The best career decision I ever made
Just four years ago, I was where you are.
After watching the media industry implode in late 2008, I left a job at an online magazine for the hope of greater job security at a digital agency. Only 7 weeks after starting my job, I was called into a conference room by the CEO and laid off, along with almost a dozen of my colleagues.
As I sat, listening to the CEO explain the situation, I looked around the room and noticed something: of about a dozen employees being let go, only 1 of them was a developer. Everyone else was a strategist or a project manager (like myself).
One thing was clear: in that economic climate, if you didn’t have hard technical skills, you were expendable.
So there I was. Laid off, with no real skills to speak of, left staring at a $300 weekly unemployment check and the worst job climate in our nation’s history.
As you might have guessed, I found my way out.
Since that time I have:
- Started two companies
- Employed 8 people
- Won an award that got me invited to dinner with New York City Mayor, Mike Bloomberg.
- Built websites for companies such as MTV, ProPublica, and The New York Times
- Been named by the Columbia Journalism Review one of 20 women to watch in Media, and by Business Insider one of the 30 most important women in tech
- AND even been to the White House!
So what did I do in order to go from laid off to where I am today?
I started with one teeny tiny small step: I learned to code.
It wasn’t easy. Or fast. I didn’t do it in two weeks, or even two years. In fact, four years later, I continue to learn new things every single day.
But that decision, the decision to gain a clear, marketable, technical skill changed everything.
Suddenly, I could execute. If I had an idea, I could make it happen.
Even though my technical skills were few and humble, I found that every technical skill I gained opened up ten new opportunities. And the more I learned, the bigger and better those opportunities became.
If my story has inspired you, then you owe it to yourself to get started carving out your own. I’d love to work with you and add your own story to the growing community of Skillcrushers who’ve made their career dreams a reality.
It’s up to you to decide if a Skillcrush Blueprint is right for you, but I can promise you that it will give you a firm foundation on which to get started. And when you don’t know something, getting started is the most important step.