Perhaps the best thing that has happened during my current career transition is that it has been a time of much discovery. There is so much I’ve learned about, and I’ve come to know so many people, ultimately it will be time well-spent even though I would rather have been working all this time.
This was especially brought home earlier this week as I attended a career fair put on by MassTLC. They actually turned it into a little more, as staff from the Startup Institute, who hosted the event, led a series of sessions for our edification in between our conversations with representatives from the participating companies. The sessions were great, but it’s more than that. I learned about the Startup Institute and what they have going on, and have been connecting more with some of them since Monday night.
The obvious is that I have attended some technical seminars and professional events that were educational in nature. At the ReDev B0st0n Conference, for example, I gained a lot from several of the sessions. Before that, there was a Red Hat seminar on APIs, where among other things I got a sense of how Red Hat is really not a Linux company now, but rather, a highly diversified software company.
The less obvious is that I now know about organizations and companies I need to pay a lot more attention to going forward. All of them are sure to help me later and can surely help others.
MassTLC is, for my money, more influential than the IEEE in the thriving technology space in Massachusetts, although that might say as much about IEEE as MassTLC.
General Assembly is a training company I learned about from an event they hosted, and one I’ll be keeping tabs on for what they offer.
The Startup Institute is terrific, as I have connected with several people after the event they hosted and I really like what they have going on.
Launch Academy is another technical training company I have learned about, and I enjoyed learning Ruby from one of their events.
From there, I have also gained a lot of less obvious things. One great example is that at Launch Academy, I learned about repl.it, which is great to try out some code without having to get a whole development environment on your computer (I’m helped by having several code editing options already installed).
A career transition should be a time of at least a little bit of discovery. I knew I had to make sure that I wanted to seek a similar position to the one I most recently had. I had to make sure I still want to be in this industry. I have stayed through thick and thin, sometimes wanting out, sometimes staying just because it’s what I know, and sometimes realizing I enjoy this. Oftentimes, when I go to a technical event like a conference, I feel like I am very much in my element.
It’s fair to say that I know this is what I want. There have been too many positive things, too many conversations where I have felt like I am in a relative comfort zone, for me to think it isn’t. I’m not wanting this because I’ve come too far to turn back. I want this because there is something about it that pulls me in. There is much more to learn as well.
When I am employed once again, I will be in a great place. I will be advancing professionally, have a bigger network and more good resources, along with a great deal of positive energy from the activities during this transition.