Reinvention is an art, but not a mystery.
I believe there’s a distinct method to it. So far I’ve reinvented myself at least three times during my working life of just over a decade.
And I’m in the midst of a fourth and final phase.
I started as an English teacher, bootstrapping my way around the world. When I realised that it was a career with limited prospects, I decided to make a switch. I’d always enjoyed writing, communicating and networking.
Public relations seemed a natural choice. But although I thrived on the opportunities to write, I soon grew tired of the superficial world of PR. So I flipped the coin and became a journalist. Freelancing was a major leap into the unknown. I’d trained in basic reporting skills using an online course and built up an online portfolio with a few unpaid writing samples. Off I went to try my luck in a foreign land.
Success came quickly. My first piece was published in a UK national newspaper in July 2014. I leveraged that little win to garner others with greater ease. I loved digging up new angles, interviewing sources, and editing a piece to perfection. My proudest moment was still that very first time of seeing my name in print.
But the lifestyle of an independent journalist came at a price. The low pay and irregular work soon started to cause me stress.
I wanted a career path that would be flexible, that would keep me interested and constantly engaged (as journalism had done). At the same time, I wanted to make good money.
Thankfully, I discovered the world of tech.
Tech offers me everything I want and need from a career path. The flexbility of either a remote or office-based environment, the chance to work with smart people, ongoing challenges and exceptional learning potential.
Learning to program satisfies my endless curiosity in much the same way that reporting did. The possibilities are endless and that suits me well.
This is it. At last.
As I’ve learned through experience, maintaining an active blog in your desired field is a solid way to gain attention, make contacts and showcase your journey. My two existing websites were responsible for at least 75% of my successful entry into journalism.
If you’re a wannabe developer reading this, go start a blog right now. Then start building things and blog about all that. Promote your stuff on Twitter. Talk to like-minded people. Offer help whenever you can. Go to conferences and meetups. Soon enough, if you’re persistent and personable, you’ll get noticed and opportunities will begin to come your way.