Starting A New Journey: Career Change
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about…well…life. Prior to March 16th, 2020, I was working as a College Counselor for HS2 Academy here in the SF Bay Area and I thought, for the first time in my adult life, I may have found a place I could see myself being a part of for the long haul. I liked what I did, I was helping others (something very important to me), and I really liked my co-workers.
Enter the Corona Virus.
As the seriousness of COVID-19 increased and businesses began to see closures, HS2 had to put me on furlough. This decision by them was not handled in the best way, but as I sit here, looking back, I realize this is one of those experiences in life where I can turn a negative situation around and use it to my advantage.
Starting A New Journey
There are a lot of unknowns right now. When will the world open back up? What will the long-term impact of COVID be? What about my health and the health of those around me? What will the economy and employment look like in 6 months or a year? The anxiety that comes with asking these questions is almost unbearable, but it has given many of us a chance to take a step back from the path we’ve been taking and see if it’s still the right one for us.
And this is why I have come to realize that the path I was on before this month is not the right one for me.
So, I’m in the process of finding a new path for myself, for my future.
Much like the image I’ve used at the top of this post, the path I am staring down isn’t well paved and visibility is limited, but I can smell the fresh air, enjoy the quiet sounds of nature, and take those first steps towards a better future.
The First Step
While being forced to take the first step down a brand new path isn’t ideal, sometimes it’s necessary. The first step really is all about actually taking a step back and being able to see the bigger picture. I thought hard and asked myself what my options are and which of those might lead me to a future I’m not only content with, but truly happy.
Do I turn back towards Marketing or try and find another job in Education after all this is over?
Or, do I take the path less traveled and try something new. And, if so, do I go back to school or can I take these next few months to teach myself the skills I need?
The Next Step
Within the first 48 hours of this forced, unpaid vacation, the answer became clear; take a new path into a new future.
Or, rather, something that has been a part of my life in the background for many, many years and something I am passionate about, yet have never truly put much energy in or pursued with any seriousness.
As of this post, I have made the decision to push my knowledge of programming to the next level. To take it from a hobby to a potential career. Truth be told, when I took that step back and really thought about it, there were no other options that appealed to me. I have been doing web design from code (HTML/CSS) since I was 16 and I’ve dabbled in many different programming languages (C++, Ruby, Python) for fun. This is the type of work (both freelance and personal projects) that has made me feel excited and inspired for the future and overall just…good.
Over the next week or so, I’m going to really delve deep into what it might take to go from where I am to where I need to be to break into a career in or around software development. I don’t know exactly what I’ll do yet, what career path I’ll pursue, or even which languages I’ll be learning, but I have not felt this excited for my future in a very long time.
If anyone has any advice or ideas, please drop them below, I can use all the direction I can get!
Follow My Journey
I never knew there were so many different paths someone with my skills and interests could take within the development/programming space! But, I know this is where I am meant to be.
It’s been almost three weeks since the shelter-at-home order was put into place and just under two weeks since I was told I was furloughed. The anxiety and depression have been intense.