I can’t believe it’s been almost two months since I published my last post about changing careers.
You might be wondering what’s happened since.
In this post, I’ll give you a quick update about my jobs, my new adventure, and our lives in general.
1. My current job
In December 2018, I got a word from the management that they were considering restructuring the organization, and that I might lose my job in 3-6 months. That gave me somewhat of an assurance that I might be able to hold on to my job until June 2019.
One thing you might not know about my situation is that I am currently on the H1B visa. It basically means that I am tied to my current employer, and that it’s is difficult to find a new employer that will sponsor me.
After unsuccessfully attempting to get a new position at the organization, I decided to learn a new skill – programming – and more importantly be more proactive at my current job.
Over the past two months, I have been trying to get involved in more projects in other departments (with my boss’s approval) while doing a good job in my current group.
It takes time to change careers. And while I’m preparing for that big leap, I need an income to support myself and my family. And I need to hold on to the job I have now my and give it my best. I don’t want my employer to have another reason to let me go early.
Early this past April, I had a performance review and ended up getting both a raise and a bonus. Although it’s reassuring to know that at least my boss thought I had done a good job, I am still trying to talk to my colleagues from another department to transfer if the management decides to terminate my position altogether.
My boss told me that they had budgeted for my position until the end of 2019, so I do hope that I will be able to keep this job until then.
Over the past three months, I have been learning how to program every day. I try to code for 1-2 hours on weekdays after the hubby and kids have gone to bed. On weekends, I try to squeeze in at least 10 hours of studying.
Mr. FAF has been super supportive of me trying to become a developer. He suggested that he take the kids out for the whole day on Saturday so that I can have some quiet time to study at home.
At first I objected to the idea since I didn’t want our kids, especially our baby, out and about the whole day. However, Mr. FAF was adamant about wanting me to stay focused, so I gave in. I have to say that I get more done without having to worry about nursing, changing diapers or comforting a baby.
This schedule allows me to allocate about 15-25 hours of coding a week. That schedule, however, hasn’t been easy. After a day of work and a night of waking up multiple times to nurse and calm a crying baby, I just want to go to bed at 9 or 10 PM. There were times when I was so tired I could barely stay awake.
But then I knew that if I took one day off, that one day might turn into two days, then a week, then a month, and probably eternity. No matter how tired I am, I force myself to code for at least an hour before I go to bed. The next day I always feel tired but happy knowing that I’m not behind on my own schedule.
LeetCode is a beast! My usual state of mind when I work on LeetCode problems is either stuck or blank. But I enjoy struggling with those problems. And luckily, Mr. FAF is eager to walk me through them (when he has time).
I am currently working through the Web Development path on Codecademy. I originally wanted to focus solely on Python. But after browsing through various job postings, I realized I needed to know more about programming than just Python.
Plus, I wanted to learn coding skills that I can use to build products to show potential employers, especially since I have no Computer Science degree to show them.
I have also gone to a tech conference for women and got a ton of great advice from female developers. I just can’t wait to be one of them!
While I have enjoyed learning how to program, there have been moments where I seriously doubted my decision. This whole process has truly been a roller-coaster for me.
Sometimes I feel totally elated and hopeful about a new career. Most of the time, however, I just feel like I’m just not good enough even to learn coding.
Who am I to think that I can join the developer club one day when there are 20-year-old recent grads out there who know far more and are much smarter than me?
Am I wasting my time learning all this stuff? Should I just focus on my current career and being a mom rather than dreaming about something so far-fetched as building web applications?
And along comes all the regret of not starting programming sooner or not even attempting to take a Computer Science course in college. Sometimes I just feel like I am my worst enemy and critic.
When things get tough, Mr. FAF always assures me that if I keep trying, I will get somewhere, and that if I don’t learn now, other people will and will get the job that I yearn for.
And I keep trying.
3. My father-in-law (FIL) left for China
My FIL left for China in late March, so it’s been just Mr. FAF and me taking care of ourselves and the kids. We are busier than before and also more tired every day.
Mr. FAF is now in charge in doing groceries and cooking while I’m in charge of taking care of our kids at night and during the day (i.e. giving them baths, feeding them, laundry). I take the kids to daycare in the morning, and Mr. FAF picks them up in the afternoon.
We have definitely used the dishwasher every day ever since my FIL left. It saves me and Mr. FAF hours every week! We try to share the parenting and housework responsibilities to make things work.
As I haven’t published anything in two months, you might be wondering what is going to happen to my blog now that I have a new passion (programming). Some of you left comments encouraging me not to give up on blogging.
The good news is I won’t. I will keep blogging. I have thoughts and ideas I want to share with you. My blog is my outlet. I just won’t be able to publish as often.
Every minute or hour I spend blogging is every minute or hour I don’t spend coding. And since I might get laid off in the near future, it is truly more urgent for me to acquire a new skill in order to get a new job. But just know that my blog will be up and running no matter what.
That’s a recap of what I have been up to these past two months. Things haven’t been smooth, but we all have different challenges. And best thing I can do is to keep trying and hope for the best. 🙂