David is a nice and confident guy who decided to switch careers. It was a long journey, combining personal matters and a slow but effective job search. His time spent searching for an opportunity didn’t pass by unnoticed, however. Today, David reminisces with us about the story of how he landed his first job in tech.
I’m curious, where are you from?
I’m from Dallas, Texas.
What was your job search strategy? How long did it last?
Honestly, I was pretty busy with personal stuff, so my job search was not as quick as it could have been. It lasted for around seven months.
Let’s call it a “chill” search. How many interviews did you have within these seven months?
I had eight interviews. I didn’t count the initial recruiters’ calls. So my eighth interview became the lucky one.
What was the most common question you were asked during your interviews?
I think that questions on how to write bug reports or test cases are the most popular ones. The ones on the list of the 15 must-know questions—those are the ones you will get very frequently.
So what is your offer about? Is it a remote position?
I got a $75,000/year job plus benefits, and it's a 100 percent remote position. It’s a really good job, and I’m very happy about that. I just follow the given instructions, and there is nothing that I could complain about so far.
Do you have PTO?
It’s a nine-to-five job, but we gain PTO hours weekly. I have a lot of meetings, so the actual work probably takes between three and four hours a day.
It seems like you don’t feel you need a vacation anytime soon. By the way, did you negotiate your salary?
Actually, I was offered $75,000 and I just took it. I’m not sure if I should have negotiated it. I think I should have, but I was okay with what they offered me.
That’s not bad at all. I’m sure the next time you will definitely negotiate. The easiest way to negotiate a salary is after getting your first tech job.
Next time I definitely will. Indeed, you are right. I feel more confident now and know what I can ask for. I think that is the moment your negotiation skills get better.
By the way, were there any questions outside the question list? I mean, any questions you didn’t know the answer for?
Yes, there were some, but when I had any, I said, “I don’t know, but I’m willing to learn that.” Indeed, there are some skills you don't have or some things you don’t know yet. But I told them, “If you give me some time, I will learn and answer the question.”
Sometimes not knowing but answering with a smile can be a nice and positive alternative way to handle the situation. Is there a coding requirement with the project?
No, I’m in a team of manual testers, not engineers. We have nothing to do with the code so far, and I don’t need it. That’s not to say I don’t want to grow; I plan to develop as an automation tester one day. Being a manual quality tester doesn’t require much tech knowledge. The basics and high-level understanding of some techy things were more than enough to start a career for me.
In fact, our boot camp history shows only one person out of ten is likely to eventually become a developer. But seeing your persistence, we have no doubt you will reach the stars soon.
Do you have any final words for your peers?
Don’t get frustrated. It’s a process, and you have to work hard toward your goal. You will get many rejections, but don’t give up or get frustrated. One company is going to believe in you, and you’re going to get the job—because the jobs are out there.
Don’t listen to people outside of Careerist. Your mentor and the whole Careerist team are the only advisors you need to pay attention to on your way. So follow instructions because your mentor’s advice is the only path you need to follow. I wish everyone the best of luck in the job search.
Thanks for sharing your story. May your career path be smooth and full of exciting projects and experiences. We hope to hear back from you soon in a new role. The Careerist team always aims to save graduates' time and effort through efficient use of their resources.