September 20, 2023

Alex Zaitsev: Landing a Senior Role in a New Country

After facing a layoff from his tech job, Alex Zaitsev used the setback as an opportunity to pursue his dream of relocating from Europe to Canada. He prioritized personal networking over traditional job applications, leveraging platforms like LinkedIn and the Calgary IT Community (CITI) to build meaningful connections within the tech industry. Through proactive engagement, continuous learning, and sharing his expertise, Alex eventually secured a role at Kidoodle.TV, underscoring the significance of networking, adaptability, and a positive mindset in career success.

The Setback: Layoff and Relocation Challenges

Alex's story began with a setback that many can relate to - a layoff from his tech job. But rather than letting this setback hold him back, he used it as a catalyst for change. Alex had dreams of relocating to Canada from Europe, and he decided to make the most of his time before the move.

Building Connections Before Arrival

Knowing that sending out countless resumes might not yield the desired results, Alex adopted a different approach. He realized that connecting with people on a personal level could be far more effective than relying solely on a resume. Before even arriving in Canada, he proactively reached out to the local tech community in Calgary.

One of his first steps was to subscribe to the LinkedIn account of Zach, someone already well-connected in the industry. This step turned out to be pivotal in his journey. He also joined the Calgary IT Community (CITI) and began attending various networking events. These initial connections laid the foundation for the success he would achieve later.

The Networking Approach

What set Alex apart was his mindset. Instead of merely seeking a new job, he approached networking with the goal of meeting interesting people and learning from their experiences. He embraced the process and genuinely enjoyed connecting with others. This approach not only made his networking efforts more effective but also helped him build lasting relationships within the industry.

Leveraging LinkedIn and CITI Resources

Alex used online tools like LinkedIn and the CITI platform to his advantage. He subscribed to local companies relevant to his interests, gaining valuable insights into their needs and preferences. Additionally, he posted content that showcased his knowledge and passion, making himself a visible and engaged member of the community.

Through CITI, Alex met professionals with diverse backgrounds and stories, enriching his understanding of the industry. This exposure to different perspectives enhanced his knowledge and sharpened his networking skills.

Bridging the Skill Gap

To further enhance his chances of success, Alex created a Udemy course covering Modern Android Architecture. This initiative not only showcased his expertise but also allowed him to contribute to the community. It demonstrated his commitment to continuous learning and his willingness to help others advance in their careers.

The Turning Point: Kidoodle.TV

After months of dedicated networking, Alex's efforts paid off when he was referred to Kidoodle.TV. This opportunity aligned perfectly with his skills and aspirations. Interestingly, Alex's success wasn't contingent on multiple rounds of interviews; he nailed it in his one and only interview with the company. His comprehensive preparation, genuine passion, and connections within the industry made him a standout candidate.

Lessons Learned and Advice for Others

Alex's journey to success is a testament to the power of networking, proactive engagement, and a positive mindset. His advice for job seekers facing similar challenges is clear:

  • Networking Matters: Building meaningful connections opens doors to opportunities that traditional job applications might not provide.
  • Engage with the Community: Attend networking events, join relevant communities, and learn from the experiences of others.
  • Focus on Value: Share your expertise, insights, and passions online. Being active on platforms like LinkedIn can showcase your skills and attract opportunities.
  • Adapt and Learn: Be willing to bridge skill gaps and continuously learn. Creating resources like online courses can set you apart and help you contribute to your field.
  • Enjoy the Journey: Approach networking with a genuine curiosity and a desire to meet interesting people. The relationships you build can have a lasting impact on your career.

Alex Zaitsev's story underscores that sometimes, the path to success involves taking detours, embracing setbacks, and connecting with others who can inspire, guide, and open doors. His journey from layoff to landing a dream job serves as an inspiring example for anyone navigating their own career challenges.

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