Part of the challenge in doing this blog is to figure out that sweet spot where the stuff I want to write about overlaps with the stuff you want to read about. Of course I could ask you, but with the magic of WordPress statistics I can see behind the scenes what you guys like to read and what you don’t.
For example, people don’t really click on the links in my weekly Friday Fess-up. That’s fair enough! Originally I had thought it would capture some of the careers stuff I’ve been reading about as I go through my transition but actually I’m trying to wean myself off too much self-help nonsense anyway!
Formatting the images for all those links ended up taking a fair chunk of time so I’ve decided to dispense with that section (you could say I’m iterating my product!). If you want to see what I’ve been reading for any reason you can just take a look at my twitter feed, which is also handily in the sidebar — I only tweet things that I would actually recommend another person spend their time reading.
I can also see that people don’t really click on the weekly infographic, but I like making them so I’ll keep doing them for now. Meanwhile, I’ve reformatted it so it should appear bigger on your screen and you should be able to read it without clicking.
As a result of this weekly fess-up, Friday’s have become a real point of reflection for me, which I think is both healthy and a bit uncomfortable. It’s been over 6 months since I left my job and I’ll admit — I kind of thought I’d have it figured out by now. But I haven’t. It shouldn’t be that surprising; not only am I changing careers, which would be hard enough in and of itself, but I’m also trying to work out what career to change to.
To do this I’ve been doing a lot of talking to a lot of people. I’ve been discovering whole new communities, like the fantastic Ada’s List — a group of exceptional women in tech, design, digital, STEM, and startups, who share emails alerting each other to opportunities, articles, events and generally bigging-up each other’s awesome achievements.
They also have in-person meetups, which is how I met a whole bunch of people who work in Service Design, UX Design, and various other jobs that I had never heard of before. I even met a lovely lady whose offices I went to look at yesterday as possible temporary space for me to work. I can’t get too excited because it might not happen but still!
I’ve also been working on various skills that I always liked using but maybe didn’t have the time to really stretch. Writing, of course, but also techy stuff like programming and designy stuff like infographics and making my blog pretty.
I still have no idea where all this will take me, but I have a vague plan forming to help me find out. Having this time to catch my breath has been great for getting some distance from the ways I used to work, but it’s also quite difficult to get things straight in your head and come up with ideas of where to go next in the abstract.
I’m not exactly lolling about all day, but it’s true you can think as hard as you like about these things and not get a jot further when you’re not out there getting new experiences for your ideas to feed off. So that’s the plan I’m forming, how to move from observer to participant and get out there in the real world again.
It’s still baby-steps and I’m trying to take it one day at a time (which is killing me because I’m naturally so unbelievably impatient). But I want to do this thing right and not rush it. I’ll get there. Eventually.
This week I have been mostly… having a fantastic time walking and exploring in South Devon, learning how to build a website, writing a bunch of blog posts which I promise to publish soon, and going to Grand Designs Live :)
I decided it was about time I had my own website, somewhere I can link to the various things I’m working on — almost like a digital CV, but one that’s much more relevant to what I want to do in the future than my actual CV! I couldn’t find any templates that I liked the look of, so I decided to have a go at building my own.
I found a great online course aimed at complete beginners offered by Skillcrush. I wrote to the ladies who run it and asked if I could take the course for free and write about my experience on Workerbee Free, and amazingly they said yes! Read about how I got on with making my first website (and see the very rudimentary results!).
On Wednesday I also went to my first Codebar session. Codebar is an initiative aiming to bridge the diversity gap in tech and encourage underrepresented groups (i.e. women, LGBT, minorities) to get into tech. They run a coding club every week where you can learn how to program and talk to professionals about how to get a job in tech.
This is a photo from the Codebar session I attended but somehow I managed to make myself invisible!
They have tutorials on their website in all the major programming languages which you can do at home or you can go into the club and work through them with a coach — one of the professional developers who volunteer their time to help newbies learn about coding.
It’s an amazing initiative and it’s completely free to attend. It’s also a non-intimidating environment to ask those questions that can’t be answered easily no matter how much googling you do, like what’s the difference between the different programming languages and why would you use one rather than another.
Another webby thing I’ve been working on is finally pulling together a website for my novel!!
People keep asking me about it and express interest in finding out when it’s finished but I haven’t had a way to gather that interest in one place. Until now! There’s a jazzy logo which I hashed together and a description of the book which is almost certainly bound to change as the book develops. I cheated and used a template to make the site — shhh, don’t tell anybody!
Please take a look at the site — I’d love to know what you think. And definitely do sign-up if you’re interested!