I often talk about paying it forward, and frankly, I believe that it may be the only thing that will keep, what is the human race, moving forward. I must say that egos perpetually seem to get in the way of most of the “thought leaders” in our industry if not all industries it seems with endless TED talks, blog posts, and conferences that seem to perpetually say the same thing over and over again with just a little different spin. Many of us share tips, tools, and thoughts to help each other to rise and it seems that it is increasing. Which is awesome and inspiring in the world we are living in now. I have written some rants over the years, and I have always said to people; I write for me, not an audience. The stories are real life things I have seen and done, and I think might be something that can entertain or teach a possible lesson to the new pups and the old dogs, and this is one of those stories.
Often, being a professionally open person, I am contacted by friends or relatives to help out a person in their life like a child or cousin that is down on their luck or looking to move and needs some professional advice. All people generally know about me is that I help people get employed in my company, or I know of someone that could because I am like some magic man that is going to make it rain and the crops will grow. I will say that I am pretty well connected in my community and have often helped people to find employment without ever asking for anything other than a referral or two. Such was the case of an old friend named Andrew who was living in Phoenix, my hometown, and called me about a young lady that was a workout partner and a friend of his and she needed help.
Her name was Natasha, and she was a JAVA programmer. Now for those of you not recruiting in the IT world need to know this is by far and away the hottest developer language out there, and these developers are highly sought after. I was frankly surprised that she would need my help in getting a role and I told her so. Turns out that finding a gig was the least of her concerns, she had people reaching out to her, but she had been screwed over by her previous employer, and she was concerned on how to explain her story to a prospective employer. She was unhappy at the pace that her career was going and she had found out that due to her lack of a degree she was making less than some of her peers.
Yeah, that was it, but that is another story I suppose.
She went to contracting through friends and picked up some odd coding jobs here and there. She was no typical millennial, she liked to work, and she loved to code to build things with her passion being mostly on the web side of things. Full stack was here primary goal. Although front end scripting was cool with her as well. She rolled like that. She was not so much about money but the role and what she would be building. She said, “if I could at least make like, $45,000 then I could get my own apartment.” That my friend for me is sexy as hell as I am the same way, I like the money but got to love the job. She was placing herself WAY under market value, and I knew this, even for Phoenix.
I had a buddy that was a software PM at a local software company in town and was hungry for young developers, especially with JAVA. I told him about Natasha, and he was immediately intrigued. I did a hard sell on her skill set and competence, and I did something I rarely do, I offered my stamp of approval that she was worth the weight of the salary I expected she deserved at her level, $90,000. He didn’t balk knowing that I knew good talent and if I was doing this for no fee that she must be something special. He offered her the job after the first interview on the phone, sight unseen. I remember getting the call from her, her name popped up on my phone and when I answered all I heard was screaming and crying and the same word over and over again, “Thank you!:
I, to this day, still hear from her and get an occasional referral from her once in a while. She is still in the role that she loves and is not only happy but instead of having her own apartment she now has a house, in her name, with her partner and two adopted kids. All it took was a few minutes of my time, an open heart, and the willingness to forgo an ego and just help someone rise up. #truestory