Stay in School, A Cautionary Tale

Note: The colourful detail in this post is due to my knowing someone who recently went through this.

You’re smart, try you’re passionate, you know your stuff, you’re a real code ninja. You’ve been building websites for years, you’ve got a couple of notable accomplishments under your belt and you figure, “hey, maybe I could play in the big leagues.” So you update your resume and you fire it off.

Before long you get an email response from a major player. OMG! Then a phone interview, OMG! then another phone interview (OMG!) and before you know it you’re on a plane to [insert country name here, let’s say the States] for a bunch of face-to-face interviews, OMG! OMG! OMG!

The interviews go really well, you’re excited but you try not to get your hopes up too high. Not long after you get back home you get a call, they want to make you an offer! ZOMG! They even want to help you move to the States. There’s just one thing though, can you actually work in the States?

You figure, “yeah, maybe, sure I guess. I’ve got over a decade of experience and hey, I’ve got a job offer, that’s what you need to get this stuff worked out right, a job offer?” All you’ve got to do is give the company lawyer a call and see if they can hook you up. Y’know, work their magic, get you a visa, or figure something out. So you pick up the phone, excited but with a tinge of trepidation and the call goes something like this:

Lawyer: “Hello?”
You: “Hi, my name is Code Ninja, I interviewed with you guys and you love me. I need a visa–”
Lawyer: “Who?”
You: “Code Ninja, C-o-d–”
Lawyer: “Oh yeah, ummm, no, you don’t stand a chance.”
You: “What?”
Lawyer: “Yeah, forget it buddy, you don’t stand a chance. You need a degree in order to get a visa and you don’t have one so forget it.”
You: “Surely you can do something, I mean–”
Lawyer: “Nope.”
You: “But what about–”
Lawyer: “No.”
You: “But–”
Lawyer: “Look, if you had a degree I could have you down here in a week, but you don’t so…”
[Awkward silence]
You: “OK, well thanks and… thanks.”
Lawyer: “Sure thing, better luck next time.” *click*

And that, my friends is why you should stay in school. Code ninja or not, the government of the country you’re trying to get into doesn’t care a lick. And the lawyer that’s supposed to be helping you won’t spend more energy on you than it takes to get you off the phone. So be smart, and stay in school!

And just in case you’ve got ideas about “finishing school later”…


YouTube video, “Stay in School

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