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When Your Career-Change Gets Postponed By a Global Pandemic

tiaeastwood profile image Tia Eastwood Originally published at tiaeastwood.com Updated on ・4 min read

"2020 is going to be my year!" I exclaimed, as I submitted my application to a coding bootcamp.

It was December 2019. After much thought and internal debate, it was finally time to pursue a career change. Hell, at 31 years old, I felt like it was now or never! Since graduating from university in 2011 with a 2:1 in Illustration and Animation, my life had been a whirlwind of passion projects in my spare time, whilst working full-time in call centres to pay the bills. I got trapped in the vortex of my customer service job, with the hobbies I did in my spare time being the main thing that kept my creative heart ticking. For a while, I thought I could perhaps make a living as a freelance artist. As a digital illustrator, I enjoyed drawing characters and designing merchandise. I attended many comic cons and events around the UK with my little artist booth. It certainly was a fun time in my life and I made many good friends and acquaintances in that circuit. However, after a time, I just wasn't feeling the same passion for it as I once did. It was time for a new challenge.

drawing cat

I spent a lot time thinking about what kind of career would make me happy. I love to learn, I love to create, but I also wanted stability. I remembered that during my previous creative exploits, I always enjoyed customising layouts for my websites and online shops. I thought about even further back when I would spend hours designing Myspace layouts (what a time to be alive!). "That's it!" I thought. Coding seemed to allow me to expand on my creativity in a way that I never thought was possible. This was what I had been looking for.

So back to 2019. I'd submitted my application for bootcamp, which would be approximately 12-15 weeks of full-time on-campus learning; essentially everything you need to get a job as junior developer afterwards. Shortly following my application I was sent some homework to do. I had to learn the basics of JavaScript in preparation for an assessment to see if I would be a suitable candidate for the course. I gave myself around a month to learn as much as I could before booking my assessment.

Matrix code
image by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

I PASSED THE ASSESSMENT! 😃

Phew! That was nerve-wracking, but it meant that sh*t was getting real now!
The start date for my cohort was 23rd March and I had coursework to complete before then. I was still working full-time, so this kept me very busy!

The end of February came around. I'd been off sick for around a week with really terrible flu (looking back now it was probably Coronovirus, but back then we were advised that if we hadn't been travelling then it probably wasn't). Anyway, I handed my notice in, ready to quit my job in March and study full time. Never in my life had I quit a job before without having a new job to go to, so it was quite terrifying, but also quite liberating. My leaving date rolled around, I said my goodbyes and I prepared myself to begin bootcamp.

*WORLDWIDE PANDEMIC ENSUES* 😐

Just as I'd finally decided to sort my life out, the world shuts down. COVID-19 spread rapidly across the world, forcing most workplaces and businesses to close, as social distancing and work-from-home measures were advised. This of course also affected my bootcamp, so my start date has been pushed back until...well, we don't know yet.

a sign saying the world is closed
image by Edwin Hooper on Unsplash

Trying to think positively though, I literally have all the time in the world to learn right now. I finished my coursework and I'm now working through as many resources as possible (I'll write a future post about the different learning resources that I am using) to give me a head start when we do have the go-ahead to attend bootcamp. I've already learned the fundamentals of HTML, CSS and JavaScript and had a go at building some mini projects.

If you've made it this far, thanks for reading! Going forwards I'll be blogging about my progress, as well as sharing knowledge on some code-related topics. Until then, stay safe, or for anyone else in exactly the same position as me...

KEEP CODING AND CARRY ON!

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