Choose Your Career Path Once and don't Repeat My Mistakes

A very personal post and personal experience that I would like to share with you. Today I will tell you about the beginning of my career path in IT and about my biggest mistake, which I still regret. I’ll tell you why it’s important not to lose self-control, self-confidence and knowledge when everything doesn’t go according to plan, and I’ll also give a couple of tips to those who are just starting their journey so that they can avoid my stupid mistakes that cost me dearly.

A Little Bit About Myself

I'm a middle data engineer in a small web studio, but it wasn't always like that. When I graduated from the university, for me, as for many, the question arose - who am I and what should I do in life further. An excellent question to which there is never an exact answer, sometimes until the end of life, not like at 22 years old. I liked mathematics and statistics, and therefore I considered it necessary to get the profession of a data scientist.

At university, I studied cybersecurity and only encountered the basics of working with data. So I took a lot of courses on sites you know like Skillshare, Udemy or Coursera. The knowledge gained in the courses was enough for me to get a job in a small IT startup, where I became a junior data analyst, which I wanted and achieved. It took me 2 weeks to find a job after university. Then I did not understand how lucky I was and thought that 2 weeks is not so fast (how wrong I was).

After working as an analyst for half a year, our startup, unfortunately, ceased to exist. Working in a startup, there is always a risk of losing your job. Not that it depends on you, rather, this is how startups work - servers in the pantry, pizza is heated on them, and the founder is in pastels all day after yesterday's hangover. Okay, it wasn't all that bad, I'm exaggerating. There I learned a lot, learned a lot and in general I am grateful for my experience to the people with whom I worked.

When the startup fell apart, the obvious question arose - where to move on. This is where my story begins.

Long 6 Months

I have been looking for a job for six months. It was the most difficult 6 months of my life from a moral point of view. The first month I was looking for a job in the area in which I worked, in which I have experience and there were some aspirations for growth - in the field of data. On average, somewhere every working week, I had an interview, test tasks and other stages of selection. And every week I received refusals without justifying the reason. It's always the worst thing to not understand why you don't fit.

After a month of searching, I had other thoughts - but I can be good in other IT industries. I have good administration skills, I know Python very well, and I can even write a beautiful site with a backend component. The fact is that I am interested in a lot of things and I can do a little of everything at once. Just out of my curiosity. And I began another search.

I made myself a portfolio for a web developer job, where I tried to apply absolutely everything I know. I made myself a portfolio on Kaggle, where again I applied all the skills and experience gained at my previous job. I learned JavaScript at a good level, enough to write functional landing pages. I learned the basics of SEO in order to be more complex.

Of course, it took me a lot of time, but in parallel, I continued to look for work, continued to open accounts on freelance exchanges, continued to read business literature on self-development, continued to develop my project, in the hope that someday it would bear fruit. In short, I did everything and did a lot to get a job. But most of all I did self-digging.

I delved into myself and did not understand why I was refused at every interview, even in positions where experience was not required (and I had it), I did not understand why the refusal, where I did the test tasks perfectly, did not understand the refusal when I spoke about the desired salary lower than it was at the previous place of work. All this put pressure on self-esteem and there was a feeling that I was just lost professionally.

My Mistake

If among the lines above you find yourself, then stop immediately. This is the biggest mistake I have ever made in my life. You can’t disperse your head on everything at once, you can’t do everything at once in the hope that it will someday play a role, you can’t reduce the requirements for yourself due to failures and negatively affect working conditions (salary, etc.). You can’t try yourself in 5 different IT directions at once, you won’t succeed anywhere. Verified by personal experience.

I realized this in one of my last interviews, when I was asked to talk in great detail about what I did in IT. I told everything that I described above for you and understood how much I was stormed, how much I was shaking from side to side and how unstable I look from the outside. I don't have good friends from this industry, so I simply had no one to point it out to me, no one to advise me.

My girlfriend said - excellent, you will learn so much that you will definitely find a job. But no, now I understand that this is not so and cannot be so. Successful Data Scientists are unlikely to change their field of work every year, they are unlikely to first be engaged in web development, then management, then advertising and sales, and only then they came to Data Science and became successful. That doesn't happen.

They succeeded due to their stability and due to the fact that they did not deviate from the intended path at the first difficulty. Yes, now many specialists are losing their jobs, but this is not a reason to run from side to side - go to the sales department when there are many vacancies, although you are a developer. It is impossible to succeed in where you are going just because there are a lot of vacancies there. I realized this and realized quite recently.


It was very important for me to share this experience with you. Here, many people share their experience and I like it. If you have chosen your career path, and you like what you do, then if there is only one vacancy for 1000 candidates, do not retreat, do not scatter your work and knowledge, like me - do not strive to where there are 100 vacancies and only 101 candidates into a realm where you don't understand anything at all. Like me in sales.

Whether it will be difficult to follow one course - insanely, especially morally. But you should not think about why you were rejected - there are too many processes in companies that are out of your control and thinking about it is an easy way to go crazy and waste way more time than just 6 months.


9 Best Entry Level IT Certifications to Advance Career Now

Apr 6

We all need to stand out from other competitors in the job...

Continue reading

How to Teach Technology to Kids: Tips for Parents and Educators

Apr 2

Technology is everywhere, and kids are growing up in a world where it’s an integral...

Continue reading

The Importance of Soft Skills in IT: What They Are and How to Develop Them

Mar 30

In today's world of technology, it's easy to think that the only skills that matter...

Continue reading