Four months before I finished university, I had started looking for job to make some money.
I wanted to be independent, I thought to myself, “Now I have two university degrees, I ought be able to get a job and become financially solid.” But boy was I wrong!
Little did I know that university degrees is the last thing companies will look at on my CV. Sure, it is very nice to have, so was I told by the many recruiters I’ve spoken to.
They all said: “hey It’s pretty cool you have a Masters degree in this”, “oh you went to this university, that’s great!”.
Well, does any of that get me a job? Nope.
Small companies, big companies, IT, other industries and sectors, You name it, I have went online and in store to apply for these jobs and it was refusal after another.
I have spent at least 4 hours of every day applying to jobs non-stop, I knew very little about the world of job hunting and I started to realise I needed a change of approach.
To me it was do or die, survival mode on. Because my parents had spent all the cash they had to help me through the university studies, and I wanted to be able to at least pay for my own living expenses.
I just needed to find any job, I don’t care if it’s relevant to what I just spent 5 years in Uni studying. As long as it gave me the level of income I needed.
Running really low on the things I could do, there were a last couple of things I thought I’d try.
One of those things was close to finishing my dissertation project, which was a web app which I thought could be helpful for fellow students in university. It was a very raw prototype which throws plain text directions for students when they input a number of a classroom.
So I thought I’d run it by the Dean of engineering at the time, see if the university could actually benefit from this or develop it into something bigger.
I didn’t make much of this conversation when we first met, because he was going on and on about aerospace and aviation engineering, shit which I’ve had nor the interest neither the knowledge in.
But it was this very conversation that put me on his radar, kept me on top of mind when the Web Manager in IT services had gotten in touch.
The web team had been looking for someone to come on-board and help out with some testing for the website, and they were desperately looking for someone to start asap.
I was sitting somewhere in Reading in a park with a friend. When my phone rang. And that’s how it all got started.
When he first told me about the role, i was scared and hesitant, I was telling myself all kinds of stuff: “I don’t even know what web testing is”, “I have no prior experience working with a team”, and “what the fuck is a browser matrix?!”.
I was panicking, but at the same time I needed that job and I needed that money.
And that’s how it happened, Monday the 28th of July was my first day working as a temp tester.
It was then when my manager saw the interest and hunger I had and gave me that 2 week project, which allowed me to join the development team for 2 months and that’s what opened the door for me to get my first job shortly after at £35k.
The real takeaway from this is all you have to do is start small, the most important thing is to start close to where you want to be.
Build a tent next to the mountain you want to climb, then start step by step, and build on the momentum of the small achievements that you’ve made.
Did i know the start of my career was going to be in testing? No. Have I ever thought that to get into a development role I’d have to work in different roles within IT such as support & QA, surely not.
But starting in that temp job has opened the door for me into many different opportunities and routes, I could have been a support manager, or a technical PM, or even a QA team manager.
But I chose development because It was the most interesting at the time.
And here I am today less than 4 years later in a technical consulting role making more than triple what I earned in my first temp job. All thanks to THAT first job.
If you would like to learn more and have the same transformation in your career, drop me a line and let’s have a free strategy session today!
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