Hi there – I taught myself to code. You can teach yourself, too. It takes work and time, but it’s worth it.
Because programming can be used to improve every type of job there is. Whether you work as a janitor, an engineer, a financial analyst, or an insurance agent – you can use programming to make yourself more efficient.
Here’s how I learned to code:
This is the final post in my series about how I learned to code and ultimately landed a job doing web development.
This post looks at the heart of how I pursued my love of coding. It takes hard work, grit, and sweat to switch careers and not give up. It also takes heart – by that I mean courage, kindness, and resilience.
When you decide to switch careers you’re faced with an overwhelming task. If you don’t have much experience, you may be intimidated by the lists of “required experience” you see in the job postings you browse through. And there are literally hundreds of job postings to go through. After applying to 200+ jobs, I landed about 4 interviews. I was fortunate to be able to get a job out of those 4 interviews, because I knew how to prepare for them. Still – that’s a lot of work. You may have to apply to many more positions to get even one interview. Don’t give up – you can do this.
Be courageous – apply to intimidating jobs
Don’t be opposed to surprising yourself with how much you know. I found that I was often worried I didn’t know enough for the jobs I was applying to. The thing is, it’s unlikely that you will ever check off every single box that is listed in a given job description. Programming (or most any other profession, for that matter) is so multi-faceted and complex that you may know something about a technology or language that a senior-level programmer hasn’t heard of – you could probably teach them a thing or two about all the new, hip ways of doing things.
Job descriptions are good for a very general description of the type of work you’ll be doing. More important is getting to know the company, the people you’ll work with, and whether it’s a pro-learning environment. So be courageous – if you’re unsure about whether you qualify, apply to the job but then follow up with the company with some more detailed questions.
Be kind – take care of yourself throughout this process
There will be times when you feel really discouraged by your search. It may be months and you haven’t heard back from anywhere. Remember to take care of yourself – you deserve it. Take yourself out to coffee, go on a hike, hang out with some good friends, make yourself a nice meal. It’s easy to grow desperate, especially if you feel like your future livelihood depends on finding this job. Remember that your value as a person does not depend on switching careers – you deserve to be taken care of, even if you never find a job in the field you want. Caring for yourself with contribute to your mental health no matter what happens.
Be resilient – all you can do is take a day at a time
Being resilient isn’t really a thing you just ‘do’. It comes out of doing the things above – you’ll find that when you are courageous and kind to yourself, it will be easier to never give up.
Being resilient starts with paying attention to your own needs. Once you are meeting your own needs, sticking with your job search becomes easier.
Take some time out of your day to meditate and reflect. Set a goal for how many jobs you will apply to that day, then take a break. Stretch yourself, but not so much that you stress yourself.
Keep at it. Improve yourself by 1% each day. The key to success is small increments, not big leaps.
How much you learn and accomplish on your journey will surprise you. Your reward will be resilience – not just a a job.
I hope you enjoyed my story about my journey into coding. Let me know what step of this journey you are on, and how I can support you. Best way to reach me is on Linkedin.