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.

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