Word of Mouth Hiring

Word of Mouth Hiring
Photo by Oleg Laptev / Unsplash

My history of finding jobs and getting hired is weird. It sounds made-up, because of the randomness involved. However, I think it's worth recounting online just to share with the world that giving 10s of hours of interviews and grinding Leetcode isn't the only way to get hired in tech.

A lot of things lead upto me getting my first job, but in short they were:

  • Doing an NPTEL course in NodeJS
  • Using that experience to land an internship in AWS + NodeJS. Had an awesome manager here who believed Open Source was the future (in 2017).
  • Used that enthusiasm to start contributing to open source projects, where I eventually picked up React.
    Throughout this process, I was undignified in posting about all of my work online (Twitter, LinkedIn and my site), at a time when "Building in Public" or "Proof of Work" didn't exist.

Here's how I personally believe this compounding portfolio of online work helped me:

  • Email: A friend from a different college sent me an email about a job with a (relatively early) startup. My portfolio convinced them to hire me before my graduation, and I could build apps from scratch there using technologies of my choosing.
  • Twitter: Through some of my blog-posts and community involvement, a random person followed me on Twitter and decided to send me a referral for a founding role at a bootstrapped startup. There was a perfect match with the tech stack here as well. There was a lot of encouragement around entrepreneurship and building products here.
  • LinkedIn: A founder of a London-based VC-backed startup decided to reach out to me based on a monetized API that I had created, which was featured in newsletters. This gave me international exposure, and confidence in my ability to apply for international roles.
  • Telegram: After my previous contract ended, I decided to take a month-long break and messaged on a few web3 communities with my web2 and web3 projects, sharing that I was interested in doing fixed-term contract work. A founder (coincidentally London-based again) decided to reach out to me, and I ended up at the job that I've had the most fun at, noble.place (they're hiring!).

In my opinion, the main driver in this journey was me being undignified in posting about my work, when there wasn't a word for "Building in Public" or "Proof of Work" (back in 2016). It involved sharing my progress, my story and my achievements on Twitter, LinkedIn, and anywhere else that I could gain an audience. Maybe this could work for you as well?

In any case, have you tried the Pareto Principle yet?