Advice for someone looking for a new job after ~1 year off

Microsoft pbbh5
Oct 7 3 Comments

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!


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TOP 3 Comments
  • Oracle Sockets
    Don't worry about it. Last year I took 6 months off due to my previous company had a successful IPO. No one had an issue with it.

    The fact you got interviews means taking time off is not holding you back, you just need to close the deal.

    Just don't mention you had 'doubts' about being a PM.
    Oct 7 0
  • Microsoft FlyingOwe
    PM is not as hot in the market compare to SWE. So don’t get discouraged when you see people getting multiple offer in here. You’re getting interviews so seems like you’re in good shape. There are many reasons that you’re not getting the offer, because there is only going to be 1 offer for many applicants.
    If experience is the real issue here, try compensate it with some kind of certification. However I will take it with a grain of salt. Most companies don’t even give feedback anymore.
    Oct 7 0
  • Verizon Media Atinlay6
    Just be honest
    Oct 7 0


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