By Charlie Richardson
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say I left university deflated. I believed opportunity was fickle. That it was only about being at the right place at the right time. I believed opportunity is like luck, sometimes you have it, sometimes you don’t.
I believed when an opportunity came your way, you needed to grab it by the horns and run with it fast, as far as you can go. This ethos suited me and my previous employer perfectly. I was hungry to learn and took on any project put on my plate. I worked on branding sponsored athletes clothing, which led to running and operating an industrial embroidery machine and a silkscreen carousel, which both produced branded garments. This was done in sprints, and once each run was completed I would go back to my operations role afterwards and start again. When the company needed more support, I got my forklift and MEWP license. I even completed a bicycle building course and set up the workshop when the company started to expand into new areas. Finally, I gained a promotion to become the operations manager.
Then the lights went out. The company went into administration. I was suddenly in the dark, realising I had spent time investing in niche skills and experience, which, outside the company, weren’t exactly widely applicable to alternative roles or careers. For the majority of job applications, I was either overqualified or didn’t have the specific experience needed. It felt like each project had been a wasted investment.
The coin dropped, and I realised an opportunity is not just simply good luck. I had been the first choice for each project because I work hard, learn quickly and hit the ground running with each project. With this revelation, I knew I needed to find a new industry to suit my tenacity. After seeing countless Junior Developer roles which promised a rewarding career and personal growth based on a strong work ethic, I started learning to code. It quickly became apparent that despite my motivation and commitment, the online tutorials and articles I was relying on were becoming outdated, fast. It was clear where I wanted to be, but how would I get there?
Enter _nology, I was invited in for a taster session and got to meet the previous intake. I could feel the passion and knowledge from the coaches, and this drive was reflected through the candidates as they happily shared the concepts and challenges behind their current projects. This wasn’t a classroom and they were not just students; this was a working office and they were budding Junior Developers talking about their work.
Encouraged and inspired by their obvious enthusiasm, I signed up and through the first week I knew it was the right choice. I have already surpassed the knowledge I got from tutorials and articles, and concepts which were very abstract to understand by myself are now crystal clear. Each day, I am learning new concepts and completing challenges in the morning to then apply them to my personal projects in the afternoon.
Previously I was in my own bubble, I am glad it popped! Now with guidance from _nology, I am able to use my willingness to learn and my ability to welcome new ideas into an industry where continuous learning is encouraged. If you ever feel your skillset is too niche, take a second and breathe. The real skill is not only being proactive with your strengths but your approach to learning them in the first place.