I thought I was going to be babysitting on my lunch break (one of the perks of working from my parent’s house this week) but turns out my expert auntie services weren’t needed.  So, I decided to do a quick Q and A on Instagram Live.

Q1:

So I got my certificate in web dev and I’m studying CS, but I am trying to find a creative role in tech that fits me. I haven’t applied to anything yet but everything I look at seems to want you to have lots of experience (I’m a newbie) and it seems like I have to be in an office. I don’t want boredom to run me away from my interest. Can you give me a few pointers/advice? I’m a tech girl but more than anything a creative.

My main point of advice here was to think about the companies you’re applying to, and who their customers are.  You’ve got a CS degree, so you’re already ahead of the game (I dropped out of college twice!)

If you’re a creative person, seek out companies who have a creative client base; chances are you’ll work with creative people.

Working at Big Cartel forced me to be creative in a way I didn’t expect (they have an Art grant) and allowed me to socialize with creative folks on a daily basis.  I loved it.  The last episode I did was with Rachel Hands, who manages a remote team at Patron manager.  She mentioned during our interview that they are hiring and that they prefer to hire creative folks.  So listen to the episode and send her an email!

Q2:

How can someone not in the field get started? I’m switching careers.

If you are used to working in an office setting, attending meetings, communicating in the work place, guess what? You’re in a better spot than when I started off. My job before I got into tech was “bartender”.  Before that, it was “bottle service girl”.  You got this.

My main advice here is to write code and find communities to join.  If you don’t have a GitHub account yet, open one.  Find some smaller projects that people have worked on.  Download their code bases and poke around at it a bit.  Make your own stuff too.

Q3:

At what point did you decide that remote work was for you? How was that transition – professionally, financially, and socially? It’s a struggle I’m going back and forth with in my head. Thank you!

Pretty much right away.  I started off as a software apprentice, and I was going downtown for an hour both ways each day.  I had a mentor who was working on site at a clients office, which was closer to my house.  I wanted to work from home and meet at a coffee shop, but the company I was working for didn’t have a work from home policy at that time.

So, I started looking into working from home and discovered the whole digital nomad scene, and I knew I wanted to go in that direction.

Unfortunately, if you are junior or mid level in tech, the best way to get a job is to quit your job.  You can typically expect at least a 10k jump, depending on how the market is, or if you were underpaid, over paid, etc.

So financially, it was great, not because I was necessarily working remotely, but because I did the “junior shift” a couple of times.

Socially, it’s great.  Working from home removes you from office politics.  It also means that I can do things like hang out with my niece and nephew on my lunch break, or meet up with friends who happen to be in Barcelona because I’m in Barcelona too.

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