Tech is a life cheat code
The rat race
I remember my first day at my first job, I was in this batch of newcomers receiving a "tour" of the company installations. All the departments seemed dull, filled with small cubicles, everything was grey with little hints of light blue here and there. The person that was giving us the tour was explaining what each department does and then proceeded to give us a small introduction to some of the key members. It was already pretty bad, but it got worse when she said:
This is [Some team lead name], and he's been with us for 15 years!
When I heard this I could only feel pity and sadness, most of my colleagues were very excited but I wasn't, I had an awkward face and I just remember making a promise to myself that I will be out of here in one year.
After the tour, I was handed the company computer and a bunch of tasks that I had to do, such as complete company-specific training courses, read and sign a lot of documents, and set up my phone, among other similar tasks.
That's when I realized I was no longer a free student but I had started the infamous rat race. It all seemed downhill from here unless I could somehow find a way out without compromising my future.
After a few months of onboarding and training, I was finally ready to start working with clients and seeing what my day-to-day will look like. To be honest it wasn't that bad. The salary, company benefits, the job itself, and work-life balance were "okay".
What is the problem with "okay"?
I had very high expectations of my life, I wanted to travel a lot, have free time to do what I enjoyed, work on interesting projects, and overall just live the best life that I possibly can. But at this place I felt empty, just following the system. Living a very safe life without taking any risks, basically just waiting for my time to come.
Looking at some of my colleagues that have been working for a longer period, I could take a sneak peek into what my future would look like have I stayed there like them, it was not the future that I envisioned for myself at least.
So there I was, living a very average life, without many ups & downs, just waiting to be the next person with 15 years in the company. Unless I could stay true to my promise to quit after one year and find something better.
During this time my brother had recently started working as a Game Developer (and eventually as a Software Engineer). He seemed to be having the time of his life, he didn't have to wear a suit to go to work, he was working on interesting and fun projects, and the culture at his company was pretty young and cool.
It was quite a contrast to my situation, so naturally, I wanted something similar, a better job and a better career path. I started to investigate further into the tech industry and to my surprise, most people were very pleased with their jobs.
But not only that, tech is one of the few fields where you can eventually build something of your own and be self-employed, also work from home is encouraged in this field plus many other benefits that tech companies share. We have it very good at tech, trust me!
I already knew how to code basic websites and perform simple DB queries here and there. I had already tried entering the tech industry a few years back but because of some life circumstances, I could not continue. Nonetheless, my interest in the field was always there, so I looked for fast and effective ways to fast-track my transition into the tech industry. That's when I found out about coding boot camps and decided to go all-in, I talk about it in one of my blogs.
One of the things that I enjoy the most is that I can travel while working, which is one of my main goals in life. This is also thanks to the new way of working remotely. But this has been embraced fully in the tech world. And me being an ex-pat living eighteen hours from my home country is huge, I get to travel back home and stay there for quite some time while working remotely.
I can say with confidence that the tech world, as of today, is one of the best industries to be in if you enjoy it. I am very happy with how things have turned out in my life ever since I quit my "safe corporate job" and got my first dev job, I enjoy both my work and my personal life more now than ever.
My advice for anyone who is considering making the switch is: do it now! Don't wait for another year or another year after that, there are many different ways to get started, and some of them are fairly cheap. We have coding boot camps, you can read my article if you would like to learn more about this experience, and there are also plenty of online resources.
“Recognizing that you are not where you want to be is a starting point to begin changing your life.”
‒ Deborah Day.