I have previously written about why I am thinking to move to India, Policies for Humans or Humans for Policies. This one is about how sad or how incapable I feel to switch to my home country! I did try to talk to more than a dozen folks across Engineering and Recruiting teams, just to evaluate myself, where do I stand if I switch to India. And the initial response revealed it all, I have been made to accept my incapability to fulfil requirements for that.
A little bit about the current me, I have been a strong engineer at Microsoft and Facebook and got a relevant work exp of 8+ years. I have built systems at scale, delivered highly ambiguous projects with my team of 4 strong engineers at Facebook. I want to move to India because of my family situation and I think my profile fits into many posted job’s requirements. I reached out to recruiters and friends with my profile to evaluate where I fit into the still fast-growing software industry, but somehow it is not clicking well enough to succeed.
I discovered that there are multiple paths that I should have decided somewhere around ~2 years before I can ask for interviews now. Notable ones among them are Engineering Manager, Software Engineering Leader or Architect, Senior software engineer. This list was very exhaustive and I have pruned out obvious choices such as Product or Program Manager roles. I fear deadlocked about not being able to prove to recruiters about my skills to perform well on the job on one hand, and the other hand forever being underskilled because I didn’t sufficiently steer my career towards any specialization.
Many of my “skills” were punctured by poking just a little deeper than surface-level questions. Sadly I have developed a fear and discomfort about how the interviewers will judge me. If I prepare well for a System Design, then I will be taken down in the management round. If I prepare well for the management round, I feel inadequate for tech. Overall, the whole process felt so exhaustive and comprehensive, that made me realize my incapability to perform well in a new job. And it’s not just me, many mid-career people whom I talked to recently, also find it extremely difficult to switch jobs.
Yes, age is a factor, and I thought to leave no stones unturned to prepare well but the focus is hard to get by when there are so many things going on in life. Callously, the salary discussions that follow after/alongside such a rigorous introduction many times doesn’t even match what I already get in Singapore as a basic salary, forget my stocks and other benefits. I did hear in articles and news about absurdly high pays from Startups, but for me, they were nowhere to be found.
Maybe it’s my mid-career crisis, that hit me hard. And its probably true that I am underskilled, but I am going to revise myself and reskill myself to gear for the upcoming challenges. The ways for that starts with coding challenges, system design and focusing more of my time towards tech than entertainment. Somewhere by doing so, I feel like a kid who got low marks and is being devoid of any entertainment for a while.
career life family