All entries in the 'Life Story' series:
For the first time, I was working at a company where I felt like they actually cared about their employees. We were given all the tools we needed to do our job, including the best office chair I’ve ever landed my butt on.
On my first day, I arrived early and someone offered me coffee. I said I’d have just a little because you never know what kind of coffee it is. And DUDE. This was the best coffee I’ve had in my life. As time passed I learned how to make coffee using the machine in the office, and eventually, I would be asked to make it because people liked the way I made it. Hint: strong.
Around the time I joined the company, I was still looking for remote job opportunities. I had applied to a company called Awesome Motive. I sent in a technical test and answered a few questions via email. The next step was an interview, but I never got an invitation to that.
I was ghosted, by accident. A couple of months later the person I had been emailing reached out to me apologizing, explaining that some of his emails had been archived by mistake and they had missed my last communication.
They asked me if I was still interested, and I said “Not at the moment”, as I was really enjoying my job and had just started one of the largest projects I have ever worked on.
A couple of years later I learned that mine wasn’t the only email that had gone missing.
An eye for talent
In hindsight, staying at the company was the right choice at the time; in the following almost two years I had exponential professional growth. A few months later, I received a job offer from another company, but I didn’t want to leave so I used that offer as leverage to get a promotion.
I went from Developer to Solutions Architect. I was excited, I was in charge of overseeing entire projects and managing a small team.
I would also oversee all things frontend, as I was establishing a new process to be used on the frontend of all projects.
I also came up with a new technical test for candidates focused on frontend skills, and with that, I was in charge of interviewing a few people.
Under my process, we hired three developers, although I felt like something was off with one of them. My boss didn’t listen to me and hired him anyway… We had to let him go a few months later.
Turns out I have an eye for these things.
The other two developers I approved turned out to be great talents.
A few months later one of them was promoted to something like “Project Coordinator” because apparently he had people skills (as much as he doesn’t like it).
The other one became the frontend developer in the company and kept thriving after I left.
It was around this time that I became somewhat serious about music. I finally bought an audio interface (which I’m still using to this day), a decent microphone, and more importantly, most of the guitars I own currently.
As I mentioned before, I’m a huge Trivium fan, so my first “premium” guitar had to be Matt Heafy’s signature 7-string. It took me a few days to get used to the additional string but I love how this guitar sounds and feels.
By the way, if you want to move out of the country, just start thinking about forming a band with me.
Two of my coworkers played instruments too, and we practiced together once. A few weeks later one of them left the company, and a few more weeks later, he moved to Germany. I’m a bit fuzzy on the timeline here, but the point is that months later the other one also got a job in Germany and moved there.
This wasn’t the first time this had happened. Years prior, I was thinking about starting a new music project with one of my oldest friends, and then he moved to Florida.
The pandemic made it really easy for me to get more serious about music. Working from home meant that I now had at least two extra hours at the end of the day because I wasn’t stuck in traffic. (And at least two more hours of sleep every morning).
So after I was done with work, I would just practice guitar and play around with digital effects and distortions.
I began doing occasional streams on Twitch, I didn’t have a large audience (still don’t) but it’s just for fun.
As I was nearing my 2-year mark at the company, I received a job offer from a very well-known web agency. They have offices around the entire world, so not only I was being offered a 50% salary increase (I had just bought a new car, I could use more money), but I was also tempted by the chance of traveling a lot while working with them.
It felt like it was time to move on, so I did. I’m not going to lie, I felt quite nostalgic when I left. These almost two years were quite fun; I enjoyed working there (most of the time anyway).
But the last memories they gave me weren’t so good.
They didn’t really make an effort to match the offer I had received – maybe they couldn’t really afford it… or they just didn’t want to.
If I recall correctly, a few weeks before I left, someone else left the company and they were sent a “goodbye package” – a token of appreciation. I didn’t get anything.
I had an exit interview with the CEO and I gave some feedback based not only on my experience but also on common complaints among my coworkers. Hopefully, none of that fell on deaf ears.
And my boss? He didn’t even say goodbye. He didn’t say anything.
It was a rather sour experience, but I was ready for the next chapter… or so I thought.
Part 6 will be out in a few days.