I believe it doesn't matter how awesome you are at the latest and greatest programming language, or how skillfully you can apply a binary search to an interview problem, if you cannot understand why you are applying technology to help someone. If you can understand the need for software, then all of those other points are much easier to improve on, and apply.
For me, what made me a better programmer (past the bachelors, masters, in computer science, and six years of hardcore, full time, programming) was selling. Not taking management classes, and learning about selling but actually selling software. To sell, you have to understand someone else's need. You have to understand it well enough to sell yourself that you can help them, and then sell them on your belief. This is the good kind of sales. Everyone has seen amazing software products that were shelved, because they didn't meet the need of someone evaluating them. If you can understand how to help someone, with technology, and convince them you'll remove their pain, you'll be able to write your own ticket.
Hustle on the terrible online job boards. Compete with the low cost 3rd world at a fraction of what you're currently making. Then, once you can pitch without sounding completely retarded, try it in person. And you'll fail. Again and again. That's the cost of tuition. Eventually, you won't fail at selling. Talk with people that know how to evaluate an offer, and a technical solution. The problems you'll see, once you really understand your customers, are very rarely that complicated, novel, and difficult, and (for my company that is general development without much of a specialization past very general open source) don't usually require much beyond best practices and a very rudimentary knowledge of efficiency. This is because most of the people that can sell are absolutely terrible at coding, and the people that can code are absolutely terrible at selling.
“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?'
'That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,' said the Cat.
'I don't much care where -' said Alice.
'Then it doesn't matter which way you go,' said the Cat.
'- so long as I get SOMEWHERE,' Alice added as an explanation.
'Oh, you're sure to do that,' said the Cat, 'if you only walk long enough.”
I vote you learn how to sell. You'll be able to sell yourself to an employee much easier, if that is your eventual goal.