Wrapping up the 2020 rollercoaster
2020 was such an emotional rollercoaster for everyone. Surely 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 blog posts is my own way of putting thoughts into words and spending some time reflecting on them. (And maybe try to become a slightly better person each time).
New Year is such a great time for this: simply cool down, take a step back, and recharge the 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 finally switching to a full-time position. My team was amazing, and it was a great opportunity overall.
Then nothing went according to plan.
Issues in the leadership team stopped all hiring processes. I had been put on hold (like many others)… until they also started laying off employees due to COVID. The offer I was initially promised never reached me after months of waiting and email exchange.
I felt devastated and betrayed for a while.
And 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 freelance missions as a student) and surf on the wave of companies looking for remote part-time developers during these times of high uncertainty.
But I hated it way more than I thought I would. Having marginal contribution and no long-term impact on a product was a real downside. Also, short-term missions did not bring a lot of money and required a lot of overhead (meetings, planning, accounting…) even though I was using Upwork.
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 false hope hurts more than a clear refusal.
One big company, after 5 interviews, even stated that they “will send me a contract next week”, which never happened, even after multiple emails from me.
Another company said that I “passed” the interview and had to wait for the next interview step. To this day I never heard back from them.
Some days, I would feel really desperate, yet I did not want to feel ungrateful: I was not starving, and my skills as a software engineer were not devalued because of the pandemic (quite the opposite actually). It was way harder for other industries, and I simply had more free time to enjoy until finding something.
A New Beginning
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 opportunities might come up in unexpected ways.
For 2021, I really wish for everyone to not lose hope, and find their ways.
Here are some lessons I wish to share from this year.
- 🤗 In any job, people and culture 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 in case something happens
- ✨ When they deserve it, please provide meaningful feedback to candidates when rejecting them
- 🎐 Never lose hope