No junior position anymore?

No junior position anymore?
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Hello there,

I’m writing this post after experiencing frustration and a lack of motivation for about a month…

I have been doing FreeCodeCamp for quite some time and finished 3 certifications, along with finished a Master Degree in Computer Science in the technical university of Warsaw, Poland.

I have been searching for a position as a Junior Dev in Warsaw (Front end or Back end with NodeJS) but the offers are scarce and most of them require experience to begin with…
I don’t have a working experience in the field but I am willing to put the hours and work.

I would like some advices on how to land the first job that will open opportunities to me. Should I apply to postions with a year or a year and a half of experience despite having none ?

Thanks…

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If a potential employer asks for a certain period of professional work experience, it would likely be hard to convince them to hire someone who had zero professional experience, even though that person had a few years of experience building applications, libraries, etc… Still, it’s worth applying if you feel your portfolio shows you have a solid skill set that’s related to what the company is hiring for.

If you’re looking for an entry-level (junior) position, it’s probably more fruitful to apply to bigger companies that can afford to put new developers through a ‘training’ period in hopes that enough of them will blossom into great developers who will make big contributions.

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Try calling their HR department to ask for a recruiter’s e-mail (because their application site is “down” or “acting weird”). E-mail the recruiter directly and show him your portfolio & resume, asking if there is a need for your skillset. Ignore the requirements and go for it.

I understand. My point here is that it’s a bit like the chicken and the egg problem. You need experience to work but not many companies will not accept you unless you have experience to begin with.

The only thing you can do (other than applying to large companies for junior positions that require at least 1 year of experience and contacting large company recruiters directly via LinkedIn or direct email) is to write pet projects and put them up on github, keeping them open so that potential employer could look through your code.

Other than that I can recommend going to meetups, hackathons, any kind of meetings of developers to network with people working in the field, as well as sending a resume everywhere.

And not giving up. It took me nearly half a year to get a junior web developer position when I switched from some less known languages, despite having more than 10 years of software development experience. All you can do is endure and keep trying to get a job and at some point someone will hire you.

Also, consider moving to another city if opportunity arises, sometimes large cities are over-saturated with juniors of any sort, so competition is high. Smaller city = less competition, so it may be easier to get a job. After having at least a year of experience in your first company, it will be much easier to find a job, if you decide to do so (I don’t recommend changing companies frequently, though, unless you have a very good reason).

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So I can’t speak to how things work outside of the US, but inside the US here are some goofy things that may be similar.

First, there are no standards around job titles. Some companies have entry-level or junior positions, some don’t. If you only look for those words you simply won’t find the postings by companies who don’t use that title.

Second, years of experience is almost always a target and not requirement. Most postings in the US look for 3-5 years of experience. I recommend to my mentees to consider this the “Junior” bracket. They should apply to anything with less than 5 years of experience needed and doesn’t have “Senior” in the title.

You have to cast a wide net until you get the hang of the process and enough experience to be more specific.

Every employer wants previous experience, but it doesn’t have to be work experience. Hobby projects count, as do freeCodeCamp and other learning projects. For a junior position, all they really want is familiarity with the concepts. I wouldn’t go applying for senior level positions without experience, but after you’ve learned the ropes (like here on FCC) definitely don’t limit your search only to positions with the word “Junior” in them.

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Employers just want to know if you can get the s*t done or not. I see many juniors with master degree unable to create an api so do not worry.

So if you can make a full website by yourself, just add fake experience on your resume and go take the job