I've been quiet for a while but there's been lots going on!
An unexpected turn
At the end of January 2022 I was unfortunately made redundant. 😬 It was unexpected (and I wasn't expecting my first blog post of the year to be about this!) but in the last few weeks I've had time to reflect on the situation and take action towards my next steps.
It was quite a shock at the time. Redundancy can be scary, losing financial stability, not knowing what's next. I was also gutted to know I wouldn't be able to continue working on a product and with a team I had worked with and was really invested in. The team have been very supportive of each other even though the situation was far from ideal.
Once the dust settled I realised I now had a great opportunity to search in depth for my next venture - it's not often you don't have a job at the time you're looking for a new one. I am in a fortunate position where I have accumulated a financial buffer so I could take my time with this and find the right thing. It's been quite a journey!
Searching for a role
I've been making the most of having so much available time by interviewing with whole host of companies - small, large, startups, veterans, bootstrapped, VC funded and various different industries and missions - and it's been a complete eye opener into the amount of awesome projects and opportunities that are out there! 🤯 There were so many cool companies that I liked the sound of that I decided to begin the process with all of them. I spoken to about 30 companies initially and had many rejections along the way, generally related to lack of experience for the specific role in question. It's not a nice feeling being rejected, but it's a learning experience and just part of the journey. I also abandoned a few myself as I got more insight into their work and processes and decided they weren't the right fit for me. It's been quite a challenge keeping on top of it all!
I used a couple of methods to find suitable roles. As soon as I opened up my LinkedIn to recruiters I was bombarded with messages. I avoided most of them as there were so many generic message, some didn't include my name, some didn't include the company name. I steered clear of these as I didn't want to just be a candidate in a funnel. I worked with one recruiter who was excellent and was super helpful in guiding me through the process with one company, but that didn't work out in the end.
I found the best method was using Cord. It puts you in direct contact with in-house talent recruitment and seems to be used by a variety of great companies who would be awesome to work for! By being in direct contact you can develop a better relationship with the companies you talk to.
It's such a great time to be or become a software engineer, or even to get into tech via other roles. The market is very active and there is a wealth of opportunities available at the moment, which is a great place to be.
Deciding on a role
Talking with all these companies and going through various interview processes has made me think long and hard about what I want to gain from my next move. Of course salary is important, and there's no better time to get a pay rise than when changing jobs, but it's not all about that. Other factors I've been evaulating are company culture and attitude towards wellbeing, team fit, skills fit, potential for personal development and generally my own interest in the space.
So, what's next?
I'm proud to have received a number of offers now, which is humbling and great validation to myself for being the quality software engineer I strive to be! The interview processes have been a great experience. I've met people from a variety of backgrounds and with different job roles and experiences. Just going through the process has taught me a lot about what makes a good interview. It's also eye opening to finding out how much more I still have to learn which is super exciting. 🚀
It's going to be a hard decision to make, but I'm looking forward to deciding my next career move and being able to share it in public!
Watch this space 👀