Nervous about employability

Nervous about employability
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#1

Nervous about employability after 2 years of teaching myself coding while at unrelated, unskilled night job

I’ve been studying web development for about one year now. Eventually found FCC, and am almost done with Front End Certification now. So I have approximately another year before I start applying for jobs.

Your first question may be “Why wait two years?” and the answer involves constraints in my personal life. I also don’t feel ready to get a job as a developer yet, and that I need this time to get myself together.

I know what I need to do: keep learning, have a decent portfolio, probably have a blog. But how can I explain working as an overnight caregiver for an elderly lady for the past two years while studying coding, when I could have found employment as a junior developer or that is at least related to the tech field?


#2

This sort of transition isn’t as uncommon as you might think, and I doubt you’ll have to explain yourself to anyone. I’ve been a sound designer, composer, overnight alarm monitor, and English teacher at various points over the past 10 years. My resume isn’t that great, as far as web development goes, but I’ve had some calls from recruiters in my area. I’m not even looking for a job yet.

Keep learning, do your blog, and if you can, make it to the non-profit projects. You’ll be fine.


#3

Don’t worry too much about it.

If you feel the need to spin your life choices thus far, I think it would be quite easy to say that working as a carer is something that is hard to just walk away from - it’s understandable that you wanted to stick it out for compassionate reasons.

You can also make the case for wanting to ensure your competency as a developer was strong before seeking work, as you value being a strong contributor from day one.

It’s also a pretty well documented phenomenon that men tend to apply for jobs when they are under qualified, while women tend to second guess their ability even when they are much better qualified! So any panel interviewing you will likely assume you were just waiting until you knew you could do the job.


#4

You don’t have to explain yourself to anyone. What you are doing is important, skilled, valuable and in demand. In the words of a successful woman in a male dominated world, you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams. End of story.

Stop doubting, start living powerfully.


#5

Also, sidenote: @PortableStick, I had no idea! High-five :hand_splayed:


#6

I should clarify, a teacher of English as a foreign language in an adult education program. But I will accept that high five, as there are no takesies-backsies.


#7

That’s a really good idea and point: it being quite easy to say working as a caregiver is something hard to walk away from and that I wanted to stick it out for compassionate reasons.

Thank you for these logical and encouraging suggestions. It helps a lot.


#8

I’ve had a lot of other jobs, too–including teaching high school math and art. :hand_splayed:


#9

Really, just what I needed to hear. Thank you.


#10

I think this is one of those fields where it doesn’t really matter what your degree/past careers has been. If you can show that you can do what they need done, a lot of places are receptive to that. At least I hope that’s the case as I have a degree in History!

Also taught ESL, but did my two years over in South Korea! :hand_splayed:


#11

Where did you post your resume?


#12

All of the standard places: Indeed.com, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Monster. Learn from my mistake, though, and avoid Monster.com like the plague. Almost immediately after I signed up, I started getting spammy texts on my phone, and my Monster-specific email inbox started filling with job offers for sales positions.


#14

I’ve been working at a supermarket for the last 3 years (learning code for just over a year), and also worry a bit about this, but like others have said, it’s the skills that matter. I was interviewed for another job and my supermarket job was never mentioned and they were pretty light on personal questions in general.