I Need To Buy A Big Fat Rib-Eye Steak

One has to admire the irony that my life seems to beach itself in.

Just this morning I wrote how I was tempted to give up the job hunt and set up my own business – I was getting to the end of my tether with the process, especially recruitment consultants.

I also said some time ago that I was not going to cut my hair until I got a job – but yesterday I caved in and sorted it out.

So, of course, this means that in beautiful irony, I was offered a job today.

I am going to be a junior front end software developer for a rather exciting, yet established start-up.  I say exciting, it isn’t in the sexiest industry in the world (my application to Victoria’s Secrets didn’t go anywhere), but it is a solution that I wish had been out there several years ago as it would have massively helped me a while back.  It is a logistics service that helps people out, a great idea – and to me, that is exciting.  I think the company has sizable potential to grow.

I’ll say more about the company another time, once the dots are crossed and stuff.

Workwise I will be looking after their main WordPress site, there will be some CSS and stuff to do, and then working on various coding tasks that are on their to-do list – I’m guessing more nice to haves in some cases.  It’s a good job that I’m pretty damn good on WordPress now.

The other 20% will be learning the senior developer’s role so I can look after his work when he isn’t there, which will mean learning Angular and PhoneGap – two technologies that I have never touched, though I have started learning React (which has similarities to Angular).  And I love learning new technologies.

It is a month’s trial.  So if it doesn’t work out then I may well open my own business instead.  But I will be doing everything in my power to ensure it is a success.  I want this role, the company is ace, the people are cool – and I get my own t-shirt so I hear.  And it is casual dress.

It is the salary I was after, it is on the Metropolitan line so nice and easy to get to, slap bang in the centre of the world’s most exciting city too.

And no recruitment consultant was required.  Yes it was the company that asked me the aeroplane on a treadmill question in the interview.

The hard work over the last few months has finally paid off.  No more recruitment consultants.  No more worrying about whether I can afford a beer.  No more not being able to go to people’s birthday celebrations.  No more worrying about whether I will get a job.  No more staying in bed until whenever I fancy…oh…

Roll on Monday!

What If I Don’t Get A Job?

Don’t worry, this isn’t me moaning, miserable or mourning.

It’s 4 months since I lost my job.  When I left, I thought that I’d probably have a job by the end of January.  Definitely by the end of March.  And I have come very close on 3 occasions.

Last Thursday I was sat, enjoying unemployment in Regent’s Park on a sunny day, wondering how long it will be before I get a job.  And more importantly, how long can I afford to not have a job?

There is a bit of me that would like a few more days sat in the park.  That’s the optimistic part of being unemployed.

But I’d rather have some money.  I want to be able to afford the odd beer, roast dinners on a Sunday, eating out during the week – not having to worry whether I can afford the tube fare.  I want a summer jacket, a decent saucepan, some lids for my Technics – gosh maybe even a holiday or three.

More importantly, I want to develop my career – the area of my life that I have focused on for the last few years to the detriment of other areas.  I want that dream role where I can contribute to projects whilst vastly expand my coding abilities.

I know that I am capable – this is proven by repeated positive comments from those that interviewed me and gave me coding challenges.  But so far there has always someone with more experience.

There was a plan and there still is a plan.  And there is now a plan after the current plan.

The current plan is to build around 6 more sites/apps, showcasing my React, and more importantly, JavaScript skills.  I think out of my websites that I have done, they do not really show off my JavaScript knowledge enough.  At which point I’ll have a super-strong portfolio for a junior, and I will spam the hell out of design agencies.

If that still doesn’t get me a job, then I will need a new plan.

Either I could go on a 12-week bootcamp such as General Assembly, or the one that really appeals, Maker’s Academy, which has quite exceptional reviews – and allegedly only takes 10% of applicants, and also allegedly, almost every graduate gets a job – and mostly with a higher salary than I am aiming for now.

Such bootcamps tend to cost £8,000 in tuition fees alone.  And then rent, food, transport into central London every day for 12 weeks – with no housing or jobseeker’s benefits (as I would be a full-time student), and one would be looking at a rather prohibitive, but possible, £15,000.  Most of which would be debt.  Hi Grandma!

Other than the cost, the other downside is that I would have to learn another coding language as part of the Maker’s Academy syllabus – Ruby.  Oh and they make you do yoga.

The massive positive is that you are pretty much guaranteed to be employed with the qualification, probably on more money than I would otherwise be, I would get to meet and befriend lots of other coders and have hands-on tuition.  It would be hard-work – I expect around 60+ hours a week but I can handle that (would mean absolutely no social life though – and definitely no drinking – maybe the NHS should pay?).

And there is one other alternative that I am considering – setting up my own little agency and try to get some clients.  I haven’t really got a clue how to do this and I’m not much of a salesman but it might have to be the route I go down.  I’d far rather have a job, because then I’ll get to work on a far-wider range of projects, and also much more in-depth projects, and also I feel that I would develop more as a developer.

I met someone pretty interesting at WordPress London last week, who said that he was in a similar position to me 6 months ago, and has set up his own agency.  He spent his time at first introducing himself to business owners who didn’t have a website, or needed an upgraded one, in his local area.  Now he is booked up until August – and doesn’t have to go out selling – the bit I wouldn’t enjoy – rejection…yuck.  Though I do like meeting new people.

The more I think about it, the more this option appeals.  As I stated earlier, my preferred option is to work for someone as I feel it will be of more benefit in the long-run for my career.

I am still waiting to hear back from a couple of roles, there are still spokes in the fire, but likewise I am putting spokes into another fire when it comes to having my own business too.

Lots to think about, but for now, time to get back on with a project that I’m doing for someone, kind of paid too…albeit back-pay for lots of free drinks over the past 10 years!