From Paralegal to Programmer: How Nina Made the Leap
Sometimes we all can get too comfortable. Know what I mean?
Last year, Nina was living a comfortable life. She couldn’t complain. She had a decent job and a great apartment in a hip neighborhood. But something was missing. Nina craved growth. She missed the challenge of new and interesting experiences that would further her career and stimulate her mind.
Fast forward one year later Nina made a bold career leap and found the new environment – and growth opportunity – she was looking for.
I got a chance to catch up with Nina, hear all about her new endeavors, and how she made the jump:
E: Hey Nina! Sounds like you’ve had quite the year – tell me more!
N: Yes! It’s been a big year for me in many aspects of my life, but especially my journey to becoming a programmer. I learned a ton and had to continuously adapt on the fly. I went through extensive training to learn how to code and soon after transitioned from a career in the legal field to a tech startup. My life is nearly unrecognizable compared to what it was last year, and the challenges I faced along the way helped me become a stronger and more solid individual.
E: That’s amazing, boss! The career transition from law to programming is quite the leap. What ignited the spark?
N: I was in what I call a “velvet rut.” My life was comfortable. I had a wonderful job, an awesome apartment…I even loved my neighborhood, but something was missing. I was missing a challenge! Opportunities to continue to develop my potential were just not there.
My comfort was stunting my long-term improvement. It started to dawn on me that I realized at Bootcamp that in order to continue to develop, I would have to step outside of my comfort zone.
So I decided that I had enough of the legal field and wanted to pursue a career in tech.
E: Badass. How did you get started?
N: I faced it head-on and jumped right into it. I started by learning code through online classes and a part-time class at General Assembly. It was awesome to see things I built come to life. That definitely made me feel like a boss!
After about nine months of training, I brushed up my resume and started applying to jobs. I was met with a lot of setbacks, but I knew that meant I just had to keep changing up my approach and try again. I finally came across a job that was a mix of tech and account management at a startup. I put my best foot forward and landed it!
E: That’s what I’m talking about, boss! How did that feel?
N: Amazing! I’m not gonna lie, early on I questioned whether I could make the leap at all. I used to wonder, Am I crazy for leaving a secure job for one with no guarantees? But I realized that I would rather try and fail, than feel stuck where there was no opportunity for growth at all.
E: Love! You remind me of a quote we pulled for #MotivationMonday from poet Nikki Giovanni, “I really don’t think life is about the I-could-have-beens. Life is only about the I-tried-to-do. I don’t mind the failure but I can’t imagine that I’d forgive myself if I didn’t try.” So how are things going now?
N: Well, it’s been three months in my new position and I couldn’t be more pleased. I never thought I could be a person who is happy to go to work everyday, but I am. And none of this would have happened if I didn’t have the courage and audacity to move forward despite the risk.
E: Tell me Nina, What, if any, impact do you feel Bossed Up Bootcamp has had on your journey?
At first, changing my career path seemed like a mountainous task that I could never conquer. Bootcamp taught me how to break big goals down and start with step one. Now, whenever a new goal comes into sight, I don’t see the mountain, I see the footpath at its base.
My experience at Bootcamp serves as a constant reminder to be confident and to pursue my goals with patience, perseverance, and determination.
E: What advice do you have for your boss sisters and future bosses-to-be reading this? How can they learn from your experiences?
N: Change is never easy, and can be pretty scary. But if you don’t change, you can’t grow. Period. It’s better to embrace the challenges that a new opportunity may bring, than shy away from the prospect of something new.
You don’t have to be fearless to be a boss, you just have to keep moving despite the fear.