My Journey


Chapter 1: How it started...

To be honest, I never dreamed about Poland. But here I am! 🤩

It all started with an interview message on LinkedIn. For the first time, I received a message from a foreign recruiter. They were interested in interviewing me if I was okay with relocating (to Poland).

As a human being I started doubting, How could I get a message like this? Is it genuine? What if it is fake? What if it is a trap? Then I told myself STOP! And think again😇 What if it is not fake? Maybe it is genuine. Then I replied to the message and it all begins.

The journey started …

We discussed the opportunities & all the benefits the organisation is providing.

And I did my little search on the organisation. Everything was real, I was happy that it was all happening. I am going to Poland. Though my interview was yet to be scheduled, but hey, we are all human. Hope is what keeps us alive. As we know when we are very happy, we start getting negative thoughts simultaneously.

So I started thinking, what if they didn’t send me an email, what if they didn’t like my interview? What if I did not get selected? But I want this job. However, I was overthinking. But somehow, I overcame it. We have friends and family for that. Thankfully I too have them.

After a couple of days, I received an email for a pre-screening round with HR. I started preparation. However it was just a screening round and as I am an over-thinker, I studied like it was my last semester exam. If you know what I mean 😀.

I still remember my first interview with a foreign client, before the interview started I was exaggerating, what if I didn’t understand what she/he is saying? What if they didn’t understand what I am saying? Oh My God?. I panicked. My heartbeats were running like loud music. Because I am a music lover too. But that’s not the point. My ears could have heard them.

And 5 minutes before my interview, I felt like I didn’t want to give this interview. I don’t think I can do this. But then you can’t do everything you think. While all this thinking, it was about time for the interview.

Chapter 2: So Far So Good!

It was an overall 20-minute telephonic interview with HR. Thankfully I understand what she was saying. I was like ‘Thank god I am not that dumb’. Of course, I know that. But still, I couldn’t catch her 2-3 words in the middle of the interview. For the first word, I managed to ask her to repeat it. But I didn’t ask the other two words. Why? We face this kind of situation all the time. Did I handle this situation, I think yes. How? I just smile and nod 😇 So easy! Obviously pronunciation of the words are different from ours (Indian).

I desperately wanted to get selected for the next round, so I agreed with everything she was asking, terms like I can work Hybrid(Remote + Office), Relocation terms, etc. I still remember when she asked me that do you like to work remotely or work from the office. I instantly said I love working from the office😜. And then she liked my answer. We usually know what the interviewer wants to hear. Right? At that moment, my mind went to Poland and I walk imagining that I am walking and going to the office. I think my mind was in Poland for around 15-17 sec that time. Honestly, I like working from home but I obviously lied.

I realised how we manipulate ourselves when we want something very hopelessly. We say yes to everything. Right? Because the first thing, we don’t want to mess things up and the second thing, is we somehow try to convince ourselves that yes we can do it, even when we don’t know how to do it. As a human, we have that quality, once we believe in something, no one can stop us. So yes I want to get selected and I want to go to Poland, live there, see different people and places, how they live, what they eat and also I wanted to work there(I am trying to remember this always).

What a wonderful opportunity would this be. I mean see, You work for 8 hrs, You get paid, and the remaining 16 hrs are all yours. You can explore all new places, new food and the list goes on and on. With all my thinking while listening to her it came to end and finally, she said what I eagerly waited to hear that she will schedule my next round.

So far so good! 🤩

After the interview obviously, there are so many things we always wanted to share with somebody. Things like how was the interview, how was the interviewer, how they were talking, How good or rude were they, how we gave all the answers but still they did not convince to our answers, where we said something that we shouldn’t, What exact questions they asked, and how much we were able to give answers. I mean every thought came to our mind in between the interview. We wanted to tell somebody. I have a place for this. My friend & I have the rule, that whenever anyone of us finished our interview we meet for tea and discuss every bit of the interview. Like Chai Pe Charcha. 😎

These conversations always made us so relaxed and we usually discuss everything in that tea meeting. Every feeling comes out with every sip of tea. It’s like therapy for both of us. And after that, we order Vadapav for the closure of the discussion and then we end the meeting. Tea and Vadapav are the best combinations in Maharashtra, India. We just forget how much tea we had since we started all these interviews. Most of the time we just give interviews for no reason. We think, it boosts our mind and we automatically start studying even when it is not needed. 🤓

So the good part, I started preparing for the next round without overthinking this time. When we are clear about the goal we don’t waste our time. I know I wanted to crack the next round and it was definitely going to be difficult because It was a technical round and I had 1 week for that. At this point, I knew I am going to Poland soon. This one week will be going to change my life. So I decided to give my best shot.

Time flew. After 1 week I was all prepared, and all set for the interview. So many thoughts and doubts were going on in my mind. But I was calm as I was focused on studying. That feeling was like the last paper of the semester. You study everything but last moment you started feeling like What if I forgot everything, all the answers? This time we normally think of the part which we didn’t study. We ask God to not give us questions from that chapter which we didn’t study. Same situation I was in at that time. I don’t know what to do now.

Those sleepless nights and days(Yes, we do sleep during the day as well), and still fill the need for more time to study. This time the interview was not for 20min, it was scheduled for 90 min. I definitely need a fan because I always sweat in the interview. I don’t like it but it’s not in my hand. I am human. I get tensed and I get sweaty. It is normal. we don’t have AC. And I can’t keep a fan on during the interview, because it does not give air without noise.

The time has come, to get ready for the interview. It was a video call on Skype. So without thinking much I sat in front of my laptop. Opened Skype, but the interviewer had not joined yet because I joined 5 minutes early😬. So I started talking to myself, as usual with the starting question "Introduce yourself". It was good to see yourself and talk. I know this seems a little odd but believe me, it makes you feel good. You can see how you look, you can hear your voice. So I was looking at myself on Skype, thinking that a white shirt looks great on me. I don’t look that bad. And suddenly the interviewer joined…

Chapter 3: Half Celebration...

As soon as he joined the meeting, I put a confident smile on my face obviously it was a fake. I just wanted to show myself confident and a little bit sweet. I am sweet, we all are sweet at some point. Rest is the history. Anyway, he was young I mean not too older. We might have shared the same age I guess. He wore a collared t-shirt. Total professional. He was a skinny and as usual white man. He gave me a smile and he directly jumped to the straight interview. He introduced himself with his name which I couldn't catch. It was not an Indian name so you can understand. And then the interview started.

Full 90 min interview. Coding challenge, and then some scenario-based questions, theoretical questions, etc. I have given most of the answers. I was having only a week to study so you can understand. I can say, out of 100 I have given 75% answers rights, I believe. 😬 Few hard questions and a few easy ones. It seems, he had a list of questions in front of him.

Many times, I observed myself before the interview started, I panicked and mixed feelings with self-doubt and once the interview started, I forgot everything and just concentrated on the questions he/she asked. I mean that explains why I don’t remember what colour t-shirt he wore. But yeah, I become automatically normal whenever the interview starts. It’s like now, whatever happens, let it happen.

I just concentrated on questions and if I don’t know at all about any questions then without hesitation I confronted the same. But yeah I added to that sentence "I would like to learn about this. This is something I am interested in, new learning, new challenges". You know it’s a trick to make the interviewer aware that we can do work even if we don’t know it. Why? because we are curious and quick learners, eager to learn new things. That’s all. And one more thing whenever he asks questions and I just know basic ideas or concepts, I use to tell whatever I know. I mean seriously we study all day and night before the interview. Then why not tell something? But everyone has different ways to handle these kinds of questions.

In the end, as usual, he asked me, if I have any questions. I said yeah, I would like to know the feedback. What do you think about my interview? I mean, of course, you will evaluate me and as per process, it will take 2 days,(as HR said) but overall where can I improve myself? At that time again I was struggling in my mind like, why are you asking this question? let it be. let him go, just disconnect the call, what will happen the most, you will get rejected or selected. what else? I should have not asked this. what if he gave negative feedback and you will get demotivated? One thing about me you might have observed is that I am not only overthought but an impatient person too, I can’t wait to hear whether I am selected or rejected. And this is the chance I might guess whether this interviewer thought I fit for the job or not.

And then he said I like your honesty when you don’t know any answer, you didn’t waste time and tell the upfront, and yes you are knowledgeable but still, there are some areas you need to improve. I agreed with him. At last, he said that he will share the feedback with HR and you will get the email for the next round i.e Manager round. I said, "Great, so that would also be the technical round or what?". He said, "no, no. Not Technical or coding type. It will be moreover project related". I said "Cool!"

For me, It’s like Diwali started all over my mind. All the FIRECRACKER and the foods I can see. After that, what he said I couldn’t hear(I should have). We said thanks to each other and disconnected. But yeah I understood that this was the main round and the next round will be the peace of cake for me. Of cource, I was overconfident. But hey, it’s time to half celebration and not overthink. It’s time to chai and vada pav.

Chapter 4: What the hell?

So I called my friend, and we met. We discussed the interview as usual. But this time we were so happy. We talked about all the situations, doubts, questions and answers of the interview and interviewer. How much I was scared and excited at the same time. We also discussed, what will be the next situation like and what we can expect in the manager round. We also discussed some salaries and what range we can give them, so we have gone through some cost-of-living websites provided by HR so that we will get an idea of how much it can cost for a month to live in Poland.

At that point, I knew I had to wait 2 days for a response from HR and I somehow convinced myself to wait till 1.5 days. So it was going great. I was doing my office work and exercise and busy with series on Netflix, Disney Hotstar etc. In that period, I have written a reply to HR many times and saved it in a draft. It happens, you know like we are waiting for someone's reply but nothing was happening and we just started overthinking about it. Finally, after waiting 1.5 days, I replied to HR saying please share the feedback. after sending a reply I received an email within 15 minutes saying that the process takes 2 days and that as soon as she gets the feedback from the interviewer, she will inform me. I was like what the hell? how much time it needs. 90min interview and 2 days for evaluation? It doesn't seem right. and then I decided not to bother them again. Why? if they replied then ok. I will get to know whether I am in or out. but if they didn't send me a reply means I am successfully rejected. That's it.

I was angry with them. I did not like anything at that time. I was like, I don't want to go to Poland. You know it was like the 'Angoor Khatte Hai' situation. Also, my friend once told me, ' Mann ka ho to acha, Na ho to or bhi achha...'. So god knows what is good for me and that's what going to happen. So I have accepted that I still need to apply to other companies. And that's what I did. I applied to a few other companies from linked in. I felt good. I didn't give up. I am still in the race.

The next day, around 01:00 in the afternoon, I received an email for a manager round which was scheduled for 45 min after 1 week. That felt so good. I danced for some time, relaxed, and saw 1 movie. And started studying. But this time a little less study. Overconfidence.🤪

Till this point, I didn't tell anybody in my family that there was an opportunity for a job in Poland and I applied for that. How can I tell them? It's not that simple. You know everyone's family is a little bit complicated. So mine too.

When it comes to my family, there is a lot to tell. We are a total of 7 in our family including my parent. 4 sisters, 1 brother(youngest) And everybody is smart in their way.

When it comes to 'going outside India', any parents would restrict their child. Of course, they can't see their kids going anywhere far from them. They want their kids to be safe.

In 2020, when I was just planning but had not started applying, that time when I asked my parent if I want to go out of India to study or for a job. My mom was like a typical Indian mom. "No no no, why do you want to go outside, if you want to go to study, we don't have that kind of money. and if you want to do a job, what is wrong with your current job? Infosys is a very good company, everyone loves Infosys. You can even retire in that company. Don't go anywhere. Pune is the best city. You can come home every weekend. You can go to your sister's home. Life is here and not outside India. There is nothing outside India. Just forget it. I don't like this topic. etc".

My father is a cool and calm person, he replied that time, "If you want to study, go for MS in Computer Science, and if you want to do a job always remember it's not easy to go out of India and live. India is our country, but outside India, we can't imagine what you will face. But sure I support you if you want to go that's ok. Don't worry about anything else."

I remember that time and the day when I informed them that I am going to Poland, I mean it is still 60-40 chances, but yeah. I will be going soon.

So I called my mom, she was reading Haripath. I told her I want to tell both of them something important. She called papa and they both said ok go ahead, I told them about the interview and everything that was going on, as well as the current situation that the Manager round has not yet happened. But once it is done and if I got selected, I will be moving to Poland for a long time.

My papa was so happy, he said Poland is a very nice country, you will be safe there, he congratulated me, the happiness in his voice was unexplainable. I said thank you. But I didn't hear anything from mom, she was awfully quiet. I asked her to say something. She said nice. Her voice was low, she was sad, I sensed it. I tried to convince her that this is the best opportunity and that if everything went well, I would not lose this chance. She asked me when are you leaving. I said maybe in April/May. Then she counted how many months I will be In India, and she asked me, when are you coming home. I said I will be coming home once my manager round is done. I need to study for that. She said ok. best of luck. and then we disconnected.

That was not a very happy conversation. I was ready for that, but I was happy that my father was happy because in our family for the first time someone is going outside India for a job. I can feel how much he was proud of me.🤓

I started preparing for the Manager round. I have done all my study in 1 week. I was all set and ready for the interview. as the interview was on Monday i.e my favourite day. I knew I will get selected, there was no reason to reject me. I am a strong, confident and knowledgeable person. I know, I was fit for this position. With that confidence, I joined the meeting and waited and waited for 20 minutes. No one joined...

The interview didn't happen...

Chapter 5: Celebration and Party

I disconnected the meeting after 20 minutes and I was disappointed. I opened my email to reply to HR and then I saw a new email. From some other HR saying sorry for the inconvenience as Manager was not well, he was on leave and they are rescheduling the interview for next week. I was like WHAT🤬 I replied, "Thanks for the update!"

Now what, study again for the whole week. You know how it feels. It was like school days, we know that teacher is going to take a test and we prepare and study everything and when they enter the classroom and suddenly change their mind. It feels like they don't like when you are confident. Now I need to change my plans. I was looking forward to going home. I said I will come home at the weekend once my interview was over. But now I need to postpone that. I was trying to convince myself that whatever happens, happens for a reason. You might need to study a little bit more and be prepared for selection and celebration. Maybe this was not my day. I should say thanks to god. But My other mind was frustrated, wanted to finish the interview and be free. Free from worry and study for some time. And wanted to go the home and explain to them, how everything happened. Wanted to see their expression and smile. I love my parents. Sometimes they do things which I don't like. But that's ok. But now we have to face reality. We need to wait one more week.

Now I was in the same routine. Study - work - exercise - tea - food - Netflix - sleep - repeat. And the day had come, Manager Round. I Was not that worried. but I was feeling even more confident. I joined the meeting, from the other side he has already joined and smiled. And the interview started. It was moreover a friendly discussion but in between, he tricked and turned the discussion into the Interview. He asked me related questions as well. I have given my best. He seemed happy with my answers. It ends well. He informed me that HR will contact me for the next round. So I got selected. I was so happy. It means I am going to Poland. I know Poland was never my dream country but it's good to start. I was eagerly waiting to visit my parents. But before that, I called my friends and we went to Barbecue Nation and had dinner that day. And we started watching youtube videos of Poland. How are the weather, food and different places?

To be continued...

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