May has been such an exciting month for me! I’ve got a new job, and also my Dad came home from Thailand for 10 days to see me and we visited several local places.
I’ve been working as a front-end web developer for the last couple of years, and it was at the end of April that I saw the advert for a new Java Web Developer where I currently work. As I’d like an opportunity to make more use of the programming skills I learnt in my computing science degree course, I decided that I would apply for the job as an internal candidate. I started updating my CV and filling in the application form. Then a couple of days later I decided to take some online Java quizzes. On one of the quizzes, I didn’t do as well as I expected. I started to worry that as it’s been 7 years since I graduated and I hadn’t really used my Java skills since then that they had gone a bit stale. It was then that I began to have second thoughts about applying for the job – I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to cope with the role and that I would make a fool of myself in the interview. I discussed my concerns with my family and even some online friends, and they gave me the confidence to go ahead with my application. My manager also suggested that I arrange a meeting with the existing Java Developer so that I could see the sort of work he does. So I sat with the current Java Developer and he showed me some of the programs that he was working on, and talked me through them. I then realised that the work wouldn’t be as difficult as I thought it would be, so I submitted my application.
I carried on watching Java video tutorials on YouTube, in preparation for a potential interview. I then waited and waited to hear of the next steps – I actually wasn’t told that I’d been selected for interview until 2 and a half weeks after the closing date for applications. I began thinking of answers to potential interview questions – I always like to be well-prepared so I don’t get tongue-tied in an interview. At the same time as being invited to interview, I was also asked to take 7 web development and Java programming tests at the SHL Previsor website (a lot of employers use those tests for candidate screening). Before I took the tests, I looked through my various programming books to refresh my memory of the core concepts. I decided to do the tests in the evenings and at the weekend so that I wouldn’t be distracted by anything else.
Overall I felt the interview had gone well. My manager was asking the general HR-type questions, whilst the existing Java Developer was asking the technical/programming questions. I answered all the general questions fine with no problems, and I felt confident about the vast majority of the technical questions too. In fact, I only struggled with a couple of the technical questions, but I made sure I gave an answer to every question, even if I wasn’t sure it was correct. The interviews seemed happy with most of my answers, so I left the interview room feeling fairly confident. I didn’t want to get too excited though – I’ve been to other interviews in the past which had gone really well, only to be turned down later. Even if you do well in an interview, you never know how well the other candidates may have performed, so you can never be sure you’ve got the job.
On Wednesday evening, we went for a carvery at The Oaklands, as a way to help me relax after the interview. It also served as a reward for keeping up with my studies and interview preparation, which had taken up a lot of my free time over the preceding days. I tried to keep myself busy with other things in the evening and at the weekend to keep my mind off the interview process. Inevitably though, I still thought about it quite often, wondering whether my dream of a new job would come true or whether I would be staying in my current job.
It wasn’t until this morning that I was told the outcome of the interview, so I’d been anxiously waiting for nearly a week. I was due to have my fortnightly 1:1 meeting with my manager today anyway, so I suspected that I would be told the outcome then. As soon as I walked into the room, the interview was the first subject that the manager opened the conversation with, and he had a big smile on his face, so I then knew that I’d succeeded. He asked me how I thought the interview had gone, and I replied that I felt it had gone well. He said he thought it had gone well too, and that he was impressed with me. He then handed me a letter offering me the job.
As I don’t have any commercial experience of Java programming, I have been offered the job at junior level for the time being, so my job title will be Junior Java Developer. In a few weeks’ time I’ll be sent on a Java training course to fill in any gaps in my knowledge, and then I’ll be able to officially start my new role. I’ll be able to gradually work my way towards the full Java Developer role, so in a few months when I’m fully up to speed they will drop the Junior prefix from the job title and I’ll be paid the full rate. The reassuring thing is that if I don’t like the new job, I’ll be allowed to go back to my current one. Hopefully that won’t happen though – I think I’ll find the new job more interesting than my current one.
In my spare time I study video training courses at Lynda.com and I also do a few other web development courses online. I talked about this and my other personal development work in my interview. My manager did say today that my keenness to learn was one of the factors which persuaded him to offer me the new job, so I’m really pleased about that. It has been worth it after all, and I’m so glad that I had the courage to follow through with my application even though I was fearful to begin with. If I hadn’t applied for the job, I’d spend the coming months and years wondering “what if?” But I don’t want to live with any regrets, so I decided that I would go through with it. If you are given an opportunity, I think it is best to go with it even if you are nervous - a phrase I have often heard is “feel the fear and do it anyway!” I’m so relieved that I heeded the advice on this occasion.
On Thursday evening Mum, Terry and I will go to Zaks restaurant in Poringland for a celebration meal. We have already booked the table so I’m looking forward to that.
Onto another subject – my Dad and step-family have been living in Thailand for the past 6 years (as you may already know if you read this blog regularly). 3 weeks ago my Dad came home for a 10 day holiday and I met up with him several times. We went to some of our favourite restaurants and we also went to Sheringham by train one Sunday. This was the first time I’d seen my Dad in about 2 and a half years – the last time he came back to Norwich was October 2009. On the first day, we met up at the Spice Lounge Indian restaurant which was nice. Then a couple of days later we met up in the evening for a drink and a buffet meal at Malaysian Delights. My Dad had never been there before but he enjoyed it. On the following Sunday we caught a train to Sheringham and spent the day at the coast. It was a nice warm day and we stayed for several hours. We walked near the sea and the tide was high so we couldn’t actually go on the beach – but we were standing on some steps and all of a sudden a huge wave came and splashed us! Most of the other waves were much smaller, so we weren’t expecting that. It was a shock but thankfully it didn’t take too long for me to dry off. At lunchtime we had a meal in the Robin Hood pub – we both had roast chicken and it was very nice. I took several photos while we were walking around the town – see here. On the final day of my Dad’s holiday we met up in The Bell Hotel for a drink, and we also ended up having a meal. In previous years, I got really upset when my Dad left at the end of a holiday to go back to Thailand, but this time I didn’t feel so bad. I think that’s because I am more used to it now I’m older, and also we had a really good time together on this holiday so I’ll have plenty of happy memories.
That’s it for now. I’m sure the next few days and weeks will be very exciting as I find out more about my new job and there’ll be plenty of new things to learn.
This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 29th, 2012 at 11:15 pm and is filed under Evenings out, Family, General, Outings, Studies, Work. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.