My Friend Made Me Do It!

As I sit down and write this out I think about the span of two years. The difference that time makes. But then I have to extrapolate to the past decade just to get an idea of the changes I have made in my life (more about the decade later, let’s focus). I was always interested in the fields of science and math, but I didn’t have an exact idea of where I wanted to center my attention on. In college I had a BS in IT in 2009, but I didn’t have a clue what to do with it. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Jump to 2014, looking for a transition from my current occupation. I asked the oracle of our time (Google) “what are the best tech jobs” today? The Oracle returned with a list of information that was plenty enough for me to delve into. After some due diligence in my research, I decided on choosing web development. It was the new hotness! Why not.

Let’s fast forward.

Not to bore you with the specificities of learning this new craft, I set myself out into this new world trying to find my foothold in my new career. It was clear, this would not be simple and easy. I was going into a domain that typically picked its talent from the fields of academia i.e. computer science grads. There was no interest or desire to hire someone right out of a bootcamp*. There’s some justifiable truth to that. I’m not going to be one of those people who says don’t go to bootcamp because you won’t find a job. Because I did*. I found a job four months after the bootcamp. How did I do it? I went to meet-ups. I continued learning. I found a mentor by chance occurrence. I didn’t get down on one knee and ask for his hand in mentorship, I just proved that I was serious about being a web developer. Now he’s my boss.

This story isn’t new, anyone trying to cut their teeth in any industry has to go through adversity. How do you ever know if you really want something? That question was already answered for me.

About that decade long look back. I had my battles with my health. There were meh times and there were bad times. Time to do some math! I was diagnosed at the age of 19 that there was something going on with my kidneys and at 21 I was told my kidneys were going to fail. I began dialysis treatment at the age of 24 and I was out of the workforce for 7 years. I’m 34 now. How’s that for a bad resume?

I knew my life would be better. I never believed anything besides that fact, didn’t know that date and time, but I knew that it would. Just that singular focus is what kept me from spiraling out of control. How I could answer a person who would ask some variance of: “How do you deal with all of this?”. You don’t allow yourself to dwell on the negative. Always point to positives in every situation.

Full Disclosure: I struggle to listen to my own advice at times too. But I do remind myself. That counts right?? Back to it.

This is why I never concerned myself with worries of doubt. The doubt I may not find a job never crossed my mind. But what did cross my mind was a simple idea. Find people who can advocate for me. That quote: “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” IS true. I have been told time and time again. So I’m going to pay it forward. Network, I connected myself with people that can help me achieve my goal. Sometimes it’s not waiting for the crack to get your foot in the door. It may be you seeing that door and you Bruce Lee’ing that door open.

Now go out there and….nope, I’m not going to motivational speak you. I just want to give you my experience and hope you can take something from it.

If this added value to you please tap the heart at the bottom of the screen and consider DONATING to #VetsWhoCode