Summary of my job search (Dec 2022 — Feb 2023)

Jason Yip
3 min readMar 6, 2023

On 29 Nov 2022, I learned I was being laid off by Spotify, official termination date 31 Dec 2022. This is a rough summary of my job search experience.

Job search Sankey diagram

Sankey diagram generated using go-echarts

I started looking the moment I got the same day “urgent” calendar invite on 29 Nov and had set my LinkedIn status to “Open to Work” on 30 Nov.

At least 35 positions contacted me first. 25 led to at least an initial chat. The remaining 10 went nowhere after initial contact. I didn’t record all the random recruiter contacts because of low quality.

In total, I had 30 referrals, that is, someone who already knew me recommended me OR I asked someone to put my application through an internal referral system. 9 of these eventually led to interviews.

In total, I formally applied to 78 positions. I got 34 explicit rejections and 35 that just went quiet (assumed rejected). For one, I withdrew after realising what the commute would need to be.

I also had 26 positions where there were no formal applications but more initiated by exploratory chats. 8 of these evolved into interviews. I explicitly withdrew from 8 (compensation too low, location). The remaining 10 went quiet — a mix of me not being interested, them not being interested, or slowing market demand.

In total, I had 10 recruiter screens. For an additional 6 positions, the recruiter screens were skipped as they contacted me initially or it was a stronger referral. One position rejected me after the recruiter screen. One didn’t get a chance to set up interviews as I had already accepted an offer.

In total, I interviewed for 14 positions, 6 originating from direct applications and 8 from them contacting me first. Two ended up with explicit rejections. Two were kind of quasi-acceptance but no open positions. Two seemed to be leading toward offers, one of which I accepted. One was just starting the interview rounds when I accepted the offer. The remaining 7 just went quiet. For 3 of the ones that went quiet, I treat them as de facto rejections. The other 4 that went quiet were from consulting companies and I attribute it mostly to a soft consulting market. If they can’t get client work, they also can’t afford to be hiring more consultants.

I accepted an offer from Grainger on 17 Feb with a start date of 6 March.

Time-to-get-hired

Total time start (learning about getting laid off) to end (start date at Grainger): 97 days

Total time start (termination date) to end (start date at Grainger): 65 days

UPDATE: Factors that I considered

  1. Holiday period;
  2. Other layoffs meaning a more competitive market;
  3. Later on, getting the sense that the consulting companies were seeing or anticipating lower demand which meant that they were less likely to hire

UPDATE: General strategy

Two-pronged approach:

  1. Post something publicly and rely on people contacting me;
  2. Apply to everything that seemed interesting as a parallel brute force approach. Given delays, I had enough free time to do this, and I expected the hit rate to be low.

I was pretty sure I’d get something before my severance ended but I preferred being more aggressive in getting something else earlier.

I mostly applied to parallel roles associated with my past experiences: coaching, consulting, technical program management. The alternate options were contracting and more independent consulting/coaching.

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Jason Yip

Senior Manager Product Engineering at Grainger. Extreme Programming, Agile, Lean guy. Ex-Spotify, ex-ThoughtWorks, ex-CruiseControl