At the start of the year, I had a goal that I want to find a new job that has a good team, a nice work environment, and that also pays well. But it took me some time to apply for the job that I wanted because I was scared. I was scared that I might get rejected, that I may not be good enough for the job, that it’s not the right time yet, and all other reasons that prevent me from sending job applications.
A Rough Patch
It was a tough moment because I knew that I needed some change, but I also could not move forward. I knew what I wanted, but I wasn’t doing anything to make it happen. I kept giving myself reasons why I shouldn’t take action yet. But that also left me more disoriented. I didn’t like that I wasn’t doing anything about it, so I started feeling bad about myself.
I researched the possible companies that I want to work for. It narrowed down my choices and made me focus on what I can do for them, but at the same time what they do for society, other than the actual business they’re doing. I also made sure that I have the skills necessary for the vacancies by reading the job description and checking their websites. I would match the skills I have to what they're looking for. I sent several applications through LinkedIn and waited for some of the companies to get back to me.
Even though there are a lot of vacancies, there’s also a big competition. I would see hundreds of people applying for the same job, so some thoughts started swirling in my head about whether I’d make it or not. I got rejection emails from some of the companies saying that they have more qualified candidates for the position. I didn’t even make it to the interview stage. And I didn’t hear anything from the other companies. So that lowered my self-esteem a little bit.
That’s when I realized that I needed some support to help me move forward. I’m lucky to be part of a community with supportive people who helped me be clear about what I wanted and what I needed to do. I had a few coaching sessions with some coaches that truly helped me see what was important for me at that moment. It also helped me to be more accountable for doing the things that I said I would do. I got the clarity and the support I needed at that time.
I know that I want to be part of an organization that is doing something for the community and that also has sustainability initiatives. One thing that I learned from a conference that I attended last year was that employees stay longer in a company if their values align with the organization. So that’s one of the things that helped me filter out what kind of companies I wanna work with.
I also want to have a mastery of certain skills as a Cloud Engineer. I like my job but I felt like I’m all over the place, a jack of all trades as they say. So I decided to find something where I could focus on specific skills I want to improve and have the expertise in the long run.
If you’re in the application phase, try to understand what it is that you’re really looking for the organization you want to work with, and the kind of job you want to do. Identify the valuable skills you can contribute to make their organization better. Stay true to your own values and what’s important to you.
A few weeks later, I got an email from a recruiter inviting me to an interview. I was really excited about it because it was one of my target companies even a few years ago. I would also commend their recruiters for adding the activities that the company does to be a contribution to the community because that really got me interested in being part of that organization.
Before the interview, I kept reminding myself that I just needed to be myself. I don’t have to know everything and I just have to be honest about it. I have the right skills and mindset for the position. When the interview happened, I knew that I was just enjoying the conversation. I was telling my experiences without exaggerating anything. If I didn’t have experience with a specific technology they were asking for, then I openly mentioned it.
One of the things that I liked about the interview was that I could see that the team really values teamwork. And that’s something that I was also looking forward to. I want to work in a team, work closely with people, solve problems together, and hang out with colleagues.
During interviews, it’s important to understand what you want and what the other side wants. You should be able to see yourself working with them and you can also see if that’s how they feel towards you.
If you’re worried about doing interviews, take a deep breath first. Practice by reading sample interview questions that are related to the position you're applying for and answer them. Remind yourself that you are enough, that you are worth it, and that you have the knowledge and skills for the job. Show up as your authentic self.
Getting the Job
I had my final interview with the hiring manager. It also went well. The same as the previous interview, he highlighted how important teamwork is for them. That really made me excited to become part of the team.
A few days later, I received a message that I got the job! I was so happy about it and I was really looking forward to starting to join the team. And I did not regret it. I really like working with my colleagues now because everyone’s very supportive and is good at what they do. I admire my team and I’m learning a lot from everyone. I’ve been working with them for five and a half months now.
If things don’t turn out the way you want it to be, that’s okay. Look at it as a learning experience so you can do better for your next interviews. You can also ask for feedback about the things that go well and things that didn’t go well so you can improve yourself. Be open to constructive criticism and don’t take it personally.
If you feel like you really did well and the other party seems happy with you, do not overthink about what could go wrong. Whatever the result is, you did your best. If it’s not the right fit, then it means that something better is waiting for you out there so never lose hope.
I’m grateful for having a supportive community that helped me along the way when I really needed it. It’s helpful when we’re open to sharing what we’re struggling with and knowing that there are people who can support us.
If you’re reading this, I want you to know that you’re not alone. You have the courage to get what you want and make things happen. Surround yourself with people who can support you. Be your authentic self in any situation. Don’t be scared to take the next step. You can do it!