Welcome to Skillcrush Stories: exclusive reflections and tips for pursuing a tech career from rockstar Skillcrush alumni. You might remember Rachel Moldovan from her recent takeover of the Skillcrush Instagram account. Rachel is a freelance WordPress designer, developer, and copywriter, and the woman behind the TechGirlGo Instagram account.
My career journey started out in a very different place from where I am now: teaching French. I taught for two years, and during that time I started learning to code. Coding appealed to me as a sort of meditation when the stresses of teaching got to be too much. It was vastly different from my day job and it required a lot of focus.
RACHEL TAKING OVER THE SKILLCRUSH INSTAGRAM
I found Skillcrush through a Facebook ad, and when I visited the site, I knew immediately it was the one for me. Skillcrush seemed to get it: what motivates people to change careers or to want to freelance on the side while working full time. I took the Web Designer Blueprint early on, and could have landed a new job as a designer with just those skills, but instead I kept learning and took two more Blueprints!
After a couple of years of teaching, I worked up the confidence to make a career switch. I got a job at an agency in Atlanta as a designer and I learned a lot about WordPress there, but six months in we lost one of our biggest clients and I got laid off. I was both torn and relieved about receiving the news. I wanted to go off and start my own freelance business, but I still needed a job. That day I went and got my eyebrows done, and my aesthetician actually said that she needed a website! Just like that, I got my first client.
Coding appealed to me as a sort of meditation when the stresses of teaching got to be too much. It was vastly different from my day job and it required a lot of focus.
Throughout my tech journey, I’ve had a couple people tell me that I couldn’t make it as a freelancer: my stuff wasn’t good enough, I didn’t know enough… and I listened to them way too long. I haven’t started making more money than I did before freelancing YET, but I am finally in charge of myself and my own money, and I can work with clients that I choose and organizations who have missions that resonate with me. What I am seeing is that the more clients I get the more momentum I build, and I am on track to match my yearly salary within the next year. Plus, I can work from virtually anywhere, and I have the confidence to know that I can grow my business. The biggest lesson I’ve learned so far has been time management. When you start working freelance, the temptation is to work all the time. But the whole point of freelance is to work less! It takes some conscious effort, but I make sure I do.
Freeing up my schedule has also allowed me time to do things I enjoy, like teaching yoga to kids. And if yoga has taught me anything, it’s to love yourself and love where you are in your journey. I hope you enjoy your journey as much as I have!