Looking4Work: Part 1

Two people looking for work

Many people are struggling to find work in San Diego as early-career or aspiring software engineers. Please know that every day people are earning opportunities to live their dream and code for a living. It is possible and I wanted to share a few tips to help you make progress towards your goals.

This will be a multi part blog. I plan to continue to provide tips over the coming months for those that are looking4work (and maybe I’ll even run another cohort).

If you are unemployed then the first thing you should do is pause on the job search and see what you qualify for in terms of assistance to buy you some more runway to get back out there and find a job. Often people are unaware of their options so I want to be sure that I cover the basics first. As always, you will need to keep coding every day while you take these action steps.

If you have not yet filed for unemployment you should immediately check to see if you are eligible. Take the pride out of it, this is money you paid into. It can take some time to get the benefits, and although it used to be fast enough to find new work that some engineers didn’t bother filing, that is not the case today. You should immediately check and see if you are covered by traditional unemployment or the new programs that cover COVID related situations like self-employed or underemployed as soon as you are out of work.

Check if you are eligible for OJT or other career services. In San Diego, you just need to visit a career center (or reach out online/phone) and they can tell you if you qualify. If so, they may issue you a letter that you can take to future employers that allows them to get up to 6 months of your wages paid by the state of CA. That’s right, they may be able to cover part of your wages if someone hires you, but you have to be approved before you get the offer for it to work. So see if you qualify now, that is a great way to save a potential employer a lot of cash and reduced the risk they might see in hiring you. There are also a variety of other programs run by the VA and Workforce Partners that can be of help. Be sure to check with your local career center and they can make referrals for you to other programs.

Tech Hire is a program that helps people living in the cities of San Diego and Chula Vista get paid for a short internship. This program is free for employers and can help turn an unpaid internship opportunity into one that pays you. To see if you qualify for Tech Hire check here.

Finally, keep an eye out and apply for programs like Advancing San Diego. And network! Join active communities like SanDiegoJS, San Diego Python, OperationCode, or San Diego Tech Hub

So to recap, if you are not employed and looking for work, PAUSE and do the following:

  1. Apply for unemployment
  2. See what you qualify for at a career center
  3. Checkout TechHire
  4. Keep coding every day