Young Dumb and Broke: My search for a paying job

So as reference previously I quit grad school to pursue a career in Software Development. Before leaving Oklahoma I had applied for more that 60 jobs and by the week after Christmas I had applied to well over 160. As a graduate student, the stipend was pretty slim so I was looking to get a job quickly to pay bills and such because my savings had been exhausted by the moved back to Utah.

The Interviewing Process

After the New Year several companies reached out with online assessments and phone interviews. One particular day I had two phone interviews and an in-person interview in Orem. One of the phone interviews was scheduled in the half hour before the in-person interview, so I had the phone interview on the 45 min drive down. I thought the phone interview went great!  By the end I had a second interview with that company later that week.

The following interview went ok. It was a little weird. I walked in and there was one man in the office with an empty boxes and half-put-together chairs. The interview was weird. I had the eebee-geebees. Later that night I received a phone call from the company CEO and the second interview was set.

I completed both second interviews, but only one company was ready to make an offer. The creepy one without furniture… but I thought a paying job was a paying job… or so I thought.


My one month tenure at Rural Data Centers, the company in Orem, was not what was promised. I was hired as the QA team manager with the opportunity to move up to a mid-level developer within 3 months. Well, I had no team, and nothing to QA. I worked alone in the office since all developers were remote, and my boss loitered in my office all day talking my ear off about his several previous businesses that ran out of money.

The first pay-day came around. On the way down I was talking to my younger sister about a previous job she had that did not pay her on time. I told her that even though my job was uncomfortable and weird at least it paid…

An hour later boss came in with a great story. The client was upset because the developers did not complete the website by the deadline; therefore the client decided not to pay my boss so I could not be paid. I was mad… I almost walked out that day, but after talking to my brother I decided to stay because the job would help build my resume.

Fast forward two weeks. I received an email from the company that gave me the phone interview. They were interested in hiring me I just needed to complete a small project. I did everything I could to finish that project. When my first and second paycheck from Rural Data Centers bounced I quit and started my current job at Nav.

The Paying Job

I was so blessed that Nav contacted me when it did. Although I am still owed 3 paychecks from Rural Data Centers, if Nav had not contacted me when they did I would have missed several bill payments and overdrawn both of my checking accounts. It had gotten to the point that my only job requirement is that it paid and Nav has been much more than a paying job. 

At Nav I am working as an Associate Engineer. I am doing a lot of on the job training and loving every second of it. The office is full of incredibly friendly and enthused people. There are no lies or stories. I get paid. Most importantly I have learned an incredible amount about scaling, software development, Go, and command line (to name a few).

I think the moral of the story is that we cannot accept a job just because it pays. Sometimes we have to hold out for something better. If I had waited I may have started at Nav sooner, or I may have a different job. I am happy with where I am though. Glad for this growing experience and good story to tell at parties. 

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