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MikeKetterling
MikeKetterling

Posted on

A new life transition

Its true that with any transition in life there’s upheaval, fear, and frustration, that’s the point of a transition. I think that sharing any life transition ultimately helps inspire at least someone out there, and therefore, doing something good for someone. That’s all I hope for with this and any other posts I’ll be publishing.

With this being my first post, I thought it only be fitting to write about this transition. As I first said this has not been an easy experience, and if I can offer my story and maybe some advice for any future transitions, then great. Everyone’s experiences will be different in a transition into the tech space – it’s important to recognize this, and I hope that my experience resonates with someone.

I come from a background in Human Resources and healthcare. Most of my work experience had to do with all the non-technical aspects of most office settings. So as far as what I had been used to for some years, the jump to learning multiple technical languages was going to be significant - but not out of reach. In knowing that I was going to be learning many new skills, I had a few strategies in mind.

My Three Strategies

A healthy routine

I knew from working the past year or so at home that for me to complete a technical program I would have to have a solid routine to help me through the rough days and keep me on track when I’m ahead in the coursework. I also knew that a routine would support my mental exhaustion as well, and to be honest this is what I was most concerned about.

My mental state had gone through a lot in that past year with COVID-19, and my job. My mental fortitude was stretched so thin to the point I almost completely broke. It was a rough time for all of us in the world I do believe, and I do not want to take that away from anyone - but my own experience was difficult. If I had to say what kept me going, it was my wife and dogs. My wife, so that we can keep driving towards our combined aspirations, and my dogs were the only ones around me when I was at my lowest, to bring me back to rational thinking when I needed it the most. Taking all this into consideration I started to put together a routine that seemed realistic and that I could follow.

I wanted to keep my body sharp as well as my mind, a regular morning workout when I wake up, followed up with strong and healthy meals through the day. Setting time aside every night for homework and much needed time for family and friends.

Prep-work

Most bootcamps can offer you insight into what languages or tech stacks you will be using during the bootcamp. Some bootcamps will even provide you with pre-work modules, prepping you for your time at the bootcamp of your choosing. For me I unfortunately entered the program at the almost last possible moment, so I couldn’t spend a significant amount of time with the provided pre-work modules, but I would change that if I could go back. Another option is purchasing or finding free resources to review along with your prep coursework. This is a strategy I use often when learning something new. I like to see and hear plenty of different examples of how to complete similar tasks, and if you’re like me, and have adequate time, I think it’s a great strategy to immerse you in content.

Find your motivation

The last strategy I’ll mention is finding your motivation. Motivation might be the most important piece to anyone’s success. It helps drive you towards a finish line especially when the road bumps come, and the path gets tough. You’ve got to be able to lean on your motivation when things get rough. I think your motivation needs to be important to you regarding a bootcamp. The obstacles and trouble you will face during these learning opportunities can be intense, and the stronger the motivation you have, the more likely you will overcome adversity.
For me, my motivation is my family, and giving them as many opportunities as possible. I know that with a career in tech being something I’m more passionate about, not only will I be happier, but my family will be as well.

I strongly believe that anyone can learn anything. Sometimes the understanding will come quickly, and sometimes it won’t, but if you put in the work and continue your path, you can be successful to. I reflect on this thought almost daily, and especially when the understanding is coming slower than I want. But I’ll keep digging in and I hope you do too.

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