Tips for Making a Career Change

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Have you ever contemplated that making a major career shift would be awesome but the sheer thought of it is so overwhelming that putting your first step forward seems too daunting? Yep, me too.

In May 2018 after spending 4 years studying international relations, then 7 years working in the international nonprofit world, I took a giant leap and switched careers. I became a Project Manager at a tech company.

First off may I say that tech was decidedly not my thing. I knew the basics around a laptop, but never the spiffy command - option + other key that equals awesome random command. I knew nothing about development, developers, tech projects, tech apps, web design, web development, APIs, PRs, agile, scrum or any of the other 1,000+ terms that were thrown at me day one. I simply thought, “I am turning 30 this year, and I want a certain lifestyle that nonprofits will never be able to afford me. I should make a change.”

It was incredibly scary. I stayed up so many nights thinking “am I making the right move here?” To throw away everything I knew, to get away entirely from the familiar and to reinvent myself was no small feat. But I leapt and I have never looked back.

So many of the skills I learned in my nonprofit work translated to project management. It was simply picking up the tech language (that 50% of the time still sounds like Chinese to me) that I needed. And to this day am still working on. This article is completely true.

What I have learned however, in my short time in tech is that transitioning into the tech world is one of the easier shifts! Why? Because there are guides and road maps to do it. One of those avenues is through a boot camp. Boot camps don’t teach you just the knowledge base you need to be a developer. They also teach you how to market yourself after you have graduated bootcamp. What needs to go on your resume, how you should interview, how to talk to potential employers, etc. You're not alone in the giant leap, the teachers and assistants in the bootcamp as well as your peers are there to support and guide you.

No matter what your background, don’t be afraid of the tech world. It is ready and waiting for fresh talent and people of all kinds of backgrounds. It also has one of the best ways to enter it and make the change happen quickly. I leapt!

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