American Millenial Expat: I need a job in 12 weeks

Congratulations!! I’ve been thinking about moving back to Chicago. Apartment People is a good resource to find apartments there. They have a lot of properties.

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You’re a hardworking, talented developer; you deserve it.

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Thanks! I’m going to get a room-share off craigslist to start out. I’ve got a girlfriend and cats living abroad right now, so for the first few months I’m okay to bum it out as I get to know the city.

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Thanks (again :wink:) Will! Means a lot coming from you!

Now the hard-work begins.

Keep us updated and congratulations on Chicago.

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Congratulations! You’re a good example for all of us.

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Excellent news! Well done!

Week 11 - Skype Number! NOOOOOOOooooooo! They are so expensive! I ditched Skype numbers years ago and found a VoIP number provider for much, much less. You can use the numbers with softphones and hardware phones.

I want to get out of the teaching English rut. I’m in China, too, At least in a US tech company you may have more career options.
I’ll be staying in China, got a family and house here, but I wouldn’t want to work for a Chinese dev company purely because labour in China is so cheap. Unless English-speaking devs are in high demand in China, I can’t imagine it would match my current salary.

I’ll probably freelance after if/when I get my green card, and not have a boss to answer to. Well, other than the clients of course.

Well done to you, and I hope you do well.

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Thank you @Joke and @WhisperPntr. I just followed most of the advice I found here and from friends. Plus a little luck I’m sure. The type of interview I got made a huge difference I think, since it was not technical.

@leebut I actually just dropped my Skype number. The price wasn’t bad…the problem for me was that just having a Skype number meant I could return calls and receives texts, but I had to add-on charges if I wanted to call anyone back or text them. As well, the Skype number wouldn’t work for some online authentications since apparently they can detect that it isn’t a landline.

Yes, exactly. That’s one of the many reasons why I latched on to coding was because of the lack of options I had teaching abroad. As far as I could see, my career future would just be more teaching classes. There were options occasionally for going into business and opening a school/training center with locals, though.

I was able to get interviews with companies in Hong Kong, and several of those were open with remote work. I also had options to interview with companies in China (Shenzhen), but that required much better Chinese skills. As well, I signed up on Fiver a couple weeks ago, but there were a couple bugs in posting a gig so I never finished that.

But you’re right about the salary. Hong Kong starting salary was around 18,000HKD. I also got offered 8000 RMB for a Chinese start-up. But that’s a 40 hours/week, which, as a teacher, I was working a lot less. From my experience, you may want to try reaching out to companies with owners/managers who studied abroad previously. Or be/work towards fluency in Chinese.

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Thanks for sharing your story, @ethanvernon. :smiley: I’m on the same boat!

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Heck ya, of course. I’ve been journaling online (finance, though) for the last 3-4 years or something. But journaled here the last few months since there’s a much relevant community to my short-term goals at the time. Wish you the best @robertalage, you got this and good luck!

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Hey @ethanvernon , how much are you getting paid for that job in Chicago?

Thank you for the words! @ethanvernon:smiley:

@remimarcelle I’m getting paid just over 60k USD/year. For reference, I’m coming from teaching English abroad where I was grossing around ~22k USD/year albeit on much less hours.

For me it’s nearly tripled my income/year in addition to advancing many personal/financial/professional goals. I never imagined I would get hired within 1 month of getting back to the US and applying for jobs. I was digging in for at least 6 months of applications and continuing education/practice!


I really like my current company and location, however I’m a wee bit jealous of your salary :wink:

That said, you are absolutely deserving of it and I’m seriously happy for you. 22K was truly too little to survive off of, even with a stipend or living expenses covered.

Let us know how they treat you and your day to day. Overtime, if they gave you great benefits, if you got remote. Realistic expectations…etc. And of course if you’re happy :slight_smile:

Helps those of us who eventually will become senior devs in a few years.


@WhisperPntr You know I had some other interviews and applied for some other jobs that were offering less. I found, though, in those interviews that the scope was a lot simpler than what I’m doing here. And, ultimately, I think I would have turned those down! Because, as it sounds like you know, it’s not all about the salary.

First couple days down. It’s got the startup culture, but the scope isn’t too big. I didn’t want to bite off too much, that’s why I sought specifically a “junior” position. So far, I love it. There’s only a couple other devs, and the one I’ve been working with most closely is a super-genius that built the majority of the back-end. And the other is remote and built most the front-end.

So far, no real pressure. Just the pressure I put on myself. I wish I knew what these other devs did! Completely new stack. No react, no javascript back-end, no mongodb…lol. Overtime? I don’t think it’s really a thing. As for remote, many on the team are remote, they’re real flexible on that. But I want to be in the office, just for the vibes. Benefits are good, I don’t want for more. Def happy.

First day was walking through the code base with the (lead?) dev. 8 hours of looking at code haha. And I was so stoked the night before that I didn’t sleep, and there wasn’t any coffee on the first day…suffice to say, I was super interested, but my eyes were glossing over all day haha.

Today in the morning I just self-studied for a while, basically did what I’ve been doing the last year, learning the new techs, reading through docs, writing code. Late morning, the other dev came in again, and had me basically work alongside him on the table there having my try to spin up the project on my local system. It was hard haha, but he’s super helpful. He speaks pretty much a foreign language sometimes, and I just tell him, “I have no idea what you just said” and he goes 10 steps back and walks me through it all. Some stuff is just going to take time of course but just having super chill “superior” that’s I think is secretly happy to teach and have an understudy of sorts.

Most of the company doesn’t do dev, they do ethical hacking. So I’m the first junior to join the team.

Feels good, I just want to get better! I want to learn more! I want to know everything! Lol.


Congrats! You have shared a very good story.
Interestingly, you used to live in China and work as an English teacher, and now back to US to be a paid developer, while I am a Chinese who lives and work in Netherlands (not easy. not about the job, it’s about as a foreigner) as a junior developer.

Keep up!

BTW not ad, but I really wish to have more people sharing similar experiences follow my YouTube Channel.




Good luck with the YouTube stuff :smiley:

Hey @ethanvernon, thanks for sharing.
I need your help, I have completed the Fcc curriculum and completed the projects which now serves as my portfolio. I have been applying for jobs through indeed, but none has turned out.

Pls is there any easier way of doing this?
Here is my portfolio, don’t know if it not go enough.


hey @ethanvernon what is the latest my friend, dropped off here for a little bit but back now! :slight_smile:

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Your github and your perseverance are impressive man, I follow you on github in case there is an opportunity one day