Job Search 2022 Update: Week 2

Week 2 is over. My applications are moving forward in some places, and getting no response from some places. So it’s exactly what I’d expect.

Last Sunday, I was looking at my job search spreadsheet and realized I’d somehow deleted 1Password, so I quickly put in an application there. That brings my application total to 18, plus I’ve had some sort of informal talks with a few other places.

Of the places I’ve applied, the following companies simply haven’t responded yet (excluding the automated email they send to all applicants):

  • 1Password
  • ClickHouse
  • Grafana
  • GitHub
  • Netflix
  • OneSignal
  • Oso

Now, GitHub and Netflix don’t surprise me. They’re big, desirable places to work that probably receive a huge number of applications. Much like Google, I imagine that their problem is dealing with the flood, as opposed to getting enough good applicants. I do have an inside person at Netflix who said they’d put in a good word for me, but still no response.

But are the others on this list in the same situation? Maybe, I don’t know. That said, it’s annoying to get no response for a week or more. When I have done hiring for past employers I’ve always tried to respond to applicants within a few days.

Fastly was also slow to reply, but my friend Emily who works there was able to poke someone. After that, they asked me to give my availability, so hopefully I’ll move forward with them next week.

Discord rejected my application. I don’t know why, of course. The application form does have a yes/no question asking “If applicable, would you be willing to relocate to Discord’s SF HQ? While Discord is embracing a hybrid remote approach going forward, some roles will remain HQ-based.” I answered “no”.

I had applied for an engineering manager role there, so maybe they would only accept someone who said “yes” here? If that’s the case, it would be nice if they said that in the job description. But of course, they may have rejected my application for some other reason too.

I also had a bunch of interviews:

  • MongoDB - first interview
  • Onna - first interview
  • Array - second interview
  • CircleCI - first interview

LogDNA wins the award for moving the quickest! Last week I talked to their recruiter, and this week I interviewed with the hiring manager and then had a technical interview and design challenge interview this week.

Next week I have a few more interviews, including the next steps with MongoDB and Onna.

I also had a call with the VP of Engineering at APFusion. This was more of an exploratory chat, though of course every interaction is an interview, since either side can always decide to not move forward.

When I started my search, I updated my profile on Y Combinator’s Work at a Startup site. This has job postings for a lot of startups of all sizes, and companies can see your profile if you want. Two people reached out to me, and I’m scheduled to talk to the CEO of Optic next week. Another company also reached out, but it was a product I wasn’t interested in, so I politely declined.

Salary and Negotiation

I’ve so far resisted every attempt to get me to provide a salary I’d want. I usually ask if they have a range. If they tell me, I can say yes, let’s move forward. In one case I said I’d probably want a bit more than the upper end of their range, though they said the upper end had some flexibility.

Everything I’ve read on negotiation says “don’t give a minimum or a range that you’d accept.” One blog post I read suggested saying something like “I’d prefer to discuss that later in the process after we discover if this is a good fit.” I’ve tried saying that in some cases but it feels pretty inauthentic for me. I don’t like telling someone a lie that they know is a lie just because for some reason it’s considered crass to speak the thing that we both know is the truth. So I’ve moved to saying “I won’t give you a number no matter how much you say you need one because that would be poor negotiation on my part.” But no one I’ve said that to has seemed upset or offended.

For the record, here are some of the posts/articles I’ve read on negotiation:

My number one takeaway from all this was that by the time the company has made you an offer they’re already quite invested in hiring you. Another important takeaway is that the value of the money to you versus the value to the company is very different. Getting an extra $10,000 or $20,000 (or more) in salary, hiring bonus, or RSUs is a drop in the bucket for all but the tiniest companies, but it has a huge impact on you.

So don’t be afraid to ask for more. Unless you do something ridiculous like asking for 4x what was offered, it’s very unlikely that they will simply pull the offer. The worst case is that they say “sorry, we can’t offer any more.”

What’s Next?

I don’t plan to submit more applications at the moment. I think I have some solid prospects based on my interviews so far. I’ll see how things go this week and if I get a lot more rejections, I’ll probably end up applying to more places. But even managing the number of responses I’ve had so far is a lot to deal with. Interviews are exhausting!