Hello community and FCC team,
Today I had my first job interview. Well, it was technically a second but the first one I did was with a company in Finland, EU (I’m from Lithuania, EU) and it was more of a prep to have an idea of what is to be expected in job interviews. Now, I know there’s plenty of discouraged people who don’t get a job for months with a greater skill-set that I but hopefully you will find something valuable in my post because now I want to give back. So here’s my short story:
I found out about FCC at the beginning of 2018 I think. At the time I was working as an administrator and animal caretaker at one private, local zoo and doing FCC curriculum there at spare time but as the time passed I decided to go all in and learn full-time. It was mid-April when I quit the job, started to get up from bed at 6 o’clock in the morning and smash that keyboard. It was also a time when FCC saw a major change in its’ curriculum and was updated to what it is now. Having done HTML and CSS before, I did the first module in like a week or so. Super fast. Then I did JS module, which took a bit longer, I will explain later why. Front-end libraries took me until now, I still have two projects to finish from that module. But I have a job.
My approach to learning since I started this was, is and will always be: do the right practice. I don’t just learn, I try to learn properly. That means I dive deep into the subject. For example: the reason why JS module took me much longer than it could, was because right before doing projects, I went on to read about JS in depth. It took me a few weeks to read YDKJS series, which helped tremendously. Later, when doing react module, I took as much time as I had to, to read official react documentation and a few other resources to learn as much, as I can now, so I could have a solid foundation and be comfortable with it. Then I build my custom project which I showed to potential employers. Only then I proceeded to projects section of FCC Front-end libraries module.
So, my main point here is that I did not rush through things. I took a great care to learn as much as possible about how and why something works, not just that “it works this way”.
And it paid off! I answered literally every question I got asked in a job interview because I read YDKJS, react documentation and part of Eloquent JS and was able to explain why things work the way they do. And I got hired because of my understanding not because my portfolio shined with beautiful projects. It doesn’t.
So, what did I do? When I decided I’m ready to apply, I took the regular route of scanning job postings which were few for my position. I now think they are the last thing I would look into. I had no success with them whatsoever. I was reluctant to make connections and go to the meetings so I did this instead: found a forum where people come and post a topic that they’re looking either for a job or a person. I created a topic where I explained my situation and that I’m looking for either an internship or a job. I got referred to a local facebook group with people who specialize in web development. Posted the same there and in three days I got 11 messages from people saying they are interested in me. I met with the first man who responded and now I will work with him for at least a month. Our deal is like this: I don’t have enough of experience to get paid more than a minimum, I agreed (remember, I have only one freaking project). If, after one month, they see I’m getting better at this and prove I can progress, the wage will progress as well. After only one short month.
I’m scared a bit, recognizing imposter syndrome trying to put me down, but I’m determined and hopeful.
The only other thing I’d like to say is that listening to my gut feeling has always rewarded with something like this. Apply when your gut says that you’re ready. And being afraid to act is the greatest obstacle ever.
Thank you FCC for guiding me to the right direction.