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Sreeram Padmanabhan
How I found a well paid job in Berlin

 

Summary

When it comes to job search, I have just 2 mantras :

"If you have 5 hours to cut down a tree, spend 4 sharpeneing the axe."

"If you aim at the stars, you get to the moon."

Over the course of my career, I have been searching for my dream job. The job which will let me live in a developed country in a dream apartment. I started off in a startup in 2011 with a very low salary moving to an HR company in 2012 with a slightly better salary but it was in 2019 that I landed on that dream job. This post explains the things I did to get it.

Preparation

Big jobs need big preparation. You just dont land in a job just like that. There is a reason they are called dream jobs and thats because they are tough to get. I didnt do any specific preparation for this interview. I knew that these companies have all the machineries at their disposal to scout for that one good talent in the world. So if you think that you can crash course your way into a dream job, not only is it wrong, its stupid. You need to change your lifestyle to give yourself that best chance at landing at the job. Lets get to the points.

Passion

Even though I am an electronics and communications major, I always had an interest in the web. I have had fights with my parents who complained that I spend a lot of time creating worthless websites and not studying. This was back in 2007-08. A laptop, an editor and a browser became part of my life. I stopped playing computer games because creating websites was addictive to me and not games. Doing web became a daily routine. So thats where I started preparation.

Learning

Passion was one thing, but that wasnt enough to get a job. Web development being a very versatile field, I had to keep upto the trends on a daily basis. So I made it a habit to learn something new every day. And that was not by reading books or blogs. I created things on the web. Over the past 8-10 years, I dont remember a day I haven't done something on the web. So learning became a part of my life.

Getting shortlisted

You might be the best programmer in the world but you still need to convince that recruiter who just glances at hundreds of resumes every day. So I had to be creative in the way I applied. I mostly applied through LinkedIn. I did not connect with recruiters or anything but the skills in my profile meant that the recruiters came to me. I lived in London for 3 years and I got at least 3-4 calls every week day. I couldnt work in London for a different employer because of the visa restrictions. But, having a good public profile helped and I used whatever interviews I got in London as experience.

Being unique

I always believed that one should do that one bit extra in life to stand out from others. So I did everything I can to display a strong profile. A personal website, coming first in Google search results, Open source contributions, Andriod/IOS apps, Stackoverflow contributions, Youtube channel, public talks, attempted to create a start up, etc. Everything meant that I was becoming more and more unique. I havent met a single web developer who had a greater passion than me at this. To many Indians, work seemed to be a liability, but to me, it was peace. Its my leisure time.

Resume

Adding to the things described above, I had a very short and sweet resume. If the recruiter had a like 2 seconds to see my resume, what would he see? My tech stack and my experience. And that was enough to get me shortlisted for most interviews. Most resumes I have seen as an interviewer were very long and descriptive without any thought put into them. I wanted mine to be different.

Nailing the interview

Clearing the interview has been the toughest thing in my job search. I must have attended at least a 100 interviews in various companies over the past 8 years. In fact, I will attribute this as the secret to my success. Each interview tought me something new and this is where I learnt many things be it technical or related to my personality. Meetings with Tech panels, Managers, Video calls, Technical questions, Whiteboard programming, Leadership skills, Personality traits, Negotiation skills, Diplomatic skills, thriving under pressure etc are somethings which one can face only in an interview like scenario.

What a web developer should know

Read here - /post/tech/interview/preparation

Final point

So all of the above points done over a long period of time is the reason I found a job. But, if you are going after money, you should think again. Its the passion that stands between things falling into place and things falling into pieces. So, do what you love.

The interesting story of how I nailed this intervew in a future post.

☕ Buy me a coffee maybe?