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So I just got laid off from a company after 2 years, no fault of my own. It was a large, rather well known company that had been doing cuts for the entire year (almost 75% of our department was cut). I made it until the very end before they finally did a final budget cut.

I realize this is probably skimming Career advice but I'm more concerned on the actual development side when looking for a job.

When I'm looking for something, should I consider my 2 years as real experience? Or since it's so short, should I be looking like I just graduated college (since this was my first "real" job after college).

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closed as off topic by Walter, Glenn Nelson, Dynamic, Matthew Flynn, Jim G. Dec 31 '12 at 16:35

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Your two years of post-college experience in a typical workplace is precisely what keeps you from being considered an entry-level/fresh out of college worker. You'd be doing yourself a huge disservice by not listing it, talking about it, building on it. –  jcmeloni Dec 31 '12 at 15:20
    
"Your two years of post-college experience in a typical workplace is precisely what keeps you from being considered an entry-level/fresh out of college worker. You'd be doing yourself a huge disservice by not listing it, talking about it, building on it." QFT –  sparkleshy Dec 31 '12 at 17:07

3 Answers 3

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Your two years of experience is real experience, and isn't the same as graduating college.

When companies are looking for people with X years of work experience, what they really want is people who have spent X number of years making mistakes, learning how to work in the real world, and learning to work in groups, all at someone else's expense.

You mentioned in a comment that it was a "generic job", so long as it was a generic programming job, you're fine. If it was just a "job with some programming", it's less valuable than a programming job would have been, but still real work experience. You'll want to identify what accomplishments you had related to programming for interviews/cover letters.

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I would say it depends on what you did and what you are trying to do next. My first 2 years of my first real job was probably the most hectic but educational place I have ever worked. I learned a lot of odd, unrelated things and that was hard to initially figure out how to relate to a specific job I would be applying for.

For me I eventually realized it was pretty easy to draw parallels between parts of the things I had done and what the interviewers were doing at least enough to keep the conversation moving.

If you have been doing something very specific, or very generic you might have a bit more trouble, but even then you still have two years experience in the team/project/approach aspects of things so I would not discount your time there entirely.

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It was a pretty generic job, with some specialized skills. But everything I learned was pretty useful. Im mainly just worried if 2 years experience is even worth anything. –  Mercfh Dec 31 '12 at 15:59

I would say that you still expect to compete for entry-level jobs (not internships) against new graduates, but you should have an edge over them. Being able to bring the positive things from your old work environment into a new one is something that no new graduate can do, and most small teams need.

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