For some 2020 saw the rise in remote working, zoom fatigue, and the feeling of 'Groundhog day'.
For others it saw the end of one career and the beginning of another in Tech.. I am one of those people. You may recall seeing my first ever article on DEV - About my transition from childcare to web development at 29.
If I told you that having 3 months of hard learning, understanding, and stress whilst trying to get my head around the concepts of web development would lead me to a fantastic job as a designer with a company I love... Would you believe me?
.... I wouldn't believe me either, but it's true, Through hard work, dedication, and passion for something I love more and more each day, I got there & it was so worth it!
This is me on my first day at my new job - Do I look like im nervous and anxious in this photo?.... Because I was so scared, and I really felt the imposter syndrome kick in - I didn't sleep all night!:
(I'm in my favourite T-Shirt also!)
I'd be lying to you if I said it was a walk in the park unless that park was Jurassic park then yes; I've driven myself crazy trying to absorb all of the information, But it has been a great learning experience so far, all the same, An experience I cant wait to continue; From learning all about my role right through to daily tasks, trying to get things right, and working in a team as well as independently, I am loving every second of my new career!
Of course, that's the main reason I'm writing this article, to give you an insight and some tips/advice about surviving your first few months, Here are some of my top tips:
...As the title says the first few weeks of onboarding were tough, there were lots to learn & preferred ways of doing tasks, and I found and still do find myself constantly apologizing for getting something wrong, I would stress and worry when I didn't need to - It’s normal to get something wrong, your learning & adapting.
It’s OK to take a break: For the first week, I was so scared of asking to finish or to grab my lunch. I’m not even sure why. They are completely normal things to do.
It's recommended that you stand up and stretch every 1hr for around 5-10 mins to avoid damaging your posture. You're on a computer on average 6hrs a day. Be kind to your posture, stand up and take a stretch, you'll be amazed at how much this can also help your mental health too. Doing this daily really helps me feel refreshed and less of a screen goblin.
I am always googling entities when I am designing, ask me to insert links or images - Fine - a pound or ‘&’ sign. Nope. Half of the links on my recurrent searches are purple, and I cringe every time I see them. We all know we can use Google to help us solve problems and provide answers, including the simplest ones, so use it, that's what it's there for - I think it helps you develop those particular soft skills called 'problem solving, initiative and solution-focusing' don't you?
I was not able to layer images at all and sat staring at my screen because I didn’t want to admit I was struggling, but after asking for help, I was on a zoom call straightaway being given some pointers on how to do it, and it was a HUGE relief. I felt silly for asking for help the first few times - I still do! especially when it's something so minor - But it's all part of the learning process, your company will expect you to ask questions!
Soft skills are just as important as your technical skills, empathy, understanding & co-operation are 3 of my top skills for new employees, (aside from just being a nice person of course!) if you co-operate, and bounce of your colleagues, it will make your new role a little less daunting! - Just because a colleague may do something one way, it doesn't mean your way is wrong, it just opens your mind to additional knowledge and options on those particular tasks/area.
A good job is better than a rushed job, taking your time and going at your own pace will help prevent feelings of stress and an 'I can't do this' attitude.
The few weeks/months of being in a new job are always difficult as you adapt, but just remember you're there for a reason - That company hired you & that's what I have to tell myself every day - So own that role!
Thank you for reading my article, to all those beginning their new roles, congratulations, and good luck.
To those beginning your Web Development journey - You have got this (Feel free to bookmark this article when your time comes!)