Christopher Tung graduated with an English degree in 2011 and moved out to New York City, bringing little besides the $3,000 he had saved and his determination to make it. He didn't have a job, and the one interview he had planned fell through.
After more than two months of rejection, he was down to his last $1,000, and his luck turned. He was acquired by the small e-commerce company Quidsi, which was itself acquired by Amazon. Six years later, he has held five positions, including two at different start-ups absorbed into Amazon, and one at Imgur.
Along the way, he learned how to how to keep his ear to the ground, a skill Tung says has helped him navigate his career and figure out when it's time to move on to the next opportunity.
"You never want to be the last one to go," he tells CNBC. "Move when it's advantageous."