I am a newbie. So, it is obvious that jobs wont come easily or wont come at all initially. I am looking for companies where i can work and get a few hints & tips from experienced developers when needed, so that i can do some good work and develop my skills in the process. Paid position is nice to have, but not necessary. I can try open source projects, but they won't teach me corporate culture and workplace politics/dynamics like a real company job. Thats why i prefer companies instead of open source.
I regularly write custom cover letters faking interest and vision (I have passion, I am impressed by your company...blah blah), everything else being true. How the hell is everyone supposed to know what they want to be in 5 years from now and have a goal? How am I even supposed to figure out a goal? I like so many things - web development, java backend,...malware analysis and creation too ! (tears of joy meme) and mobile app development.
Right now, I just want a job to learn java (dont care if its mobile, backed, swing gui), I will decide later if i hate it or like it. People in the industry change jobs because they prefer other roles, besides others things like location, benefits etc. Sometimes, it take them a while to realize that they wanted something else. Thats not such a bad thing. Its ok if you have not defined your whole career path well and will figure out things along the way.
Why do some employers expect this vision and well-defined plan from the get go? Why don't they look at it like - hey! this guy has potential, has some skills and can do the job. We are hiring him for a junior position with low level responsibilities. So, why does his passion matter at this stage? Lets see what he can accomplish and then put him in a department where he will excel and add value to the company.
Java Newbie with 72% in OCJP/SCJP - Super Confused Jobless Programmer.
I am a "newbie" too. Please verify my answers before you accept them.
To answer your question of figuring out a passion, a lot of people never get that one right. I, for example was extremely passionate about fixing motorcycles, but it wasn't a rewarding career (Of course, I could be a master at the skill and be hired at big races. But my passion wasn't porting engines and making faster bikes, I was just too passionate to prolly fix a burnt clutch plate). So the next 'passion' I had was religion. I never found God. Then my next passion became Java. Now am too bogged down by the newest features and the necessity to keep up with them. So first, if you know you will figure out the passion in 5 years, good luck.
Most companies have near about dud heads in the recruitment process. If the tech guy is fine the HRs is stupid. If the HR is smart the tech guy is stupid. I would say you just need to keep faking your interest in how high the company's vision is (now which company does not survive only for profits !). Its all about the money in the end. But most firms have to bring in these abstractions of apparitions in the form of social responsibility etc. And they expect the same from the candidates applying.