My 2019 in review cover image

My 2019 in review

Ed Wade • January 2, 2020


This will be my first ever 'Year In Review' but hopefully not my last!

I'm going to go back a little from 2019 by 3 months to give some context around why 2019 went the way it did so bear with me for a minute!!

As of October 2018 I had been working at that employer for 4 years - there were issues with the job and the company and I was passively looking for new work but in no major hurry to leave. That was until one day I had a chat with one of the directors of the company and that very same day I switched from passively looking to very actively looking for new work - the conversation highlighted issues I had, confirmed some I suspected and all round made me very ready to look for a new opportunity! Now, the issue I had is that both myself and my wife both worked for this very small company and we knew that should one of us leave, we would both have to leave (I'm not going to go into detail on the 'why' here!) and we obviously had to make sure that we weren't going to be putting ourselves in any financial difficulty in both leaving at the same time.

And so my job search started; I was looking for a pretty specific salary and ideally looking for something with as much remote working as they could handle! I had a lot of code tests, interviews and phone calls lined up quite quickly but for one reason or another, we weren't a match! Christmas 2018 arrived and I had spent 3 months almost solidly looking for a new job. I was facing rejection, finding companies who didn't match me and it was beginning to take it's toll so I took a few weeks off the active job hunt, letting my CV on job sites do it's thing! Job hunting is hard!

And so we enter 2019....

Nothing particularly exciting happened (career-wise at least) for several months - it was more of the same from before Christmas; applying, phone calls, interviews, code tests, rinse, repeat, over and over! I kept setting myself targets of when I wanted us to have handed our notice in by; end of January, my birthday (March), Easter, every time missing my imaginary deadlines feeling worse and worse about myself, my abilities and the current job situation wasn't getting any better either! The middle of May came and despite a lot of applying and a lot of discussions I was exactly where I was 6/7 months ago but feeling pretty rubbish about not finding a job! My wife could see the impact it was having on me and we agreed I needed to take another break from the search which I did.

Then I received a LinkedIn message from someone I had spoken to before with a job opportunity - at this point I was taking all of these with a pinch of salt expecting every one to follow the same process. I read the Job Description and it sounded perfect; they were offering near 100% remote working, offering the salary I was looking for and it sounded like the ideal job role for me. I had an initial screening call with them which was fantastic and shortly after was invited up to their offices in Cardiff for a full interview. Now, something felt different about this company; there was no code test for a start (I'll write another post about this one day!) and everything I was reading about them online was amazing... almost too good to be true. I went to Cardiff for my interview and I walked in to their reception area to this (Disclaimer: I didn't take this at my interview!!): Reception area with TV on wall and a lot of awards!!

Yes, they are all the awards this company had won.... during my whole job hunt process, Imposter Syndrome had reached peak levels and so walking in to that wall of awards was pretty daunting to say the least!

I sat down for my interview with the 2 people interviewing me and it was a really relaxed, almost informal interview. We talked a lot, we laughed a lot, I cracked some jokes at the expense of one of my interviewers, they asked me some questions, I got some of them wrong (TIP: Revise your industry jargon before an interview!) and we shook hands and I left their building. My wife and son had come up to Cardiff with me for the interview and were enjoying the museum when I rang them and my first words were "I have to work here - it's fantastic". I had completely fallen for the company, seeing myself work their and having an overwhelming sense of pride in calling them my employer had got me hooked on being there and so I waited to hear the outcome, preparing myself for the inevitable result.

It was the following Wednesday when I got the update..... I had been offered the job! I was ecstatic, over the moon, practically dancing around having landed the job - I couldn't quite believe it. My wife came out of the office and she could see from the look on my face what had happened and we couldn't wait to tell people! We decided that we would hand in our notice the next day which we duly did that morning and we worked our 6 week notice period before leaving, ready to start our new adventures!!

On the 23rd July 2019, I started my new role as a Senior Developer at Box UK! To say that, even now after 5 months in the job, feels utterly surreal! 12 months ago, I felt like I was never going to escape from my old job and now here I am!

I have spent 5 months learning, growing and making friends and it has been incredible. I am totally in love with my job and am proud to work for such an amazing company. My confidence has grown enormously - I have submitted to a CFP for PHP Wales 2020 which is something I never thought I would do and offered to do that talk internally to the company too. 6 months ago, this is not something I would have ever imagined doing!!

I will be eternally grateful to Box UK for giving me the opportunity to work with them and I intend to work for them for a very long time to come! I also want to thank my amazing wife for being so fantastically supportive throughout the whole process, picking me up when I was at my lowest and being there to celebrate when it mattered! I cannot thank her enough for what she does, and for being the amazing person she is!

And so, we're in to 2020 - I cannot wait to see where it takes me, and what new opportunities come my way as a result of the changes that happened in 2019!! Happy New Year!!