My Journey from Turkey to Change

February 4, 2020

Hey there, I’m Mustafa!

I wanted to share my exciting journey in becoming a part of Change with you.

In October of 2018 I was building my skills as a developer, having already reached an experienced level in this industry. I had just heard of Change from a former team-lead who told me about the project.

“This is exactly what I’m looking for! This project meets all the keywords that I’m obsessed with: fintech, investing, cryptocurrencies, end-user, mobile-first, product-mindset, startup-culture, and stock options.”

I applied immediately and went right into the interview process. When I neared the last phase I was rejected. It was November 2018. Seems like so long ago at this point.

I really wanted to learn more about the rejection. Kristjan, Change’s CEO, was kind enough to personally reply and let me know the decision was simply due to my current skills as a developer. I was happy to have the feedback and was excited to show them what I could learn.

I made a plan with one driving purpose:

How can I join Change?”

1. Take a Risk

I spoke with several Human Resources people in Estonia and all of them said the same:

If you were already here it would be ten times easier to get a job in a company that you want.

I was excited to begin my journey to Europe! I began applying for all kinds of positions and accepted the first offer that came my way; a Python developer position of which I had no prior experience in. The job was with an ERP company which was a term I immediately had to Google.

2. Do Your Best!

I did my best at that job every day. I maintained a great relationship with my employer and gained his recommendation, eventually, on LinkedIn. Meanwhile, I was applying for an Estonian residency permit and, at long last, received it.

3. Build Relationships

I began to think:

What else can I do to fulfil my goal?

I truly wanted to work for Change. The mission and product was something I whole-heartedly believed in. I began using the app daily, I bought some CAG (Change’s utility token), followed them on every channel available. I even went and began adding my interviewers on LinkedIn.

Finally, I sent a message to one of the product engineers from my first interview:

Hey, I am in Estonia and working for a company in Tartu! Been here since May. I would love another chance to come work for you.

The reply was very positive and they highly admired my determination. I was invited to visit the office within the same week. I started the interview process from the beginning and went straight through to the last round.

4. Don’t Take No for an Answer

Once again, it was time for my final interview with Kristjan. It was great to meet face-to-face this time. Like putting the cherry on the cake, the final stroke on a masterpiece. Everything I wanted to say I could say directly to the CEO, so I said:

If you don’t hire me again, I will come back in 6 months. I’ll come find you in Singapore in a random cryptocurrency conference if necessary and get you to hire me.

In a few days I received the offer and accepted it on the same day. Finally! But getting a yes was only the beginning. I promised myself I would achieve more every day.

I went to the office one week before my official starting date, not to work, to make friends, understand what is happening, get a feel of everything, and get a running start (and have free coffee to celebrate my victory ;))

Four months later, I’ve found myself truly happy here. This was the most meaningful struggle in my career. Hard work and determination always wins!

I will continue telling you about my probation period and my experience in Change in upcoming blog posts.