I remember when I was a child, time seemed to move so slowly. The school year creeped by. From the start of the school year until Christmas took forever. And then heading back in New Year, the spring break seemed so far away. Winter dragged on for ages.
As I got older, obviously my perspective changed some. But time definitely did not fly by. In my twenties, the seasons still seemed to drag on. I’m not quite sure when all that changed, but it definitely has. Weeks and months fly by now. Even the hot, sticky summers don’t seem to last as long as they used to and I know that the weather will soon turn cool as the leaves start to change color.
Just over one year ago I was let go from my job. My position was eliminated, and I was given my notice. I was in shock. Though I hated my job, I had felt very secure. Some months earlier (spurred on my a lackluster annual raise and lack of advancement potential) I had decided that I hated it enough to make some real changes in my life. I started to pursue options for a new career. But given the luxury of a stable (or so I thought) job, I was in no hurry and did not feel any pressure. Then I was let go. The timing was not great, as I was nowhere near prepared for a new career. I gamely tried to find an entry level developer role, but my skills were not sufficient and entry level roles are like unicorns.
So, I had to make the decision to continue pursuing a new vocation whilst looking for a new job that was the same as my old role. It was a little depressing, but I told myself it wasn’t forever. Unfortunately, it took a bit longer to get a new job than I thought it would. It knocked my confidence. And when I did finally get an offer, I was conflicted by my feelings. I didn’t really feel happy about it, but I was relieved not to be unemployed. The disappointment of the role was tempered by the fact that it was with a very large tech company. At least I would be in the industry, if in a non-technical role. Maybe I could even transition within the company once I was qualified.
I started my new role about the same time I started the full stack web development boot camp. I didn’t really think I wanted to be a web developer, but I did want the structure of a boot camp and I wanted to have the full stack experience so I understood both front and back end. While I do not regret that decision, it has not turned out quite as I had planned. Well before the boot camp was over, I knew I had no desire to work in web development. I also realized I wasn’t interested in front end development. I started to question if software development was really what I wanted after all. So I started to dabble. Knowing how to code can be beneficial to any number or roles, so maybe I should start looking at some other options. I did some research into QA and testing. I had a background in QA, so it seemed like it might be a good fit. However, I just didn’t feel passionate about it. Every time I would take some training on testing software, I just felt no enthusiasm. And I quickly realized there was so much to learn before I would be employable. With no drive to make me learn more, I drifted away from the training. Now what?
I started to look at other options for roles in tech. However, most were things that I had no interest in or didn’t feel I had an aptitude for. I had no interest in sales. Having worked in marketing, I knew that was not anything that would make me happy. Recruiting? Hard no. Product management? Meh. I had done project management for years and knew that type of work was not something that would make me fulfilled. Too much time sitting in meetings with people trying to make everyone happy.
Something that did sound interesting was cyber security. I had been intrigued by that in the past, but figured it was something I did not have the type of skills or background for – it was out of my league. I remember over a year ago when I was on a virtual job fair, there was a woman in a company’s booth that had mentioned she has a certification in cyber security. The recruiter nearly bit her hand off trying to get her to give him her details. He said they really needed people, especially women in that field. I remember thinking “lucky her!” But that felt like something that was completely foreign and unattainable. I wasn’t a “hacker” type, so that ruled that out. However, I had the chance to learn more about different types of roles in security. And it turns out, there’s a lot more to it than hackers. There’s roles that need people like me who enjoy puzzles, and sifting through lots of data to find answers. There’s roles that need people who are excited about the prospect of setting up rules and making sure companies are adhering to them. There’s loads of roles that require technical know-how but not a desire to crack a system and steal data. So there might actually be a role for me.
A year ago, I was lost. I had no idea how things were going to pan out or how I was going to make a transition into a new vocation. And I felt a bit of panic thinking I needed to have all the answers and make it work within a couple of months. I didn’t. I still don’t. But I know all I need is time. And that time is going to fly by just as the past year did. I can’t wait to see where I go from here.