4 min read
Sunday, May 14, 2023
Alumni Success Stories

James Alumni Spotlight

40s-something Career-Changer James Explains how to “Slay the Lion” that is the Job Interview

40s-something Career-Changer James Explains how to “Slay the Lion” that is the Job Interview



There's about four different doors you may possibly have to go through, and each one presents a different set of challenges. I won't say it's a game, but it's a game and you've got to be willing to play that game. 

I'm actually a career-changer. I'm a Marine Corps veteran, did a long career in operations management. I burned out and I found Sabio. They were the only ones that actually offered .NET training. As luck would have it, they took Veterans, the VRRAP Program, which I qualified for because I'm a disabled veteran. I went through the bootcamp and got through it. 

Q: What was your experience like at Sabio?


You know what, I don't think I had a Sunday until probably week nine, and I probably ran 13 hours a day because that's what it required for me to get through it. You know, it was the hill I was charging and there was no way in hell that I wasn't making it to the top. I almost tapped out like three damn times, you know, because I was mentally fatigued, but rightfully so. You know what, you're looking for $100,000 in four months of experience. I mean, what the hell. What do you expect? It's going to be tough. Lean on your cohort. Ask the instructors and have confidence in yourself. That's how you clear those obstacles and push forward.

Q: How did you get through the challenging times?


I'm a firm believer of iron sharpens iron. I clung on to those that I saw who were having an easier time than I. And just the collaboration side of it, you know, I was able to learn so much because we all have a different perspective of how we approach things, how we approach problems. Nine times out of ten, I looked at it in a different perspective. 

Q: How many job applications did you send out?


Out of the 1700, I think I interviewed eight times and of the eight times only I was successful one time. So I would step into these interviews and just get that shit kicked out of me. But I was okay with it because each and every time I came away with something that I could use for the next one or I learned a different lingo. You know, there were a couple of different approaches there. I wasted a lot of people's time. But you know what? It only took one that I didn't waste any of their time and they found value in what I was and what I was able to bring to the table. 

Q: How were you ultimately successful in finding a job?


I took a different approach probably on week 4. So what I did was I befriended about three different recruiters and I explained who I was, where I'm from, what I'm about, my capabilities and my skill set. Once I knew that they understood me, I kind of enlightened them on the approach that I would like them to take to sell me to the company that I'm specifically looking for. About a week later, I got this job. The technical was an absolute joke compared to the others. They were looking for a team fit junior that could grow and and had some experience, you know, leading. And I got the job offer. I guess they enjoyed me so much. They offered me $97.5k, full remote, full benefits, 10% bonus, plus equity. I'm happy with it as a first job, I couldn't ask for more because hell, I would have gone 60 just to get back to work. 

Q: What’s your advice for those going through the job search process? 


You have to remember, tech can be taught. Personality and team fit can’t. They don't want recluses that sit in the corner that are just running algorithms all day. They want participation, they want personality. So those are things that you need to make light of during those interview processes because, get this, nobody's going to get you a job beside yourself. So don't go in there thinking that Gregorio armed you with the tools to get a job. A lot of it falls on your shoulders, guys. 

Each one, you're going into a lion's den. You're going to have to try to slay that lion. And if not, you come out, you regroup and you go back in. Eventually your ship’s going to come in and you're going to get that offer. You're going to lose motivation. Confide in your cohort, reach out to Nancy, talk to your wife, go for a walk. Who gives a shit – just get back on the saddle and go back into that den.

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