Finding My Passion

It may have taken me until I reached my thirties, but I have finally found my passion, the career that enraptures my mind, gives me joy and helps others. It wasn’t being a pilot, or compliance officer, or nanny, or horse trainer, or any of the other careers I tried out. No, it turns out my dream career was waiting for me back home in San Francisco, but I almost missed it.

I’ve been away from San Francisco for the last five years, so when I packed up my car last summer and made the drive from Nashville, I wasn’t sure what to expect. And I had no idea what type of work I would find. After leaving a career in finance to pursue independent contracting work to try to find my passion, I still didn’t have a career I was truly passionate about. So I gave up on finding my passion and resigned myself to getting a job just for the money. So back to finance it was. But interviewing takes time, and I needed money right away, so I turned to driving for a rideshare company. And that’s when things turned around.

My second day in San Francisco, I drove a girl to work. She said she worked in the Tech industry and loved it. I was intrigued…I knew nothing about that industry. I told her I would probably like programming because I love math and problem solving, but alas, I didn’t want to go back to school. And that’s when I discovered coding boot camps. She went to one and told me there were several good ones in San Francisco. Hmm…now I was intrigued even further. So I started asking other passengers what industry they work in. And, not too surprisingly, most of them work in tech. So I started asking about coding boot camps. So many people I talked to seemed to know someone who had been through one and had a great experience. So at this point I’m super intrigued. I still didn’t really know anything about coding. Phrases like “C++” and “Java” floated around in my head but they had no meaning.

Several people recommended sites like Code School and Code Academy to start learning coding. So that night I went to Code School’s site and did the free JavaScript tutorial. That was really fun!! Then I went to Code Academy’s site and did their “Make a Website” tutorial. I couldn’t believe it was that easy and fun to make a website! At this point I’m starting to really consider attending a coding boot camp, but I want to be really sure that coding is for me. So I attend a two-week JavaScript course at a local boot camp. And I was sold. I’m currently halfway through General Assembly’s 12-week Web Development Immersive program and have already completed my first web application and am learning my second language! This is so fun!

I’ve finally found something that I thoroughly enjoy, have a natural talent for, and, most importantly, can use it to make a positive impact in the world around me. So cool! And I almost never found it; I almost gave up on finding my passion. So now I want to encourage those around me, no matter who you are, whether you aced your computer science course in college, or have never heard of html, to try coding. Do some self-study, attend a tech meet up group, do whatever it takes to try it out. You never know, it may be the career that finally ignites you and drives you to be your best.