You need to talk to yourself like you’re talking to your best friend and take care of your body and mind first before doing anything else.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
I am a front-end software engineer currently working on building Design Systems for NewsUK. We use React to build reusable components that have been designed and coded to solve a specific UI problem, for example, submitting a form. These components are then used throughout the company and across multiple teams.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS FIELD?
I went through a career change at the age of 29 . Before I was working as an English-to-Chinese translator in a big fashion e-commerce company. I wasn’t happy with what I was doing at that time because the work itself is not challenging and I wanted to learn a new skill. I came across some online coding courses and decided to give it a try. To my surprise, I became really interested in it, which led me to start building projects in the evenings and weekends.
Simply put, interest is really what got me going at the beginning of this adventure. I would spend hours doing a coding project or some coding challenges and didn’t feel bored with it. I began to really think of myself enjoying doing this for a living. I actually ended up applying for a bootcamp and got a job as a software engineer within half a year.
HOW DO/DID YOU TACKLE OBSTACLES?
I had been thinking about a career change for a long time before I actually took any actions. After a while, I realised that instead of complaining, I should just face the challenges head on. It also helps to remain positive in these scenarios and think about the meaningful and impactful changes you can have on your life.
WHAT DO YOU LOOK AT & THINK, "I WISH YOUNGER ME WOULD HAVE KNOWN THIS WAS POSSIBLE?"
Probably the amount of times that I changed my mind about what I wanted to do. People in my parents’ generation rarely change jobs, let alone careers. It leads to the feeling that you are given one chance only to make a difference, meaning that you have to make the most of what you have regardless of your own personal feelings.
However, nowadays the era of the “job of a lifetime” is gone, many of us will have to change jobs or even careers in our lives. It is important to know that you don’t necessarily have to figure out what you want to do right now and you will be given a second chance to explore other options. If you are stuck in a job/trade you hate, then you should take actions to pursue new interests.
WHY DO YOU LOVE WORKING IN STEM?
Being with a group of like minded people and working together to solve problems is a rewarding experience. It gives you a sense of accomplishment and belonging.
I love having the challenge of a ticket that I couldn’t figure out for days, and then, with some enlightenment or help from other colleagues, the penny finally dropped.
BEST ADVICE FOR NEXT GENERATION?
We all have setbacks in our careers or lives. When it happens, please don’t beat yourselves up about it. It is a time when we have a lot of self-doubt and everything seems gloomy. Believe it or not, there is a silver lining in every cloud. You need to talk to yourself like you’re talking to your best friend and take care of your body and mind first before doing anything else.
While I was pursuing a career change, I surrounded myself with people with similar experiences. Seeing and hearing the words of those people who succeeded in something you want to do will help get you closer to your goal.