Life-Checkin Summer 2021
New Job! New Drive! New Ideas!
3 min read
It's been a looooooong while since I last wrote exclusively here on Hashnode. I don't know about you, friends, but it's been a long and wild 2021 for me so far. But great things are finally happening for me! Check this out:
That's right! I'm happy to formally announce on My Dev Diary that I now work as a Content Contributor at Codecademy! I'll be working on their Free Team where I get to write amazing, public-facing content. This is an exciting time for me as I've never been more busy yet restless. Currently, I'm working part-time but the work I'm doing is interesting and enlightening!
The Struggle Is Real
But I'm not gonna lie. It wasn't an easy road getting to this point. By the time I had gotten my current role, I had hopped between 3 jobs...just this year! After I graduated my bootcamp last Fall, the world was still in the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic. The economy was already volatile to begin with. The cost-of-living is very high where I live. Money was tight and the situation put a huge strain on my partner, Kristin.
Going from one job to the next was very stressful, to say the least. They were all non-tech jobs and didn't pay super great based on my location.
The first was at a grocery store on Lower Cape. I worked in the deli and meat departments during the busy 2020 holiday season. It was the first paying work I got after graduating my bootcamp.
The second was at a garden center down the street from my house. It was, by far, one of the chillest jobs I'd ever worked. I worked at a cash register, which I'd done before. The job wasn't stressful, but I needed something that payed better. By the time I left this job, I'd already discovered the posting for my now-current role.
The third job was as a mow crew member for landscaping company. Where I live is home to some of the wealthiest Americans, which means big houses, which means "MANY MOWERS NEEDED". The pay was okay and the company was surprisingly alright to work for... though, I only worked there for 3 weeks. But much respect to folks who have done or are currently doing this work. It is not easy by any stretch.
When I got the offer for my current role, I was in a landscape truck on way to the next house to mow. This was the news I was hoping for after almost a year of job-hunting.
There's Light at the End of the Tunnel
The way I found my job was really unorthodox and, honestly, a stroke of luck. I found out about the job opportunity from a tweet from one of Codecademy's curriculum developers. I reached out to one of the leaders on the team and immediately hit it off. I got super lucky.
If there's anything I'd take away from that experience, it is this: Networking matters.
When I wasn't engaging with other people in my space of interest, I wasn't feeling satisfied about the effort I putting into my independent work. But by sharing my work with that team leader and engaging with a member of the tech community, I felt genuinely satisfied by making that connection. Even if the effort went the other way, and I didn't get the job at Codecademy, I had made a new connection that has long-term mutual benefits.
This is all to say that, as long as you stay motivated and focused, you'll see that opportunity when it comes around. And when it does, you'll know you have to take the chance on it. At least, that's how I felt when I found this role. That was my light at the end of the tunnel.