First of all – due to Catch 22 to get a first job is difficult, but doable. To find job, you need experience, but to get experience, you need a job. This is Catch 22. Obviously, as a minimum you need portfolio or references. Unfortunately what potential employers need is a commercial experience, or at least created by you some usable/commercial stuff in the Internet, available for everybody, visible, not something you developed on your laptop localhost server. If you can build a real commercial online application/service for any reasonable company, whatever small it is – definitely do it, not for free, but for at least small amount of money, according to some specs provided by a company. Such examples are valuable, because they can prove that you faced real problems, and you solved them, you got some experience, and results of your work are possible to see for everybody. Stuff they cannot see, doesn’t exist.
Avoid companies which don’t know when exactly they can publish their website/online service which you create for them, or if they will publish at all. It can happen that you will create an online service, but due to some unpredicted business circumstances it will never go live.
I think, that it doesn’t matter which programming language you use for start and for this reason probably reasonable option would be PHP, even if you prefer other language. This is because PHP is widely available on almost every Linux server, the LAMP stack is industry standard. Also, PHP does make more sense with Laravel. And Laravel with REACT is more useless (too expensive for maintenance and development with frontend-always-changing-bells-and-whistles stuff provided by Laravel). So – you like it or not – at start you have three things: REACT on frontend, Laravel on backend, and MySQL database. That is quite powerful and the most common scenario in most online services: there is always some frontend, backend, and source of data – usually database – processed by backend and delivered to frontend (sometimes via API). Having skills in the three things you can build most commercial services.
Alternatively, you can start with creating free plugins for WordPress. On wordpress.org you can setup your own account as a developer and can have your work visible.
Once you have some common sense online service you should publish your code on GitHub. GitHub is absolute must if you look for a job. It proves you know at least basics in Git. Except that you can use GitHub public repositories to place there your code, so potential employers can see it. Do not place in public repositories code you developed for your customer(s), because such code usually belongs to them. I was often asked for a PHP backend code examples developed for companies I was working for, and I always refused – the code belonged to companies I was working for. With REACT code can be seen usually online anyway, so everybody can see it, but situation is different with backend languages like PHP, Node.js or Python. Never publish or show code which doesn’t belong to you. Almost always, if you were paid for developing code, the code is not your property.
Actually, the problem is, that in some programming languages to find a job can be more difficult. For instance Python is very popular, that is true, but most jobs require at least 2-3 years commercial experience, or experience in ML or AI, very advanced stuff, which is impossible to have at the very beginning. So, some option can be to use back door approach – start with any language, which can help you to find web development / software development job faster, even for low salary, and after some time switch to language or technology you like. The above described example with PHP/Laravel was just an example. Except that programming languages come with a context. For instance: PHP and Laravel, PHP and WordPress, Python and Django, Python and Flask, and for this reason – for PHP – it is always better to know not only vanilla PHP but also some PHP (MVC) framework.
My impression is, that frontend languages / technologies are better paid, so I would start probably with REACT, because REACT is extremely usable, development/hosting for REACT can be not that expensive (Heroku for instance). At least what you develop in REACT can be seen.
But, be careful, if you want to be PHP developer and on top of that develop in REACT, you will be paid the same money, or lower, than in situation when you are REACT developer only. That is some paradox worth keeping in mind. So, PHP can help you to get the job faster, but once you are in the business, switch to something better paid, as fast as possible.
My opinion is, that the best languages/technologies to develop, and the most profitable, are C# and REACT. Maybe there are more such options, but the two seems to be very obvious.
If you don’t know what language to learn – pick C# or REACT.