Join the Monthly Newsletter

How I got my first job at 40+ after 6 months?

You might think that this is nothing out of ordinary, but I gotta tell you that being a junior webdev it is not easy. Of course there are some that believe it’s an easy job by looking at the end-user product. Truth been told it’s not!

Hey, I am Luc and I want to share my story as my goal is that you’ll be encouraged if you are new in web development wether front-end, back-end, machine-learning or other category of such.
Having 4 kids from 3 to 13 years of age, it is a real challenge to make career shifting.
My story is an ordinary one, but what is out of ordinary is the web dev community on Twitter.

To make the long story short, I will brake it into three parts:

-what made me change my career;
-how I started and what motivated me;
-How I got hired and why I am confident;

The reason for changing.

Changing career it is not an easy decision when you live only with… yourself. Imagine when you know you are the source of your family which in my case is made out of 4+ my wife, you tend to double thinking.
As I knew that my career in Logistic will soon be over, I decided to revisit my old passion: IT.
Back on the 90’s, I was introduced to MS-DOS, and I did liked it the time I use it. But that is equals to zero as it was an introduction. As if today would be an intro course of “Basic introduction to Windows 10”.
Though that the circumstances didn’t allow me to continue my passion in IT, the desire to study programming was there and I didn’t know where to start or when… until my best friend introduced me to HTML and CSS and recommended to start with freeCodeCamp.

How I started!

Imagine a guy who has no clue what front-end means, taking every step with fear and using the internet just as a source of shopping online and watch Netflix.
That’s my story before knowing anything about web development. As my friend recommended me, I started with “knowing what the Internet is and how it works.” I planned a schedule, I have set a goal and found a strategy that best suited to me and my circumstance.

    “Being afraid of the unknown is normal!”

After three months, while I was studying, a friend of mine that has a brewery asked me to review the companies website. I had very little to nothing knowledge about WordPress, but YAY Youtube, 🙂 so… I optimized it, styled it a bit and start an Ad Campaign on Facebook. For the first two weeks it was a total blast…. but only online. We had no organic answer. We were “waiting” for the clients to call and make reservations for the outdoor restaurant. Then we switched to Instagram. And we nailed it. I won’t share numbers as this story is not about numbers.

That, combined with the fact that I was “into” HTML and CSS learning had me going for more. It placed a hunger to “know all, do all” which was an error as perhaps all newbies done it… and I got closed to burnt out. I also experienced the down size of the all excitement where all the “wow” moment was gone. I can assure you that when you are there, and perhaps see no advance and it seems so far to accomplish the goal, you tend to compare yourself with those that already succeed. This is not about success, this is about your own journey. What motivated me in those moments were the people within developer communities on Social Media and my best friend which eventually became my guide as he likes to call himself. Within the community I am following on Twitter: Florin PopCatalin Pit and Adrian Oprea as I identified myself with as a person and content. Do I recommend for people that are new into web development taking part into communities like such? Definitely! As well as having like minded connections on social media.

But please do not compare yourself with anyone. Ask for help after you have tried your own solutions, yes, solutions: that is plural. If you are a self-taught developer like I am, that is the way to learn: bumping in problems that needs to be solved. Use Google, use cmd-z (or ctrl-z) to see what the code is doing, do not be afraid of breaking the code, be smart: before touching it make a copy. Use more than just one text editor like Brackets.

How I got hired and why I am confident.

I like the good stories specially those that they have happy end. Your story is far away from end if you just started in this field.
I tried several times by applying as a junior developer to well knowing companies with no luck.
I was continuously applying to different companies, to maintain myself motivated by searching Upwork small jobs. While I was taking care of my friends WordPress website, I was in the way happy with that, but it wasn’t what I was dreaming. I was close to desperation not having a job yet. The time was flying and I felt very encouraged when someone I knew proposed to me to build his construction website. I took the job as a freelancer, and it was a total success.

I had only six months after starting with web development and I had my first website completed from scratch in WordPress, using Divi – Theme Builder. As for some, this builder is not much, it’s okay. Personally I am after the fruit, I look at the results, and I see no reason for me to work on something that someone else already worked before me and it’s already done. Not having any clue on html and CSS I won’t recommend you to start changing the style or adding stuff on your pre-build theme. When it was finally finished, the client asked me to continue to work for his company as their web developer. It is a small to medium construction company, that they placed their trust in ME! A newbie at that time. That gave me wings! I continued my studies with freeCodeCamp and went deeper into web development, meaning started with the long frighten JavaScript. I admit, I was afraid of it. I couldn’t grasp on it, so, I start to build stuff, small stuff, small codes simple ones. I can’t say I dominate JavaScript as it is a whole world, and a new one for me still. But I learn to build small function from zero.

I could tell you that I will continue to succeed, but I won’t do that. What I will do instead is to tell you that I am confident in the fact that going deeper with learning and studying it will bring the success.

I will conclude this personal story with something that King David of Israel did: Pursue, Overtake and Recover.

Pursue your dream!

Overtake your fear!

Recover from effort!

you can find me on Twitter here