, loss of motivation, focusing on the wrong things, taking on way too much work, the way I managed others, the way others managed me…I could go on.

I was in a funk. My alarm would go off and I would snooze for as long as possible. I’d wake up with 15 minutes to get out the door, take a speedy shower, grab a banana for breakfast and rush to the office.

I loved my team and the best part of the day would be saying hi to everyone when I walked in, but as soon as I got to my desk, the daily downfall ensued. I had so much to get done that I would start every day completely overwhelmed. The length of my todo list would be comical. I’d let the tasks I disliked most remain on the todo list day after day. I’d have 40 tabs open, occasionally browsing Facebook and doing what James Clear calls “half-work“.

I was in a perpetual state of distraction and constantly playing catch up. I’d start my day late, I’d get my work done late and it would keep piling on so I could never get ahead of it. I didn’t know what to do or how to do it. And I couldn’t communicate my situation with anyone because it was a fast moving startup, and I felt like everyone was too busy for my problems.

I was stuck in a downward spiral, unable to step back and gain perspective. It became impossible get back on track. I was just in over my head working on whatever fires I saw first. I got stressed, depressed and eventually I crashed.

I got fired.

I remember the moment vividly, every word, every emotion. It felt like the world was crashing down around me. I had failed.

The couple months after that day, I became even more depressed, questioned my abilities, my motivations, my work ethic…everything I strived for felt like it was swept out from under me.

I blamed myself more than I should have. Later on, Dr. Hindsight showed me that while there were certainly a lot of things I could have done better, this was clearly a bad cultural fit for me at that time. As soon as I picked myself back up and starting working again, I felt much better.

Very few people are honest about getting fired and I was no different. When asked why I no longer worked there I’d usually say something like “we parted ways” or “it just wasn’t a good fit”. The company would say the same thing when asked.

Today when people ask, I’m usually honest. I don’t feel ashamed anymore. I realize now that it happened as a result of those countless compounding variables, some in my control and many not.

Fast forward to today and I’ve successfully worked with several companies and have started my second and third companies. Both through my experience getting fired and all of my professional experiences since, I’ve learned a lot about how to deal with situations like the one I found myself in before getting fired.

Should you find yourself in this position where you’re in over your head on a path to get fired, what can you do?

Hopefully these tips help…

1. Force yourself to take a step back and reflect
I felt like there was no way I could waste an hour to reflect. I felt like if I wasn’t working, I was doing something wrong.

But I wasn’t really working. I was distracted and tried to juggle multiple tasks, working at 50% efficiency at best.

I should have taken more time to reflect, which makes the rest of these tips possible.

Now that you’re committed to reflecting…

2. Get better at reflecting
Reflection can come in many shapes and forms.

Today, I try to maintain a habit of writing down answers to these 7 questions every Sunday.

You can take walks once each day, even if it’s just for 15 minutes.
Unplugging on weekends and getting out to nature is another great way to reflect.

Or taking a longer vacation may be what you need.
I also like to use calm to clear my mind every day in the morning or at the middle of the day.

3. Think about the bigger questions
Sometimes when in over our head, we reflect on the wrong things.

Before I got fired, I was only looking at the short term challenges in front of me. How can I make this manager happy? How do I get this task done? How can I quickly make a big impact and prove to everyone I’m awesome?

Instead, I should have asked bigger picture questions like:
1) Is this environment healthy for me? Am I happy?
2) What are the goals of the company and is my work helping them achieve those goals?
3) What are my personal goals and is my work here helping me achieve them?

Look at yourself, the environment and the people around you while thinking about the long term vision for yourself and your company. Often you’ll find that the problem isn’t just you, but the environment you’re in or the path you’re on.

4. Ask for help
I was an idiot and just wanted to do everything myself. I wanted to look like a badass and didn’t want people to think I didn’t know what I was doing.

I should have asked my teammates for help more often. I should have asked my mentors. I should have been more honest with myself, accept that I was deep in the shit and ask for help.

5. Accept the possibility that it’s a bad fit
I’m really bad at quitting stuff.

When I was in over my head, I was still convinced that I was in the right place. All the obvious signs just escaped me. The culture, the team and the product were all so attractive at the time but in hindsight, they weren’t right for me.

For me, all the problems seemed to lie in myself. I blamed myself for everything. The thought that the environment could be impacting my situation never crossed my mind.

It’s hard, because I felt like I was given great opportunity and I didn’t want to squander it. Now I know, there will always be more opportunities, and the face value of an opportunity isn’t always what it seems.

Sometimes quitting is the best thing you can do to move forward.

6. Change up your system
My system was clearly flawed. I needed to change something up in order to get out ahead of the game.

Back then I had no idea what to change. Since then I’ve become a bit more patient and aware.

Here are some things that have worked for me in my more recent experiences where I’ve felt overwhelmed:

a. Prioritize
There was no way I was going to get out ahead of things while trying to do everything at once. I should have sat down with my manager and prioritized. It would have been hugely helpful to make sure we’re all on the same page about what needs to get done.

In startups it’s not often what you do, but what you don’t do that will decide how well your companies does. Don’t allow yourself to get caught up in the get shit done mentality and make sure the “shit” you’re getting done is of highest priority to your team’s goals.

b. Plan
Today I like to create timelines to accomplish each of the projects I prioritize. If I did that back then, I could have shared my timeline with my manager. I could have showed them that I was thinking strategically about what needed to get done and give them a system for holding me accountable.

Make it easy to track your progress both for yourself and for your team to see you’re getting your work done.

c. Embrace teamwork
As I mentioned before, I felt like everyone else in the startup was too busy, and it was all up to me to figure my issues out. I was wrong. I should have asked my team for help.

It doesn’t matter if the person you ask for help doesn’t have expertise in your field. They’re probably smart people who can help you think logically through any challenges you’re facing.

d. Take a stand
I was hired because the founders and team respected me, not because I’d blindly do what others tell me to do.

But that’s not how I acted when I was in over my head. I disagreed with the way some things were being handled but I didn’t say anything. I didn’t have the courage. I just went with the flow.

If you find yourself in that position, say what’s on your mind.

Be blunt. Be honest. Tell it how it is. Either they’ll respect your courage to speak up and address the challenges you bring up or they’ll condemn you for speaking your mind (which probably means you shouldn’t be working there anyway).

8. Remember that getting fired isn’t the end of the world
I remember the time leading up to that moment when I got fired. I had a feeling it was coming, and I thought that getting fired would be the worst thing that could ever happen to me.

Do you know what happens to most people who get fired? They end up being grateful because they learn from their mistakes, they realize that it was a bad fit in the first place and they become motivated to find a place where they can thrive and prove everyone wrong. Getting fired shakes things up, forces you to reflect on your path and makes you more self aware. It can also light a fire or create a chip on one’s shoulder to propel you toward whatever it is you do next.

I was blowing the situation out of proportion at the time but that’s pretty natural. I was so deep in the situation that I had very little perspective. I felt like getting fired would be the end of me.

It’s not, I promise. And if you had the perspective to see this moment in the grand scheme of things, you’d realize how little it means.

So if you’re in this position and you are deathly afraid of getting fired, change your paradigm. Think of it in a different light. Look at getting fired as a positive opportunity to reflect and grow. An opportunity to find a place where you can thrive. A reason to kick even more ass in the next thing you do.

When you no longer fear getting fired, you have nothing to lose. The funny thing is, that might be exactly what you need to save your job.

82.2k Views · 322 Upvotes


Jake Hawken, iOS Developer at Geocaching

Updated Nov 3, 2015 · Featured on HuffPost, Thought Catalog, and Business Insider

In late August of 2012, my wife and I announced that we'd be having our first child in March. We’d known for several weeks and it felt fantastic to finally share the good news with everyone. We had been window-shopping for homes online in preparation for the new addition, and that Saturday we casually attended an open house nearby. A little over twenty four hours later, we were looking at houses with the realtor we’d met at the open house. At the last house we visited, we knew that it was the house we wanted. It was perfect for our family. It was everything we wanted in a first home; three bedrooms, a studio space, a huge back yard, even a well-maintained garden! By the end of the next week, we’d officially reached mutual acceptance with the sellers of the house. We were going to buy our first home! It seemed like everything was going right in our life.

In my life, the good and the bad never seem to get evenly spread around. The bad all clumps up together and the good all happens at once. Usually, though, there’s a lot of neutral stuff in between the good and bad sections. This time, however, the bad came screaming in at eighty miles per hour, pulling a trailer, and rear-ended the good.

We came out to our car Saturday morning to find that somebody had taken the left front wheel off of our car, slashed the tire, jammed the whole thing under the body of the car, and stolen the lugnuts and hubcap. The policeman tells us he thinks the person was trying to steal the catalytic converter. He tells us that another car in the complex was broken into the same night. He tells us, very politely, that our complex is pretty much a cesspool. “Not to disparage your residence, but we have a lot of problems in that area.”

I went in to work the next Monday and went through my day as usual. Mid-afternoon, the CEO and CTO pull me aside (it’s a small startup, so I talk to these guys regularly), and inform me that I’m being laid off. For a few moments, I don’t breathe, blink, or move. I get mild tunnel vision, my skin flushes, and I get the dreamy “this can’t be real” feeling because I can’t believe that the worst possible words are coming out of my bosses’ mouths. I go back to my desk, speechless, the dreaminess and tunnel vision still not completely gone. I’m a bit shellshocked. It finally hits me and I head outside to call my wife.

At this point, the adrenaline is catching up to whatever brought on the numbness from minutes before, and I’m hyperventilating a little bit. My wife answers and I don’t beat around the bush. “I just got laid off,” I spit out in despair.

Now, at this point, let me take a brief moment to explain to you about my wife. She is, without equivocation, the best thing that has ever happened to me. Never in a million years would I have ever guessed that I would find a woman so supportive and loving and kind to be my wife. With that in mind, think of how devastating this news is, not just for me, but for her, and for us. She’s pregnant, we’re about to buy a house, and I’m losing my job. The natural reaction would be for her to start bawling into the phone and screaming or freaking out like I clearly already was. And that reaction would be completely understandable and not something that anybody could hold against her.

My wife instead said this, “Jake, it’s going to be ok. Things are gonna be fine. Do you need me to pick you up from the bus?” I told her I had till the end of the week and was going to finish up the work day and then head home at my normal time. We get the most devastating news ever and instead of freaking out with me, she shows immense strength and compassion and tells me that things are going to be ok. Now, I’m sure that as soon as I got off the phone she screamed or bawled or something else, but before all that, she injected some peace into my heart and mind. Helluva lady.

I went through the last two hours of my work day in a haze, instant messaging with my coworkers about the layoffs (there were several others as well), and feeling awful about the entire situation. Could I have done something different? Should I have worked harder at finding a new job before this happened? Had I completely let down my wife?

I call my parents on the way home, and their sympathy almost makes me break down in tears. Almost. But I keep it together and get on the bus for home. All the way home, my stomach is full of knots. I’m cold and shaky despite the warm weather. And sweaty. I feel sick. I feel like the world is moving a thousand miles an hour around me while I shamble in slow motion home.

I get inside, and like usual, our dog is losing her mind with excitement that I’m home. My wife embraces me and I start to lose it again, but clamp back down. She’s in the middle of making dinner, so I let her get back to that and I slump down on the couch and let the dog climb all over me, showing me how happy she is that I’m home.

From the kitchen (which, in that 680 sq/ft apartment, was about 10 feet away) my wife tells me something that must have been some kind of revelation from god or womanly intuition or something, because it’s exactly what I need to hear, “Jake, I want you to know that no matter what, I am not mad at you, or upset with you, or disappointed in you.” Well, ladies and gentlemen, after keeping a tight lid on it up to this point, I finally lost it. I broke down.

I cannot stress to you the life-altering, breathtaking, borderline magical power of having a loving, supportive wife.

Though we were both terrified of our new situation and devastated about the the impact it would have on buying a home, my wife was thinking of me. She knows me well and knew that I would probably be beating myself up about it. She knew that I would feel the whole weight of both of our sadness on my shoulders. And she told me exactly what I needed to hear.

I didn't feel much like eating the delicious dinner she made and I kind of floated through the rest of the evening with a sense of disappointment and despondency floating through my head. I told myself that I could have that one night to feel sorry for myself and be frustrated, angry, and negative. I decided that after that, I would be productive, optimistic, and driven. I wasn't sure how, because I tend to be kind of a pessimistic dude, but I knew I didn't really have a choice. I didn't have time for that crap.

My wife called and talked to our realtor and the mortgage officer we were going to use, and told them that I no longer had a steady income and we no longer qualified for the mortgage. It was official. We were losing the house. The house we’d already moved into emotionally. The house that was going to be where we started our family. Where our baby would come home from the hospital, and where he'd take his first steps. Where our dog would be able to run at full speed in the back yard and chase squirrels. We were being banished back to the world where people randomly take your wheel off your car in the middle of the night to try to steal a car part, and when they fail at doing it because they’re probably high, they slash your tires and steal your lugnuts to spite you.

I went to bed earlier than usual that night, but couldn't sleep. All I could think about was how I had no idea what I was going to do. About how we’d lost the house. And I couldn't stop wondering if somebody was outside right then trying to do something to my car.

I finally started praying. Not your typical, going-through-the-motions kind of prayer. I was talking to God and begging for help. I was terrified about my future and heartbroken about the present. I asked for comfort. I asked for guidance. I asked for opportunity. I asked that, somehow, by miraculous intervention, I could be positive and optimistic about all of this. That somehow I might feel hope. After a solid half-hour conversation with God, I went to sleep.

I woke sometime after 5 am because my wife was weeping in bed next to me. Losing the house was so devastating, especially when we had been so close. She worded it perfectly: “I feel like my fiancé has broken up with me three days before the wedding.”  (NOTE: Waking up to your wife crying in bed next to you is pretty much the worst thing in the world. Just saying.)

I had to visit my chiropractor the next day, and my wife had to work, and we needed to visit my parents, so we all piled into the car the next morning and headed south. Most of my day was going to be devoted to job hunting. Job applications, résumés, and cover letters make my head swim and my blood boil. They make me feel despondent and tired. They suck the life out of me. But I had promised myself that night before was my only allotted ”feeling sorry for myself” time, and so I  approached the day with every ounce of can-do that I had in me. Furthermore, I’d asked God to help me be optimistic and hopeful, so I figured I’d try to meet him part way. If he was going to send me the ability to be optimistic, I might was well try to act on the ability I was asking for.

I will accept no other word short of “miraculous” to describe the fact that, as the day progressed, not only did I not get depressed, or feel hopeless, or get angry, but I actually began to feel positive. I began to feel like something good was in my future. I began to feel like things were going to get better. I felt a miraculous aura of comfort, optimism, and peace begin to infuse me. It ebbed and flowed a bit, that first full day on the job hunt, but as we drove home that night, it struck me in what I can only describe as a revelation. I turned to my wife and said, “You know what? Things are going to be ok. I know it.”

My wife, being the aforementioned saint that she is, was way ahead of me: “Oh, I know that. I don’t doubt it one bit.”

If you doubt my use of the word miraculous, I will tell you that the positivity and hopefulness lasted for months. I was productive and positive in the face of an enormous loss, and that is not normal behavior for me.

The next morning, I got up to go back to work. I sat, mentally poring over the job leads that friends had fed me on the hunt the previous day, as I ate a bowl of cereal and watched a little Law & Order with my wife. I got an unexpected text from a coworker telling me that he had a lead for some contract work for me and wanted to help. This was the second time where I broke down. It made me realize just how blessed I am to have so many kind, generous, compassionate people in my life. My wife, my parents, dozens of coworkers and friends spread across the state and country. Tears rolled down my cheeks as I thought about how people were going out of their way to help me out in this difficult time.

I got to work and the barrage of kindness continued. It seemed like every one of my coworkers has some lead on a position, or a job, or a company that was hiring, or a good staffing agent. My coworkers, whom I was always certain I annoyed the hell out of, were all reaching out to help. One of them even insisted on buying me lunch even though he could easily justify pinching his pennies, he himself getting his hours cut back due to the same circumstances that led to the layoffs.

The outpouring of compassion and kindness I was shown in that tough time was more than I could have ever dreamed of. I can’t express enough gratitude for the wonderful people I have in my life.

I finally understand why my mom always cried whenever we watched It’s a Wonderful Life when I was a kid. I feel much like George Bailey did at the end of the movie as he reads Clarence’s parting words: ”Remember: no man is a failure who has friends.”

It's been a year and about eight months since this happened. I've done a lot of contract work and worked some crappy day jobs, but not only have we stayed afloat, we bought a house last October, and I have my final interview this week for a really fantastic full-time position doing exactly what I want to be doing. It's been a long path being underemployed (at pretty much the worst time to be looking for a job in the last seventy years), but things are finally on the up-and-up.

Oh, and my son is absolutely adorable and makes trudging through every rejection and unanswered job application worth it:

Note: My big interview is on Thursday afternoon. Any thoughts/prayers/good vibes you can send my way are appreciated. :)

Update:  Unfortunately, I probably didn't get the job.  There were three rounds of interviews today, and I only got through two.

However, I have a few other prospects I'm remaining hopeful about, and I'm taking programming classes at Code Fellows, so I'm not losing hope.

I've been blown away by the response I've gotten on this post. I can't thank you all enough for your concern, kindness, and moral support during my struggle. It has brought me almost to tears reading all of your encouraging words ad kind thoughts. :)

PostScript: I work in video game audio. If any if you happen to know of any studios or teams that need audio or music work done, here's my portfolio:

SECOND UPDATE: Because the universe seems to hate me and everything bad seems to happen at once, our home was burglarized today and lots of expensive things were stolen from us. Things we can't afford to replace. We have insurance but we're not making much money right now so the deductible is going to hit us really hard.

THIRD UPDATE (October , 2 years after losing my job):  I've now taken the two introductory courses and on Monday (Oct. 6th), I'll be starting my 8-week, 40hr/week Development Accelerator course at Code Fellows. It will be very challenging and time-consuming, but I'm going to learn a lot. I'm very excited and I can't wait to get started. The average graduate from my track has a job in four to six weeks after graduating, so here's to hoping I have a full-time job by year's end! Wish me luck! :)

FOURTH UPDATE (December 3, 2 years and 3 months after losing my job):  I just finished up at Code Fellows yesterday and I'm now officially a certified iOS developer! My job prospects look pretty decent and things are starting to look up! :)

FIFTH UPDATE (February 10, 2 years and 5 months after losing my job):  I started a contract position as an iOS developer at a startup in Seattle! It's not an employee position, but it is a huge step up. I have no complaints. I'm very happy about it. I'm still shopping for full-time employment, but hopefully this will turn into it.

SIXTH (and final) UPDATE (April 6, 2 years and 7 months after losing my job): I got a job! A full-time job! Finally. Thanks to everyone for your immense kindness, encouragement, and support. You've all been wonderful!

(OK, ONE MORE):  That startup I was at went under but I'm totally confident I'll get a new job soon. In the meantime though, if you feel so inclined as to help out, check out this Kickstarter campaign for a game I've been working on with a couple friends: Haven's Demise

THE FOR-REAL FINAL UPDATE: I just got a job that is not only a great job, and is not only a full-time job at a stable company, but the #1 job on my list. It's the exact job I've been trying to get for the last seven months, and I got it! There is no more perfect job for me right now than this job. I can't tell you how ecstatically happy I am right now. And not only is it my ideal job at the company I want to work at most, but they really like me and have so much nice stuff to say about me.

Anyway, thanks again for all the encouragement and empathy. Quora users rock!

604.6k Views · 16,038 Upvotes


Joseph Wang, Ex-VP Quant - Big Investment Bank

Updated Jun 2, 2014

Every time I've been effectively fired (i.e. asked to resign), it's been more traumatic for the people firing me than it's been for me.  I'm a very busy person, and if I find out that I'm not getting a paycheck from company A, then my new job is to find a paycheck from company B.

So what's happened is that the people at the meeting have these long faces, whereas I'm more interested in making sure that all of the papers are signed, so that I can go home and getting my resume updated, and e-mailing headhunters and contacts.  The funny thing is that I've never been surprised by a firing, whereas I've been in situations were other people in the office have been totally shocked.

The first time I got fired, I knew that it was going to happen so I cleaned out my office the day before they closed the office.  I got a call from my boss desperately trying to get me to the office and of course not telling me why.

Actual dialogue from another situation.

A: We are so sorry that you...

Me: You can skip the sympathy.  I need to know two things a) the name of the health insurance provider for CORBA and b) whether you are going to report this as a firing with cause or a layoff.  I need to know so that I know if I can collect unemployment.

A: The name of the provider is on the web, and we won't say anything bad about you if you don't say anything bad about us.

Me: OK.  If that all, can I shake everyone's hand before I leave.

And as I went through the office...

Me: I'm leaving.  Nice knowing you
Co-worker: Leaving for the weekend.
Me: No.  Forever.  (points to my boss) He'll explain.

At another one of my jobs, I was "disappeared."  I was just asked to show up to a room one morning.  Didn't get a chance to say goodbye, and I still run into people that I used to work with that wonder what happened to me.  At that company, I've become something of an "un-person."  Since I dropped out so quickly, people don't seem to dare mention my name in public.

But getting fired is just another day at the office for me.  It messes up your schedule a bit, but it's just one of those annoyances that you end up dealing with in the world of business, and I've always left the meeting in a very good mood.  Part of it is that it's usually a tremendous relief to have clarity in what is going on.  The second thing, is that I'm going to be in a good mood when I get fired, because I'm not going to give them the satisfaction of seeing me in a bad mood.

49.3k Views · 392 Upvotes · 391 Upvotes

John L. Miller, 25 yrs exp. Manager hiring and firing at Microsoft for 13+ years. PhD

I've been fired twice. Both times, completely without warning. The first, devastating; the second, amusing (and still puzzling). But this is about the first...

I was in grad school, and working on the side for a company that had a mature software product that they decided needed to be ported to UNIX, to 4BSD in particular. They needed some who knew the ins and outs of getting commercial and OEM UNIX licenses, buying and setting up VAX computers, writing device drivers, figuring out how to setup "binary distribution builds" and teaching programmers how to code in a different paradigm. I'd done all of that. It was just my kind of gig.

I worked for them for almost a year, and really liked the VP who  brought me in. However, he had a counterpart in the California office who was a real dick. In fact, if I recall correctly, that might have even been his name. Anyway, this guy was a first class idiot when it came to technology. I wasn't terribly shy about pointing out everything that was wrong with pretty much everything he said, with the support and encouragement of most of the rest of the tech team.

One day, I show up, and my key doesn't open my office door. I head to the front, get security to let me in. Two guys come back with me, one opens the door, the other walks around the corner, comes back with a box. "Put all your stuff in here. You don't work here anymore."

What? Um... OK. I do so, and go to leave the building, figuring I'd better get out before I start breaking shit. On my way out, the guy from California stops me. He says "Oh, there was a management change. I'm the new CEO, but I guess you found out about that already."

I was dumbfounded. I went and hung out at a library for the rest of the day. I went home at the usual time, just before my wife went to work. She asked how my day was, I mumbled something nondescript and said I was going to school. She left and I collapsed.

I was mortified. I was the hot-shot, the bright and burning star, the "I can fix that in N-1 lines of code" guy. I'd excelled at everything I'd ever done since grade school. Me? FIRED? Noooooo!

I didn't tell anyone. I went to classes, symposia, study groups. I worked on various projects in the lab. I hung out with the other grad students, taught my classes, all that jazz. But the time I was supposed to be "at work"? I lied. I hid. I did things to distract myself from how horrible and worthless I felt. Some of those weren't very helpful to an already struggling marriage. Most I couldn't really afford - my graduate stipend covered all the base living expenses, my wife's salary covered a lot of the extras, but my outside income covered all the really expensive stuff, and with that gone, everything ate into savings, fast.

Eventually, like about 8 months later, I ran out of money. From that, my wife figured out I'd been lying - about a lot of things -- and we separated for a while. I took a year off from school, got a great job with a boss that proved to be my first real mentor.

And I eventually realized that I'd done it to myself. If I hadn't treated that guy with such contempt, none of this would have happened. He clearly had something going for him, something that I didn't see or didn't value, or he wouldn't have become CEO.

It was a huge lesson for me. About not saying the thing that's first to come to mind. About getting to know someone instead of rejecting them out of hand. About how no matter how good you are or how critical the work you are doing is, you're not indispensable.

Getting fired changed my trajectory, completely. The year off from grad school made me re-evaluate what I was doing and why. The separation made me think hard about what I wanted from a relationship, and realize that I didn't have it. The whole thing crushed my sense of invulnerability.

It made me who I am today. Painful and ugly as it was, I wouldn't take it away.

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