Please Support - Ride for the child

This is the first post I’ve posted that resembles a rant! After much deliberated I decided to post it! I don’t want to end up moaning all the time like Dan Davies. He loves a good rant that lad. Anyway here it is…

Whilst I was talking to someone last week I mentioned the fact that I really loved my job/career. This person was taken aback and was a little shocked to hear that I loved getting up for work each day.

I can’t understand why anyone would get up everyday going to a job they dislike. What’s the point in that? That statement might sound quite naïve as people have bills to pay or maybe a family to support. They might say it’s impossible for them to change job, which may be true I guess depending on their circumstance.  However for those of you who have no responsibilities and most especially those who are young and free, you have no excuse.

I feel like I’m qualified to make those statements as I’ve been in jobs that I strongly disliked and managed to find an alternate career that I enjoy.  It certainly wasn’t an easy route to take as I had barely any qualifications to my name. I went back to 6th form (college) and then onto university and it took 6 years in total. Throughout the whole of this process I was still working 20/30 hours a week to pay the bills(although I did have some help from my parents). But it’s certainly worth it now, as I’m much happier, far more mentally stimulated and more importantly, I’m richer. I’m not trying to boast or belittle anyone with this post. It just seemed like common sense to pick what I wanted to do and then fulfill that ambition.

And before anyone utters the words “it’s too late for me to do that“. I graduated from university at 26 years of age and there were plenty of people at university older then me.

Here’s a few facts about how I decided to become a web designer.

Was I lucky?

It’s often crossed my mind that I was very lucky in the subject I chose. When I started my course I knew nothing about the Internet or any of the languages that are used to command it.

Admittedly, university was – at times – total torture. Tasks were sometimes incredibly difficult and I was often overwhelmed with information and little or no hope of digesting everything. The stress is another killer. Deadlines and hand-ins will determine the rest of your life and the build up towards them is unpleasant. Thankfully as you progress you learn more meaning lectures become easier, you also become more experienced and accustomed to university and things like stress suddenly becomes more manageable. It’s all part of the learning process.

The first year was a bit of a struggle but once I started to get to grips with things the whole “web designer” philosophy had taken a massive hold of me. I loved so many things about being a ‘web person’.  Here are a few examples

  • I like to have to think ahead and use my brain to understand how I’m going to design or build something.
  • I like the fact it’s difficult. You regularly encounter problems and it’s essential that you overcome them.
  • I like the fact that by using some brain power I can make something that functions and looks great.
  • I thought it was pretty ‘cool’ to code; it looks incredibly difficult to someone who doesn’t have a clue so you look like some kind of wizard.
  • I loved the fact I carry my MacBook around and it has everything I need, I can work anywhere with that computer, I don’t need anything else and that little thing is my office.
  • I like the web community and the fact people are so open, helpful and (generally) friendly.
  • I like the fact that you can’t just be a web designer like you can be other jobs. If you can’t code then you can’t do it. Full stop.

Of course it’s not just the job that you do it’s also your place of work and the projects you’re working on. But the original rules apply. If you’re not happy then find one you do like and get cracking!

I guess everything comes down to your skill level and how much you want it, your skill level always improves with practice though. I’m not the most intelligent person but I’ve really applied myself and improved to a level, which has enabled me to find a nice job and – hopefully – pursue a fruitful career.

However I’m keen to point out that it’s an on-going process and I realise that if I don’t continue to apply myself and improve then I could easily find myself in a position where I’m not happy again. The web is relentless and very fast paced, meaning never ending new technologies and design techniques to master. You really have to keep up with the industry to stay at the top of the game.

I often think I was lucky with my subject choice. I have seen so many people at university pick a subject and then hate it halfway through. I just hope these people researched their course – and potential careers – thoroughly before embarking. Surely someone wouldn’t just pick a course, spend 30k and hope for the best… Would they?

I can really related to people who say they don’t know what they want to do. I’m incredibly indecisive and even the smallest decisions can cause me lots of distress. Generally I just choose the path that feels best at the time, and yes it has ended in disaster many times.

When I was looking at university courses I wrote down things which I liked best (computers, people, sport etc) and then studied university module handbooks and job listings and compared my list to their requirements. I ended up with three job descriptions:-

  • Youth/social worker of some sort
  • Audiologist (I’m deaf so I was interested in how the ear functions)
  • Computer person of some sort.

When I started on this journey I knew that I had take my A-levels prior to university and providing I passed all those I would still be able to register for any course at university, so I didn’t rush this decision. My “Health and social care” course at college made me realise that the social work wasn’t for me. A bit of investigating made me think that I might not be intelligent enough to be an audiologist (although I think now that I’m a little older and wiser I could do it) and I found their day-to-day job pretty monotone and boring. I researched what a Web Designer does and it all sounded very appealing. The computer option was the obvious choice, so that’s what I set out to do.

Don’t fall into a trap

It’s easy to just carry on doing something that you don’t really want to do. It’s far, far easier to put up with something rather than make a drastic change.

It makes me sad that people can go to work everyday for a long period of time and hate it.

Prior to university I worked in a factory and after a week it became increasingly apparent that life in that building was awful. I don’t think I met one single person who wasn’t constantly clock watching to get out of there. The workers were like slaves and the actual job was mind-numbingly repetitive and boring. Some of the lads had worked there over 20-30 years, something that was heart-breaking to even think about. I often wondered if they knew that there was a world outside of that factory.

It’s not about me

Although it bangs on about me, this post is just about the path that I took. It wasn’t massively difficult and it most certainly wasn’t rocket science. It did require some hard work and dedication but nothing in life is free and easy. Right?

So this post might be about you. Maybe you’re in a shit job, or you hate going to work everyday doing the same old repetitive tasks, whatever it is I hope this post might make you realise that you can change it all.