After finishing college i got a job. It was position in small company and salary was low, but i accepted anyways it to get some experience in web development. I worked there for three years, and at some point of time i realized that there was no real opportunities to grow professionally anymore, so I started searching for a new job. Gott an offer from a bigger company, very promising in terms of personal and career growth, good people, fun, etc.

approximately at the same time my marriage started going south and my ex filed for divorce. While I was able to go through probation period relatively easy, later my performance started to slip. I was overwhelmed by my personal life, and started falling into depression. I let my team lead know about what was going on, and team lead looked understanding and empathetic, however it was wrong impression. I tried to pull myself out, I had some better performances, and some worse performances at work while coping. It got to the point when I was threatened to be fired by my team lead, multiple times within 3 months period.

I took stress leave. During the stress leave I hear from my former co-worker and am convinced by him to give it a try and come back. I contact my (former at that time)boss, he offers me a position, but it has very little to do with my previous duties, it is a qa position. I accepted it with hopes to switch back into development after some time. I leave second company without even showing up there after the stress leave, just contacting HR, they were ok with me leaving, no one insisted on any talks. So...I started working at my first employer again... They hire another developer. At this point I am losing all hope to return to development and sliding into deeper depression. After struggling with this new job for some time and not achieving any significant results they call me up and handing me termination letter... end of story...

Six months later:

Now I am trying to get back, find a job. I moved to a bigger city. I got a handle of my depression and accepted all this as life lesson, made my conclusions and changing outlook on life and the way I handle it. The only thing now is i absolutely have no clue how to go about this situation on interviews. I don't have any recommendation letters from former employers, and I am anxious to ask them about it. I had a couple of interviews and talked to a few recruiters but no luck. I am now unemployed for 10 months... I like software development very much, I'm trying to stay current, taking online courses, reading blogs and books on this topic.

TL;DR: got new job, divorce followed, performance dipped, was threatened to be fired, left company for my first employer, slipped into depression, got fired after six months, another six months later still unemployed and looking for a job

I had one interview so far and about ten recruiters contacted me for different positions. When they ask why I left my job, I answer for "family reasons" and not elaborating on the answer. However, I immediately feel that this answer does not satisfy them. I was honest with two recruiters. They they said it's ok, life happens, but they never got back to me.

  • What are you currently doing when not talking to recruiters and filling out applications? Taking courses? Volunteer work?... – Patricia Shanahan Aug 16 '16 at 3:16
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    Can you trim that wall of text down to what is actually essential for answering your question? TL;dr. – keshlam Aug 16 '16 at 4:41
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    Sorry, but Please forgive me for a sob story is nonsense. If you recognize your post as sub-standard, edit it yourself before actually posting. Now other people are doing the edits for you. – user8036 Aug 16 '16 at 10:06
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    TL;DR Doesn't even have a question. All this seems like it would be better asked on reddit instead of a Q&A site. – Lilienthal Aug 16 '16 at 12:51
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    The problem with the question I see is that there's no question. You wrote "How to go about my situation in interviews" in your title but never explain that part. Trying to focus your question will also help you deal with the situation. – Brandin Aug 17 '16 at 11:20

You can go one of two ways:

  • Be upfront with the next interviewer about what transpired in the previous jobs and the divorce you had to go through. It would help if you could get former co-workers, who are familiar with what you were dealing with and who have seen glimpses of your quality work, write recommendation letters on your behalf. It is important that you are able to show that the issues with the divorce and depression are completely behind you, and that you have been using the time to stay current and further develop your skills in software development.

  • Try to rebuild your resume a little by taking on a software development job with lesser pay or even volunteering your services w/o pay. If you do this, you need to make sure to work your tail off and leave good impressions on the people you will be working with. After several months of doing this work, you should be able to seek a higher paying job and get people to write you recommendation letters.

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    Downvoted because you're answering a rant. While I can appreciate the time you took to write this and you give some good advice, these types of questions aren't suitable for this site and can't really be answered because they don't have a question. – Lilienthal Aug 16 '16 at 12:55

Sorry to hear what you had to go through. But believe me many people go through worse and come out strong.

To start with, let us look at the positives you've got:

  • You have got over the stress and ready to move on.
  • You have got the professional experience.
  • You have got the skills to get the new job.
  • You still believe in your talent and you "know" what you want to do.

Now, take small steps forward:

  • Do not invest your time in only searching jobs; you can:

    • Try finding freelancing work. There are many freelancing platforms like Upwork or freelancer.com. It will keep you in practice and will help with your finances as well.
    • Try to increase your digital footprint. Write technical blogs about new things you learnt. Contribute to open source projects. Participate in technical Q&A sites. Participate in coding contest sites like Techgig.com.
    • Write blogs about your personal struggles and how did you overcome, or help people on online communities like Quora on such fronts. It might inspire some souls.
  • Try to connect with your ex colleagues or immediate bosses, you can request them for recommendation letters. Recommendations don't necessarily come from only big heads.

  • Hope you have experience letters from all your employers. If not, arrange for it from the company HR. It is your right to get experience letter.

  • Keep your latest salary slips and bank salary statements handy. Some companies regard bank statements in lieu of experience letter.
  • Keep trying. Most employers are only interested in your skill set. If you've got what they need they will take you. It's only a matter of time.
  • Learn that, nobody cares about your problems. So, unless absolutely necessary you shouldn't explain all the details to your employer.

You did not mention why did you fail in the interviews. Were you not able to clear the technical round? Were you rejected due to the gap? Were you rejected at HR round due to the depression and stuff??

Not clearing the technical round is not an option for you. You must practice and perfect that.

For the gap, you can show some freelancing work.

for other HR stuff, be ready with all required documents like experience letters, bank statements (may be a fitness certificate from your doctor?)

Please remember, it's only you who can help you to change your situation. Believe in yourself. All the best.

  • It may also be useful for the OP to find a volunteer activity that requires attendance at specific times. – Patricia Shanahan Aug 16 '16 at 15:35

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