Computer software Engineer Receives Career Immediately after 357 Rejections, 6-Month Hunt

  • Right after doing work in the restaurant field for 6 years, Sophia Cheong made the decision to understand how to code. 
  • She applied to entry-amount software package engineering work opportunities from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for six months straight. 
  • 357 rejections, 40 interviews, and 2 presents afterwards, she’s making a lot more than double her outdated income. 

Sophia Cheong’s job started at a Korean barbecue restaurant in California, where by she worked as a host when completing her bachelor’s degree in enterprise administration.

Just after graduating from Fullerton College, she was promoted to assistant basic manager and, afterwards, the director of functions. Then a coworker started out instructing her how to code. 

“I fell in love,” Cheong advised Insider. “I know it truly is cliche, but I felt like it was my real enthusiasm. … I was acquiring up every single early morning actually thrilled to master.”

Like the tens of millions of Individuals who give up their positions during the “Wonderful Resignation,” Cheong had an possibility throughout the pandemic to exit the restaurant industry and change job paths, a thing she had been seeking to do for some time. With restaurant closures forcing layoffs, she volunteered to be among the those people permit go.

Cheong straight away utilised the money she experienced saved from cafe paychecks to enroll in a 13-week program-engineering boot camp known as Hack Reactor, the place she finished above 1,000 hours of entire-stack coding.

1 week right after graduation, she established out on the task hunt.

Monday by means of Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Cheong applied to each and every entry-amount software package-engineering task or internship she could obtain, spanning 18 countries, she reported. On leading of submitting purposes, she attained out to tech recruiters just about every day and developed an online portfolio. 

“I was fairly naive. I imagined I might have a position after a month for the reason that Hack Reactor has this sort of a great popularity,” she stated. “But then just one month turned to two months and then 3 and 4, and I begun wondering, ‘Oh my God, why am I not receiving a career? What is actually wrong with me?'”

A screenshot of Sophia Cheong's applications around the world.

A screenshot of Sophia Cheong’s 359 apps all around the entire world.

Courtesy of Sophia Cheong

Continuously listening to about the nationwide labor lack and the at any time-escalating need for tech expertise didn’t enable her morale. In accordance to US labor stats, the shortage of engineers in the US will exceed 1.2 million by 2026.

Six months afterwards, Cheong had interviewed with 40 employers and been turned down 357 moments by firms large and little. She advised Insider that most interviewers questioned why she had switched careers and how her experience in the service business would aid her thrive in tech. 

“Just about every time I would request them why they failed to keep on with me, they’d say, ‘The other applicant is more senior than you,'” Cheong mentioned, introducing that recruiters would counsel achieving out in a year right after she had extra working experience. 

The identical 7 days Cheong was meant to head back to functioning at the cafe, she received two work delivers. A person, a junior software package-engineer place at Homee, would shell out 120% additional than her past salary, she stated. 

“We are all about getting likelihood with the newcomers,” Cheong explained the company’s Main Technology Officer Mitch Pirtle instructed her in the course of the interviewing procedure. “We know how tricky it is to get your foot in that doorway.” 

As she accepted her new placement, Cheong posted about the challenging occupation hunt on LinkedIn. Hundreds of task candidates having difficulties to find operate flooded the comment segment, asking for guidance and sharing equivalent stories of regular rejections. 

“I know there are shortages just about everywhere,” Cheong informed Insider. “But I also come to feel like there are so quite a few men and women on the lookout for work opportunities at the similar time. I just will not know why it has not balanced out however.”