I began to make progress after months of experimentation. At first, I was just happy to get the attention of recruiters. Then I started consistently getting phone screens. Then I figured out how to pass them. Then I cracked the take-home assignments. Finally I figured out how to get through the on-site interviews.
I kept tweaking my approach until I had the perfect system.
Eventually I knew I could contact any company at any time and get an interview, and if it was a good fit, I was going to secure an offer too.
I finally felt empowered.
I finally had control of my career.
I was getting more interviews than I could handle. I turned down trips to Silicon Valley, Austin, and Seattle because I was so overbooked with interviews.
Not only did I land an offer as a data scientist, I was able to land multiple offers. Then I leveraged my system to rapidly move up the ranks, into my dream job, leading an entire department of data scientists.
And you know what? Contrary to popular belief, it was a lot easier than I expected once I understood the system.