This story begins in the middle.
This is anecdotal advice on how I deal with failure.
- Don't put all your hope into one thing. If you decide this one thing is going to determine your happiness, you are doomed.
- Remember that we all fail. Reaching out to talk to people about it helped me get past it.
Yesterday, I got the e-mail. Ya know, the type of e-mail you've been waiting a week for. However, the contents were not what I wanted to hear.
Yes, I failed another coding exam. I nailed the first two interviews, only to bomb the coding exam.
I could spend this entire article talking about why I disagree with the hiring process for developers, however, that's not really the point of this. What I want to focus on is how to move past the failure. It doesn't have to be a coding exam, it could be something else. Dealer's choice.
So, how did I get over it?
I can recall a few times in my life where I really failed. I mean, REALLY failed. Failed to the point of weeks-long depression. This easily could have been one of those times. It is so easy to be defeated. However, I like to think I've learned a little bit over my time here on Earth.
It is so easy to be defeated.
I had put a lot of hope into getting that job, however, It's not the only place I applied to. I've been shotgunning resumes to every tech company within a 20-mile radius of where I live + remote jobs.
While I am waiting for the next interview call (it will inevitably come), I am still working on other things. I have some freelance gigs I am finishing up. I also decided to get back into writing music as a way of not thinking about dev work. It also allows me an opportunity to design stuff, which I love.
I am part of a slack group that is full of people trying to get by. I was talking to them about this, and they were supportive + empathetic. A few of them are devs and are well aware of the challenges of getting hired. All of them have experience failure. Often, I think just getting the words out, "I failed" is cathartic. If you accept it as a failure, you can move forward.
You might be wondering what I learned from the failed coding exam? Well, for one thing, I'm a little bit smarter about what to expect from a Hackerrank test. For another, I learned (by talking to people) that this is fairly common. Also, I now know that regex seems to be a pretty important topic (I've seen it another test before too), so I should probably buckle down and get good at it.
Finally, this really solidifies the idea that I need to forge my own path. I have been a freelance developer for about four years now. I have worked at companies large and small. I CAN deliver. I know that.
Sometimes, things don't go according to plan.
I said in the beginning that this story started in the middle. It is true, getting the e-mail that I didn't make it to the next round is not the end. There are more jobs out there waiting to be applied to and more importantly, I have a lot more to contribute.
How do you deal with rejection or failure? I'd love to hear your story.
I made a video out of this article that expands a bit...check it out if you want to see me be uncomfortable lol
Photo by Kolar.io on Unsplash
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