Advice on career



  • Hi everyone. I am in my early 30s and could really use some advice on my career – lack thereof is more like it.

    I have completely screwed up my life thus far. I take full ownership of that. I am really trying to start anew, and will do whatever it takes.

    To make a long story short, I have had anxiety, PTSD, depression, etc. for about half of my life. I have started to get help for it, but I didn’t do it soon enough. My job history is ridiculously bad for someone my age. I am embarrassed to even say how bad, but think gaps the size of people probably thinking I was in prison. I wasn’t.

    I am currently living with my mother – more embarrassment. I have always loved computers, and have recently started learning how to code – focusing on JavaScript at the moment. I did manage to complete an associate’s degree in general studies – basically the first two years of a 4 year degree – two years ago.

    I guess my question is what would you do at this point if you were me? I have considered going back to college for Computer Science. I thought that maybe I could get a student job since those are a little easier to get and can try to rebuild my work history. My social skills are pretty horrible due to my anxiety, so I am worried about my ability to successfully land an actual job.

    Any advice is welcome. I am willing to do what I need to do to turn my life around. I just hope that it isn’t too late. Thank you in advance.



  • @needadvice It’s never too late to decide you want to turn things around and to take steps that will get you there. Kudos for recognizing the issues and wanting to do something about them.

    Your fear/anxiety in social situations actually kinda goes hand in hand with a coding career - lots of coders are known for being less than social, preferring to spend their time, effort, and focus on the code/job.

    If you’re thinking about going back to school, I’d suggest starting at the college guidance office - be honest and tell them what you’ve said above - schools will often have employers who are looking for new hires and they may be able to steer your toward both appropriate studies and employment opportunities.

    Recognizing that you want to change your current situation is a big first step, now the next big push is acting on it. When you find yourself afraid or unmotivated to explore possible opportunities, just ask yourself if you want things to remain as they are now. If the answer is no, force yourself to find that internal determination to do something about it - that’s the only way to go forward without regrets.

    Best of luck to you!



  • @mikk1 Thank you for taking the time to respond. I definitely do not want to wake up like this at 40. Never thought I would still be this way at 30, but yet, here I am. I have tried to do things myself, and it hasn’t worked out so this is my last ditch effort. Thank you again for taking the time out. I really do appreciate it.



  • @needadvice said in Advice on career:
    Never thought I would still be this way at 30, but yet, here I am. I have tried to do things myself, and it hasn’t worked out so this is my last ditch effort.

    This isn’t your last effort, it’s your next one. Life can, and most likely will, keep kicking you in the ass. Adulting sucks most of the time, there’s no denying it. You’re the only one who can change that - and if you get knocked down again, get your ass back up! It may not be great, fair, or wonderful, but the big difference is usually that those who ultimately succeed are also those who have put the past behind them, are determined to make things better for themselves, and have a determination to kick life right back! No matter where today or tomorrow lead, as long as you have the desire and willingness to make things better, you will.

    I laughed at this kind of advice when I was first entering the working world, then realized I had grown up when I looked around me and found it to be true.



  • I’ll add in a couple more things - what should you do? Anything! As long as it isn’t what you’re doing today that leaves you feeling bad. Find something, literally anything. Doesn’t even have to be a job initially - volunteer for something you believe in, do whatever you can to make your mom happy in return for being there, hell, even find a book you’ve always wanted to read and dive into it. The point is taking action to change. It’s hard, it’s scary, and it often sucks - but without any form of change in any direction, tomorrow will look just like today.

    Okay, I’ll get off my soapbox now…



  • I’d like to add that I would be honest with prospective employers if they ask about your work gaps; I would think they would be happy to get a depressed employee over someone with a more questionable past.

    By the way, living with your mom isn’t that bad 😉 (say’s the mom of three sons who realized the other day that my oldest at 23 might move out when he graduates college this spring… and I can’t stand the thought of that happening; although I’m ready to get rid of the 17 yr old, lol)

    ETA: corrected “is” to isn’t (was that a freudian slip?)



  • Early 30’s isn’t too late to make something out of your life. I suggest you make a resume and file applications in your area. However, if you have a history of PTSD, I’d say to stay away from retail. I said this based on someone we know who had untreated PTSD who went ballistic on a grocery store customer who kept “pushing his buttons”. Needless to say he got fired for that and that added to his depression.

    There’s a guy in our neighborhood who cuts wood and resells them. We have wood dumped on our property by a tree cutting company, this guy gives me an offer for them which I accept, he cuts them up and sell by the ricks; he says he makes good money out of it since there’s a huge demand now for firewood since propane price has gone up. He knows it’s seasonal but to him, it’s worth the effort.

    In other words, if you can’t find a job, look around you for a need and fill it. Good luck!

    btw, if you’re good in tinkering with computers, spread word around that you’ll fix issues like removal of virus, retrieving of pictures from ‘dead pc’ or other similar issues. DH loves doing these type of things which costs a lot of money if you have the techies at BestBuy do it but since he does it for friends, he doesn’t even charge for it. He has “brought back to life” laptops that his co-workers were getting rid of. For him, it’s a challenge to fix and repair what others have given up on and he’s really good at it.



  • Agree with the above comments. My suggestion is to stay employed, hopefully in the IT field as you complete a degree, if possible. My feeling is dropping out of the workforce as you pursue your education leaves you at risk of a possible poor economy in a couple years. It’s hard to predict what the economy and jobs will be like down the road. If you were younger, then a traditional full-time school schedule might be better.

    As far as IT, see if you can intern and/or get tours and advice from some local IT companies. Maybe there’s a Microsoft, Google or Facebook office nearby. Expand your programming experience beyond JavaScript. My suggestion is know Visual Studio well, using stuff like aspx.net, C#, MVC, etc. Know a relational database (SQL and SQL server) and how to build apps that connect with it. Although I don’t like the product, know advanced features of SharePoint and its administrator functions.

    Good luck.



  • i dont think a CS Degree is needed at all. There are websites like http://pluralsight.com where you can learn hot technologies if you like coding. I agree with Burgerwars that C# , HTML, Javascript , SQL server, Sharepoint are good technologies to learn . You also might want to look at http://indeed.com to do a search and see which technology gets most hits. You can also look for a job with a non-profit as a way to break into the tech field.
    there are also jobs in game programming.
    What area of the US do you live in ?



  • I saw an article on that program the other day. It’s towards a beginning job in IT.

    “The launchpad to a career in IT. This program is designed to take beginner learners to job readiness in eight to 12 months.”


  • 500 Club

    Some of the most successful people in IT got no degree. However, one trait they do have is the ability to work well with others and they never stop learning new skills.

    Most starts in PC repair/support but I would caution against joining a small outfit or go out on your own. Home and small business customers are very difficult to deal with. I would rather seek a basic desktop support position in a larger company. Move to a larger city with more opportunity if you have to.



  • @zennuts said in Advice on career:

    Some of the most successful people in IT got no degree. However, one trait they do have is the ability to work well with others and they never stop learning new skills.

    Most starts in PC repair/support but I would caution against joining a small outfit or go out on your own. Home and small business customers are very difficult to deal with. I would rather seek a basic desktop support position in a larger company. Move to a larger city with more opportunity if you have to.

    Agree. I’ve seen where I work a person lacking a four-year college degree advance to the top because he had a knack for IT. He took loads of community college courses, along with self-teaching and learning on the job.

    If I was hiring, I would hire the person who is easy to get along with over the person who knows everything about IT, but has an attitude. People skills are a must, even if a lot of IT work is working alone.



  • This is on Google today:


  • administrators

    If you like javascript, node js is pretty hot right now (along with angular and a lot of hot js based technologies). Given how fast the environment is changing, having these hot in demand skills, you should be able to get a job (or at least a consulting gig) without much trouble.

    You know if you want to learn some nodejs, we’re always looking for volunteers to help out with this site. It runs nodebb, which runs on top of nodejs. If you’re interested in helping out while improving your nodejs skills, let me know.



  • A good place to start would be to look at local college for a job there. Many of them offer some limited class hours as a benefit of employment. Take probably varies per school and state. When I worked for a university it was 12 hours per semester that was covered. You still had some extra book/etc. expenses but getting the hours covered was huge in the cost of my education.


 

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