I have had discussions with friends and peers, where we try to discuss why some people have different career paths than others. While some join a great company after college, and then stagnate their for 5 years, others join companies which are okay after college, then move between companies/startups which might be "just alright", but see massive growth in terms of compensation and responsibilities.
I think I've had one such journey. I've never worked at a company employing >20 employees yet, and yet have enjoyed deploying my technical skills to solve more and more complex problems. I like to take the career path I've taken so far, the Pareto Hiring Hypothesis.
It may benefit you as well, so I'd like to details my thoughts on the same here. My theory goes,
"80% of developers apply to 20% of the available jobs, so apply to the rest of the 80%".
Expanding upon this idea, 80% of developers apply to the jobs they see quite visibly. A company posting blogs in social media, a company making news for funding, or a company which people post a lot of "I just joined X" posts about.
Ignore those. Do your own research across communities and job boards. Try to find the companies which aren't making noise in public, but hiring via [[Word of Mouth]]. These are the companies which will give you a 300% compensation hike, while not cooking your brains live during their 10-hour long interviews.
Maybe this makes sense for you. Maybe I'll just get more hate for writing this. Idc this time though, I'll continue to write for the non-vocal 80% :)