I’ve been meaning to write this post for ages and have told this story in enough 1:1s that I feel the need to share it in a more scalable way. I want to share it more widely because I hope it can help other people (if I’m lucky, maybe you!) believe and see how they can reach a goal they thought was out-of-reach.
My second objective is to share some practical strategic advice on and tactical examples relevant to trying to get a job for which you’re severely underqualified. When celebrating on Facebook or Twitter, many people omit the nitty gritty details of their path to success. When we read other people’s success snippets, we might think, “Oh, that person is just better than me at X. I could never be as successful.” The former might be true. But the latter doesn’t have to be.
This post isn’t brief. Instead, it provides a comprehensive walkthrough of all the shenanigans I went through to get my job offer. While luck played a nontrivial role in the happy outcome, a great deal of hard work, hope, and good ole-fashioned attention to detail helped me maximize and grow my share of luck. You can do this and more. The first and most important step is to believe that you can.
I’m going to start my story from the point after I decided to apply for a software developer job at Khan Academy. Maybe in a future post I’ll share my decision-making process before then, if folks would find it useful.