Taking a priori care of your future job

Photo by Igor Ovsyannykov on Unsplash

A short background

Hello there 👋

In case you don’t know about me, I am Jahir Fiquitiva and I’m a full stack developer with 4+ years of experience.

About six months ago, I got my very first job as an Android developer (or as a developer in general), and it’s been an awesome, exhausting, intriguing, interesting, challenging and incredible experience.

I have learnt some new things, improved in many aspects of my work, and also have been “forced” to try a few tools that I was a bit reluctant to try before or simply didn’t find the right target implementation I could use them in.

I reckon there’s still a lot to learn and practice and improve, but I feel like I’ve been doing a great work so far.

Getting new job offers

Just about a month ago, after getting my first job as a developer, I started to get more job offers. Having more experience and knowledge brings space for new opportunities for sure.

I’ve got exactly 3 new offers until now, all of them without really applying to them or expecting them, and I would like to share my experience with them with you all:

The first one was in a cool company. It has presence in multiple countries and I have a good reference of them. It is actually a company I have been hoping to work for someday in the future. So yeah, you might imagine my amazement and happiness when I got contacted.

They were kind enough to just call me and talk to me and share the details about the position and stuff. Unfortunately, due to my current education plans, I’m not able to take them up on their offer.

The second one was in a company from another country. My answer was basically the same as before but they were really nice and even said “We’ll be waiting for you”.

The third one… Well, it didn’t go as well as the others, and that’s part of the reason I decided to create this post.

The experience with this job offer

This one was from a not-so-common company. At least I didn’t heard of it before. Also, I got the email on a Sunday night. Anyway, I was curious about it so I asked for more information, and I got a request to share specifically a Skype username and mobile number.

I don’t mind sharing my mobile number. I have different ones for personal and work stuff. But the Skype thing was pretty specific and it made me worry a little.

Of course I wouldn’t participate of a video call for an “interview” on a Sunday night, but I also study every single weekday from early in the morning until the early night, so it would be really difficult for me to take my laptop, connect to internet and be able to participate of the said video call.

I, for sure, let the “recruiter” know about this difficulty and asked for an alternative to make the “interview” still happen. Their reply: “You can install Skype on your phone”.

But here came other issues: 1) I don’t pay a mobile data plan because I simply can’t afford it for now and I don’t really see the need of it and 2) There’s only one area with wireless network connection in the University campus: the cafeteria, which is a place where you obviously know people go and make a lot of noise, and of course, not the right place to have an “interview”.

I let the “recruiter” know about these issues again, but didn’t get any reply about it until I contacted them the next day.

Note: I’ve put “recruiter” and “interview” in quotes because 1) I’m not sure if that was their position and 2) I’m not sure if that was what was going to happen, respectively.

Asking for help and overcoming the situation

While waiting for a reply, I decided to contact an awesome, kind and support person: Kim Crayton. She’s a CEO (Chief Encouragement Officer), business coach, a proud multipotentialite and advocate for diversity, inclusion, and safe spaces in tech.

I had the incredible opportunity of meeting her at JSConfCO 2017, where she gave a talk about Community Engineering, diversity, inclusion, and all the things she’s constantly fighting for.

Knowing of her work and efforts, I knew she was the right person to ask: “Was I doing something wrong about that “interview”?” “Did I have to put more efforts on getting it to happen, regardless of my difficulties, and given that I already had a job?”

One thing I’d like to mention is: here, in Colombia, as in many other countries, we face a big inequality issue. And specifically for this case, there can be people or communities who have a more reliable and/or faster access to Internet than others, different technical infrastructure, and where you can find marginalized and underrepresented communities everywhere.

Kim’s reply was: given what I just mentioned, “ you need to leverage your value now”.

I told her the “recruiter” was from Colombia too, and that I was expecting them to understand my difficulties, but was getting no reply instead.

What she told me was: “This would be a red flag for me although I’d follow up tomorrow just in case something happened and she dropped the ball.” And I couldn’t agree with her more.

So I did that and contacted them the next day… It took them some time to reply, and all they said was “please tell me a time I can contact you and I will”. I was at University still, so I told them to contact me via a simple phone call as it was the only way it could work at the moment.

It’s been almost a week already and haven’t got any other reply or call yet.

Kim contacted me the next day to know how it was going, and I told her about how it was simply not working… Her reply: “ You’ve followed up and that’s all you can do. Just let it go.”

I felt a lot better. I really tried to make things work out. I tried to keep the conversation alive. I explained my difficulties but the “recruiter” just ignored them or didn’t care about them. So, I did (and will do) what Kim suggested: “let it go”.

Conclusions

If you’re a recruiter:
When you’re interested in getting someone to work with you, please, always be open to the different backgrounds of the said person. You’re supposed to be interested on them for their knowledge and/or experience or what they can contribute to your team or company. Things like race, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, religion, etc. should not matter in your decisions.

If you recognize someone has certain difficulties regardless if the are emotional, technical, personal, or any other kind, try to help them overcome them, just so they can feel the support you can offer them and thus they can get interested on working with you after noticing you’re offering them a safe place to work on.

And finally, always answer the messages. Even if the news are not so good, please let people know about what’s going to happen next. Don’t leave them waiting for a reply because it looks like you’re ignoring them and you simply don’t care enough about them.

If you’re someone looking for a new job or position:
Learn to recognize a company (or recruiter) that is completely interested on what you do, how you work, how you can improve their products, etc. If you notice or feel like they are more interested in how hard you can work or how much effort you’re able to put, then you might be joining a team or company that cares more about your productivity and what it represents for them, than about you as a person and the skills and knowledge you have to share and contribute to them.

If you feel like it, be patient and continue searching for a job. Continue learning and getting more skills or getting better at the ones you already have. Eventually, you’ll find the right opportunities and you will know when or how to take them.

I wasn’t really looking for a job, yet I got one and I am happy at it.

Additionally, if you feel like your team or company might not be the safest place, not only for you but others, consider (and encourage others) to get a new job in a place where you can actually feel you’re worth and where people recognize your value. Also, remember you’re not alone. Try to get help from people that focuses on this situations (like Kim) and take the decisions you will feel the best with.

Thanks again to Kim Crayton for her support and motivating me to post this, and thanks to you for taking the time to read this. I really hope it helps you somehow. Please help me by sharing it with others. 😊

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