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Rhonda Novah
Rhonda Novah

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New Year, New Pace

Are You Even Human?

If you’d asked me at the end of 2020 if I thought I would be where I am now - overcoming Imposter Syndrome, Microsoft Certified, Developer MVP for Fitbit and finishing off the year with a work promotion to IT Analyst for Business Solutions, I'd probably say that’s something out of a fictional story. Am I even human?

Last year I spent a majority of my time trying to break out of my shell (work in progress) and honing my technical skills while on a mission to reinvent myself. I’d longed for a different career path in IT with hopes of branching out from my administrative title to a more technical role. I worked tirelessly in the months prior, game-planning and developing a path to success. In the interim I had completed my site from the ground up on Wordpress and craved a better understanding of the back end. As a front end focused developer, I never thought much about becoming a full stack developer until I decided to take on Wordpress. A couple of self taught exercises later and lots of practice ensued. .NET, PHP, C#, brushing up on Python.

The Shutdown

Back in February of 2020 I attended the Microsoft Ignite Tour in Washington, DC. My goal was to network and extend my expertise on everything Microsoft 365 (from Administration, Azure, Internet of Things and Security & Compliance). These areas of focus aligned with my company and I took in all of the information I could to better understand and ace my Azure certification.

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A desolate Times Square. Source: Reuters

Enter COVID-19. Everything else since Ignite feels cloudy or shrouded in mystery. The world shut down. Chaos. Thrust into a remote work setting which would last throughout the remainder of the year, I felt as if my plans had gotten hijacked. This was the year I was going to show my worth. Showcase that I am more than just one dimensional when I have so many technical skills. It bothered me. The coding program I was selected for was cancelled. Schools went remote. I had to refocus and find creative ways to knock my goals out of the ballpark. “First things first”:

  • Girl, breathe! 🧘🏾‍♀️
  • Giving up is not an option.
  • It is OK to cry it out! 😭
  • Brainstorm what you would like to accomplish first. 💭
  • Prioritize tasks and focus on them one at a time
  • Self care is important. 😌
  • It is ok to ask for help.

In the months to follow I managed to overcome my emotions, adjust to the "new normal" and get my life back on track to accomplish my goals by realigning myself with what was most important.

New Mission

I made a conscious decision over the holidays to go at a much slower pace for my health and sanity this year. 2020 felt like a never-ending rollercoaster and despite the accomplishments there were moments of despair in the midst of COVID deaths, racial injustice and an unstable administration.

Your Mission

No matter the pace you set for yourself to achieve your goals, it is important to understand your own learning and work structure. What may be ideal for one person may not be the same for another.

I hope this article motivates you, reader, to keep on going. Celebrate all of your wins, big and small and learn from your mistakes. You’ll probably see a lot of those along the way, and that’s ok.

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