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Cover image for My Story completing 1 year at an early stage startup (Part 1)

My Story completing 1 year at an early stage startup (Part 1)

Aashir Aamir Khan
Branding @justifyagencyhq ✨ @vuejs developer ✨ Technical Writer ✨ Super Motivated ✨ UI/UX ✨ Branding Enthusiast 🎉
・5 min read

When you are just doing your daily work, and your eyes land on the created_date of the file and what looked like yesterday have been 6 months or more… 😳

That’s how time flows at an exciting fast-forward workplace, fast enough that you don’t feel like feeling it but you still feel it.

This post is all about me sharing how I started and now have completed 1 year at 🥝 Kiwify.


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[August 2020]: So, I was just sitting around surfing the web around. Tailwind was my new love those days (We're married now 😂). I had completed my first internship where I learned VueJS on the job.

I was looking for side hustle ideas, and trying out basic stuff like started a remote job board (Dead now) with my friend.

I was searching for jobs to post on my job board. This is how the lazy process looked like:

Go to Google: Search for "X Company Jobs" or "X Technology Jobs" and then handpick them.

On that day, I searched for "TailwindCSS jobs" and found out an Upwork posting, and ohhhh man glad till this day that I clicked it. The title was something like "VueJS & TailwindCSS Developer needed to create dashboard screens"

When I read the description, it was like the description was written for me and was calling me "Come, baby, Come!"

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It was exactly what I wanted/had experience. It was quite basic work, like for 1--2 weeks maybe. as they were providing the Figma templates and TailwindUI.

Fun Fact: Another reason to apply for job was to get access to TailwindUI (even if I don't complete the project LMAO), as I was thinking about creating https://tailwindcssuikit.com/ and didn't had budget to check out TailwindUI just for inspiration. It's $250 to get access

What I only had to do was:
→ Convert Figma to TailwindCSS & Vue

All looked good, I was convinced that I really want this. So next step was to apply for it. Hahaha 😂 Most Interesting part.


Upwork Drama

If you know Upwork, and how I knew Upwork was that they're quite strict with profile approval. You've to submit information, and it takes like 1--2 days, to allow you to bid on projects.

So my first try was to find the client outside of Upwork, for example, reach out on Twitter and convince. But it's quite hard to find the right person without much info, So had no luck + The client was super underground with very little info online... (is now a superstar that people now recognize on the streets of Brazil)

So, anyway. I sent the profile for approval and even if got approved the day after, the chances are that the job will be closed.

Whhhhhhaaattt, It got approved after 5 mins.

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So what I did was to put my heart out to write the cover letter and answer three questions:

→ Tell us about your previous project with Nuxt/Tailwind

→ Share the project's link

→ Why you're applying for this job

One interesting thing about me talking out my mind/heart, What I'm doing here, in this post too. I'll not try to refactor into better sentences and grammar e.t.c\
I believe it makes my writing unique, cause it feels like someone is speaking to you and not proof-readed piece gone through revisions.

I applied for the job..., and I got a reply back after 3 hours.

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I had a nice chat, they also asked me if you'll be up for a full-time position too if we offer and hourly rates e.t.c and then gone for the day...

Came back another day, gave me Figma, talked a bit, and started the contract 😂🚀 (Like WTF?)

So my first goal was completed, I got access to TailwindUI. I was more than happy.

I did the work, there were some small iterations but I was told it's good and the code will be reviewed (It was the first time, someone would review my code like critique it).

Another Side of the Mega Drama: My Big Mistake

As I was 16 years old, at that time (Now 17). I did a big mistake... I made an account in my name and when the contract was awarded → They asked for video call / ID Verification. Which I would not be able to verify.

So we moved out of Upwork... (If I would've been at the client's place, I wouldn't be that calm about my behavior at that time... and wouldn't co-operate this much how I was co-operated too. It was all my learning phase..)

One of my many mistakes

Thinking anything as a jump-off didn't care about what they were doing. What I all did was to make wrong assumptions, and cared all about finishing the project / my win then their win / didn't tried to build the connection/trust.

Connection/Trust matters more than anything

I repaired my mistakes later, that's why I'm this far... You can't be successful/happy being stubborn, always be learning / keep learning.

So we shifted from Upwork → WhatsApp → Slack. I worked with so many amazing people who have built some amazing stuff, and have tens of years of experience. The thing I picked was, that I know nothing and that helped me to keep learning from these people.

The next part of the story is about, how I built the connections, my love for my work, care about everything, and then picking up the role of Head of Product.

Key Takeaways:

  • Never ever make assumptions, without trying. (For example, If I would've decided Upwork would never approve me, or this job would've been filled. I would've never gotten it. What I did was that I applied to it, and kept all things at side)
  • Speak your heart out, be honest
  • Always learning, Ask for feedback. Keep improving. Realize early that the person you're talking to knows a lot more than you and how you can learn from them.
  • Age is just a number.
  • There's a big advantage getting early in the company, you get more opportunities and the best fast-forward hardcore space to learn in the first 6--7 months (But it can be hard if you like the calm normal day working).

Thanks for reading :) Follow me on Twitter to get update about Part 2

Thanks to Lucas, for motivating me to write again after this whole year.

Discussion (5)

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monfernape profile image
Usman Khalil

Really interesting story. Is Upwork still your primary freelance source?

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justaashir profile image
Aashir Aamir Khan Author

Nope. I never worked at Upwork (just got the lead from there you can say). The job I'm talking about here, I was hired full time then promoted as Front-end Lead --> Head of Product.

I'm doing full time job as Head of Product / Front-end Lead (and it's been 1 year now)

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monfernape profile image
Usman Khalil

Glad to know. I assume you're from Pakistan. How do you see the future of product based companies in Pakistan?

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justaashir profile image
Aashir Aamir Khan Author

Yeah, from Pakistan but working at Kiwify (Brasil). It's very very promising, I see lots of startups in different spaces. The only problem I see is the customer service / and the consumer research. People are not satisfied, Play Store / App Store is filled with legit bad reviews.

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Aashir Aamir Khan Author

This was also published on Medium: medium.com/@justaashir/my-story-co...