2020 was such an emotional roller coaster for everyone. And I am sure that you all look forward to 2021 as much as I do, hoping that it would be a fresh start to a much, much, much better year.
Writing articles is my own way of putting thoughts into words in order to spend some time reflecting on them. (And maybe try to become a slightly better person each time). I would encourage anyone to give it a try.
New Year is such a great time for this: to simply cool down, take a step back, and recharge our batteries. It is also the perfect opportunity to look back at the year that passed, thinking about what went well, what went wrong, and ultimately how to improve.
My 2020 goal was to switch from a fixed-term contract to a full-time position at the same company. The people I was working with were amazing, and it was a great opportunity.
Then nothing went according to the plan.
Random things happened and all hiring processes were stopped. I had been put on hold (like many others)… until they also started laying off employees due to COVID. Needless to say that the offer I was waiting and hoping for never reached me.
I felt devastated for a while, even though now I realise I might have dodged a bullet: I am probably happier now thanks to that event that set me on a different journey.
Nevertheless, looking for a new job at the start of the global pandemic panic was tough.
So I decided to go back back to freelancing (I used to do missions as a student), riding on the wave of companies looking for remote part-time developers during these times of high uncertainty, but I hated it more than I thought I would. The idea of having marginal contribution and no long-term impact to a product was a real downside.
Also, short-term missions don’t bring a lot of money, and require a lot of overhead (meetings, planning, accounting).
As stressful as this period was, I still learned a lot and improved some skills. But it was clear that it was not the purposeful journey that I was hoping for.
On the side, I would continue doing video interviews, online hiring tests, and then even more interviews. The worst thing when looking for a job is not receiving a negative response, it is to stop receiving any response.
Some companies would stop replying, at different stages of the process, even when everything was going smoothly. Keeping candidates hanging does not provide closure, and hope hurts more than a clear refusal.
One company, after 5 interviews, even clearly stated that they “will send me a contract next week”, which never happened, even after multiple emails from me. Another one said that I “passed” and had to wait for the next interview step. I never heard back again.
Some days, I would feel really desperate, yet I did not want to feel ungrateful: I was not starving, my skills as a software engineer were not devalued because of the pandemic (quite the opposite), it was harder for other industries, and I simply had more free time to enjoy.
Thankfully, I finally joined a new adventure. My friends and colleagues at Alohi, if you are reading this, you are awesome.
Life has ups and downs, and the opportunities might come up in unexpected ways.
For 2021, I really wish for everyone to not loose hope, and find their ways.
Here are some lessons I wish to share from this year.
- 🤗 In any job, people matter more than the tech stack
- 💻 (With that said) Web development suits me more than data analysis
- ⛓ Freelancers enjoy more freedom, but that doesn’t mean more free time
- 💰 Always keep an emergency fund
- ✨ When they deserve it, please provide meaningful feedbacks to candidates
- 🎐 Don’t loose hope