Am I a loser? I think this is one question that every one of us often asks ourselves in a hushed tone.
This question is always in the back of our minds whenever we try to achieve something and face hurdles and of course, when we fail.
I have been asking myself the same question every day for the last few months. 6 months to be precise. Days that I spent on self-evaluation and self-doubt.
This all started when I decided to have a job switch from my previous organization. Nothing planned as such, to be honest. I received an interview invitation from one of my dream companies(Don’t ask me the name. Nobody gives that company’s interview unprepared). And I had a week to prepare. If you know me, then probably you are aware of my DSA phobia and that’s exactly what I was going to be evaluated on. I knew I was gonna fail. Yes, I did come to that conclusion without even facing it. And bummer, I did fail after facing it. It ain’t a fairy tale anyway.
Now, after that, I had a realization about where I stand in the crowd. I knew I had to prepare so I started preparing. But also I had one more realization. I had been refusing interview offers and opportunities for so long just because I wasn’t prepared. And it was a vicious cycle. I was never going to be prepared.
So the only way was to jump right in.
So yes, contrary to typical Anisha, I didn’t create notes and all (which I usually do for pretty much everything). I simply started applying for companies I wanted to get in and started giving interviews. Now, I already had a very decent job at a very popular organization and had almost 3 years of experience, I am passionate about programming and I love what I do. How difficult it might be for me to crack something! Turns out, a lot.
Yes, 15 interviews and didn’t even clear the first round of any of them. In some companies even got rejected twice a month. It wasn’t like those were very difficult to crack. Those weren’t even very big named companies and FYI, I was too afraid to apply to the big ones. I was out of touch. By that time I had already forgotten all the basics. Now not only DSA, but I also sucked at my domain too( Which is btw, frontend web dev).
So you can imagine the situation at this time, right? I was devastated, tired, and probably asking myself the same question 15 times a day, “Am I even a good developer?”. In my mind, everything was so depressing and so blurry that I couldn’t see even 1% of positivity in me anymore. But was this what really happening?
No, the real thing that was happening is, I was growing. I was learning more and more. I was educating myself. So I just thought, “let it be, I CAN NOT give a damn anymore. At least I am learning. So be it”. That’s it! Heard “let it go” in loop and kept going.
Now, why am I saying this? It’s very easy to fixate on the negative things while having this roller coaster journey. But the most important thing while losing is learning. And when you are learning, it ain't losing anymore.
Well, the story doesn't quite end here. Yes, after this much prep I was being able to crack interviews. But challenges weren’t over. I still had to figure out my worth in the market. I still had to figure out if I am worthy of what I am being offered. It looks like a luxury when you have options from outside but honestly, it’s not. It’s still stressful. It’s a lot of hardwork to figure out what’s best for you and whether or not you deserve it. At that time one of my mentors told me this, “Anisha, whatever you are asking for yourself, you deserve it.”
So whoever you are, let me tell you this,
“whatever you are asking for yourself, you deserve it.”
If you are working hard for it and if you are still struggling with it without breaking, you deserve it. Just make sure to choose the opportunity which is aligned with your career goals. And on that note, do have career goals. Think about what you would like to do in the next couple of years.
I found my place after 6 long months of struggle and I hope everyone finds theirs.
I still remember the night I cracked and cried in front of one of my mentors and he asked me “Anisha, what’s the worst thing that can happen?. My answer was, “Me giving up”.
So, the bottom line is,
“Don’t give up on your dreams” and “find good mentors”. :-P
In the end, I would like to thank all the uncelebrated heroes of my journey, my mentors. They probably deserve more credit than myself. Durga prasasd Kusuma, Prayash Mohapatra, Saurabh Badhwar, Avinash Kumar Dasoundhi, Imaanpreet Kaur, thank you so much 🙏.