Considering changing jobs? Or even careers? As daunting as it can seem to put together the perfect resume, complete dozens of applications, and potentially learn new skills, finding a company and position that bring you greater happiness and satisfaction totally make it worth the effort. For me, recently becoming a tech consultant at Bulb Digital has been everything I’d hoped and more.
Almost one year ago I made the crazy decision to quit my job and profession as a high school music teacher to explore a different career. I had taught for the past 7 years and just never felt very satisfied with my work. While there were parts of the job I enjoyed (like inspiring students to love music), there were an equal number of things I couldn’t stand (like very difficult parents). I couldn’t bear the thought of spending the rest of my life so unhappy, so I decided it was time for a change.
When considering what profession and type of job to work in, it’s important to get really clear on your strengths and interests. Not in the generic kind of way like what everyone puts on their resumes (hard-working, trustworthy, etc.), but in a way that’s very specific to you. One of my favorite ways to flush these qualities out is to think of times in your life when time just flies by. It could be a hobby, or it could be related to certain people. Just try to isolate what skills are central to the activity and look for commonalities across these things.
For myself, time flies by when I’m researching something (like a new car), planning/executing a project (like a house repair), creating something (like a song), or learning something (like a new hobby). Thus, my perfect job would involve researching, planning, creating, and learning. When I thought about careers that used these skills, the one that excited me most and seemed easiest to transition into was software development.
Because I enjoy autonomy and learning at my own pace, I decided to forgo returning to college or attending a bootcamp and instead found free or cheap resources to teach myself coding. After putting in 40-hour weeks of study for 6 months (and loving almost every minute of it), I was finally to the point where I could code my own website, making me think I was ready to apply for jobs. Within a few weeks I interviewed at Bulb Digital and was hired on as a business apps consultant.
For me, working at Bulb is amazing for two key reasons - I love being a tech consultant, and I love the culture and group of people that specifically work here.
As a consultant, I work on a wide variety of projects with multiple clients across several different technologies. This kind of variety is very important to me, as tasks where I do the same thing over and over drive me nuts. Because of how many different things I’m working on, learning new things quickly is very important in this role. So far, I’ve been trying to stay just one step ahead of the client, sometimes even telling them I didn’t have an answer for them yet and then racing to Google to find out. My experienced colleagues tell me this constant need to continue learning never stops and is one of the hallmarks of being a good consultant.
Another component of consultancy I really enjoy is how autonomous it is. As I’m given tasks or projects to complete, I’m not really told exactly how I need to do it - it’s up to me to figure it out and make it work. In this regard work feels very much like constantly completing puzzles - it takes lots of problem solving & experimenting to succeed at something. Having said that, another amazing thing about working with others is that when you really get stuck, help is always a quick Slack message away. This gives me the perfect balance of feeling like I can venture on my own while still having a safety net if needed.
Lastly, I specifically really like the people I work with at Bulb. For starters, everyone is really smart and knowledgeable with the tools we use, making collaboration and question-asking a very enjoyable experience (especially for newbies). They are also exceptionally kind and generous with their time. One phrase you hear over and over in meetings is “Reach out if you need anything”, which makes everyone seem open and accessible. They also work hard to form a culture where everyone is friendly and personable, leading to frequent meals eaten together and regular social events during office hours. All in all, I couldn’t ask for better colleagues to work with.
If you’re in the job market or thinking about it, I strongly suspect there is a job out there for you that’s well suited to your skills and interests if only you have the patience and courage to find it. For me, working at Bulb Digital is definitely that job. If my description of life as a consultant here feels like a great match for your skills and personality, we’d love to hear from you! We’re always looking for new people to join our team. Best of wishes in your job search.