Two months ago, I’ve posted a tweet about me leaving freelance and openly searching for full-time work:
Officially stopped freelancing; looking for a full time role, not relocating. https://t.co/HQVSw1ZSIr— Jacky (@jackyalcine) July 19, 2015
I posted that tweet with hopes of landing a position within two months. From the second week of July to August 29th, I’ve interviewed at 13 different companies from that date until 29 August. Some companies were large, some small and some in between and have been turned down by all but 21. That’s like two rejections a week. After the first three, I switched up my approach a bit but the one prevalent message that I’ve got from everyone was that I didn’t have enough experience. I don’t advertise myself as a senior developer2 and I bluntly admit if I don’t know something.
Surprisingly enough, that ‘lack of knowledge’ of something conventionally hyper specific to a company is something I’m supposed to somehow know without actually working in most of these places. Speaking with some of the hiring managers about things that could have been improved, it’s generally fallen in one of the following statements.
We need someone who thinks the same way our team does.
I can (barely) understand how one gets to the conclusion here. It’s generic. But from what I know, an environment like that could result in a lot of ‘yes’ with no real challenging of the ideas brought to the table. This is what I think to be true from experience. All of the places I worked at before was filled of people with different work backgrounds and levels of experience. That led to very interesting discussions on well, anything. It also resulted in learning experiences for those (like myself) who didn’t understand larger components and gave more experienced developers a chance to reinforce their thought process and even see if it was worth implementing. There’s a saying that thinking out loud helps with the validation process of an idea.
We’re looking for someone who’s more familiar with our practices and conventions.
This came from a company who didn’t really have a public facing developer environment for people to introspect. I was comparing it to something of the nature of Etsy, AirBnB or Shutterstock. It’s pretty difficult to see how your engineering team thinks without something of this nature. Pushing that ‘blame’ to me is inconsiderate, in my opinion.
Your background and experience doesn’t seem mature enough for our team’s needs.
This one is one I’ve gotten quite a bit and silently baffles me. I’ve expanded a bit on my resume about my experience at companies and had people contact me based on what they’ve read there. Now, when we get to the phone conversation, I’m legitimately repeating what I’ve written there3. So for one to tell me that my experience isn’t necessarily what they’re looking for shows me that you didn’t bother to check out these pages intended to give you a bit of background about myself and instead wasted both of our time with this phone call.
Passively Looking for Full-time Work
Because of my shitty4 and exhausting experiences dealing with just the interview cycle, I’ve decided to gradually move back into freelancing. This is not going to heavily inhibit me from continuing to look for freelance work but I feel that this’ll give me more of a foundation for less questions regarding my background to be asked. But this will make the bar personally higher for companies that want to hire me and places that I’d consider working at. Working as a freelance developer is not easy but waiting in constant disappointment about job interviews really tears down one’s psyche. For those wishing to refer me to prospective clients, send them to https://jacky.wtf/work/freelance.
This post isn’t a reflection of companies that I’m currently interviewing with at the moment (some amazing ones), more so with ones I’ve interviewed at in the past (up to with confirmed ‘no’ on August 29th, 2015).
Again, my intent now is to build up a larger portfolio of work I’ve done just for my personal background. There’s definitely some agencies I’d consider working with but for the few months, I need to do this on my own.
Two of them have blockers that are outside of HR acceptance. ↩
To be honest, I see myself as an advanced junior developer. To be honest, we need to find a better naming and assertion tool to determine what good ‘title’ to give to developers. ↩
I find this mildly insulting, due to my efforts to expand then. I’m open to suggestions. ↩
For lack of a better term. ↩