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The Importance of Persistence

andevr profile image drew ・3 min read

I received a call yesterday not long after I woke up, telling me i was laid off for at least two or three months, mainly due to the corona virus and whatever has caused the oil prices to plummet( there are multiple reasons). If anyone has experienced a layoff, or a firing, it's hard. It is an emotionally draining experience, one that can have an effect on both self worth and motivation.

I'm not sure it gets any easier either, unless you're prepared for it. I honestly saw something coming. I had a nagging feeling this last time out. Maybe it was the fact that I was sent to west texas which is considered the hellhole of the oilfield industry, or most of the gigs going remote after only one or two wells. I just had this really bad feeling, so I started job hunting as soon as I went on days off.

I'm like a lot of Americans. I struggle to make a living, to pay bills, to make ends meet. That's part why I continue to learn to code. Some day, I hope not to struggle so much. I say part, because the other part is I love doing it so much. I'm almost to 150 days straight.

Let me back up a minute and explain how my job worked. I would drive 850+ miles from Arkansas to texas, and mostly live in a trailer on an oil rig for a month and a half. Good paying jobs in Arkansas are scarce so a lot of people go to the oil field, or work on river boats to make real money. I have a wife and 4 year old son, so being away for that long and not being military is tough. I stayed out that long to make it worth it, collect a couple of full paychecks, then come home.

The work itself wasn't bad, and the company was good to work for. They respected my time off, let me decide when I went back to work. I was pretty religious about only taking about 2 weeks before heading out again. The time away from home was soul crushing at times.

When I decided to pick up programming again I knew it would have to be something I was going to stick with long term. There are very few things I can see myself doing for a living, and programming is at the top of the list.i had dabbled in programming in the past, but had not given it the dedication that I do now.

This isn't a plea for help or a job, although I wouldn't turn down an offer of work (I'm more than willing to relocate). This is an affirmation, from me to whoever is reading, that I'm not going to quit. I'm not going to complain about how hard things are. I'm sure others have it worse.

I've made a commitment to learning to program, to learn how to do things with code, make things come to life. Becoming a developer might take me a bit longer than I would like, but I'm not going to quit because what started as an attempt to build a habit has become a burning desire, one that won't be smoked by a small setback. Persistence through adversity is one thing I've learned, and the one thing I'll keep in mind as I go forward. Persistence is how I'll get where I want to go.

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andevr profile

drew

@andevr

42, learning to code. Proud dad of 1. Java newbie.

Discussion

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Hey Drew, I have been following your articles for some time and I’m sorry to hear about this latest development. Stick at it and I’m sure something will come, especially with the recent push for remote working, it may be an opportunity more than anything. I can’t offer you much but if you can reach out to me via private message perhaps I can point you in some right directions or put you in touch with some people to help with the job search. Keep safe and all the best to you and your family in the meantime!

 

Hey James, I think you are probably right. Usually when one door closes another opens. I'll message you. :)

 

Exactly! Yeah do that and let’s chat further via PM then.

 

I’ve also been following your articles for a while now. I’m not much younger than you and love that you’re vocal about making a career change at your age. It makes me feel less alone. But I hate to suddenly have something else in common with you, unemployment via lay-off. My husband was let go in December and has been job hunting every day since. We live in WV. The local opportunities here aren’t the best and are quite limiting. He’s worked remote for a CA for the past 8 years and to suddenly find ourselves living off our savings and a subpar severance has been humbling to say the least. We’re scared for the future not having health insurance for anyone but our daughter who is 2. And we’re both busting our rumps to find remote gigs to have any money coming in. It’s rough.

But I digress. I’m proud you’ve been public with this change in your life. It’s embarrassing but it’s also one that seems to be happening often lately with so much uncertainty right now. It’s horrible. But know you aren’t alone. Even though our family wasn’t laid off because of this virus, I sure as hell know it’s going to prevent our family from getting back on our feet.

I want to wish you the best and encourage you to network as much as possible right now. James below is one example how conversations with people we meet can lead to opportunities now or in the future. It’s one way to grow and get your foot in some door. Also, I want to encourage you to not be afraid to ask for introductions to people who could help you in the journey to employment. It’s something I still struggle with but it’s one that has helped me quite a few times now.

Wishing you nothing but the best.

 

Thank you for the reply and encouragement. I think as employees we often think in terms of job security when any kind of security is probably tenuous at best. I wish you guys weren't going through something similar, here's hoping we both land on our feet. I'm doing heavy job hunting and will continue to make friends everywhere I go :) I'm glad the stuff I've written has helped somewhat. I'm going to continue programming and working on the career switch while I may take a non-career job to get me through until then. If there's something I'm not afraid of, it's work. Even if it means driving 900 miles for it 😂