Advice for someone looking for a new job after ~1 year off
I worked at Microsoft for 4 years after university. Then, I burnt out and questioned whether being a PM in engineering was the right career for me. I quit, traveled a bit, etc. and surprisingly, I feel more confident that I want to be a PM. (I thought I’d have some great epiphany on life that would lead to a drastic career change.) It’s been almost a year since I left Microsoft.
When I initially began contemplating whether to give myself this break, everyone was encouraging and told me not to worry because if I chose to come back to tech I’d have no issue finding a new role. They said they knew a ton of people who did the same thing and were able to find a job within a month… I’ve been actively applying (online and through referrals) and interviewing for over 4 months now, but no offers yet. The most common feedback I’ve heard is that they’re looking for someone with more experience. Thankfully I’m still doing okay financially so I can focus on job applications, but I can’t help but feel insecure and discouraged. I wonder if my PM experience is too “Microsoft shaped,” as some former peers have called it.
For those of you who took a “longer” time to find a new role, how did you stay motivated? What changes did you make that ultimately helped you land your new job?
For those of you who have interviewed someone returning after a long (>1 year) break, what aspects of your conversation with them made you give the okay for hire? Or say no?
For ex-Microsoft PMs who found PM roles elsewhere, what’s your secret? Did you ever get the feedback that you weren’t experienced enough for the role you applied to? If so, how did you overcome it?
Any advice or words of encouragement would be much appreciated right now!