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Dorthy Thielsen
Dorthy Thielsen

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Why I am switching careers

About a month ago I started the Flatiron Software Engineering bootcamp. While I have definitely been struggling with imposter syndrome while learning to code, I have to keep reminding myself why I am doing this.

I have been a professional artist for about 7 years now. I have done everything from Puppet Fabrication, to Graphic Design. At the beginning of the pandemic I lost my job. While most traditional art jobs were non existent after the pandemic, I thought I would be able to get a remote graphic design job. However, almost every graphic design job I applied for wanted HTML, JS, and CSS knowledge. I tried teaching myself a little bit but was so out of my depth. I was able to get a few freelance jobs starting in November of last year and found that all the jobs were in unsafe work conditions and paying way less than before the pandemic. Even my old boss with 40 years of experience was making $20 an hour. It was a real wake up call that staying in the arts was not a way to survive. I was also developing severe allergies to the chemicals I was constantly using. Some of those chemicals were even linked to brain cancer, which is definitely something I want to avoid. All of these factors led me to the decision that a career change was in order.

Now, why Software Engineering? My partner was a big reason for this decision. A bunch of their friends in the last three years did the coding bootcamps with great success and said it was the best decisions of their lives. I figured with being detail orientated and having to problem solve a lot in my previous jobs that my skills would transfer in a way. I also wanted a more stable career that isn't dying. I also wanted a job were benefits would be included. As a person with multiple chronic illnesses, having good insurance is vital. Also with having to learn HTML, CSS, and JS to continue Graphic Design anyways, I figured I would be able to bring Graphic Design to the Software I design.

I am excited and nervous for this career change and can't wait to be part of this community.

Discussion (2)

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Arif Rahman

Kudos for making a career transition into the software. Had the same feeling of imposter syndrome a few years back. But never once regret making that decision. Just remember even the best leader out there feels the same way.

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Dorthy Thielsen Author

Thank you so much Arif! I really appreciate your words of encouragement.