Considered pursuing a career as a Computer Programmer? This interview takes you through the ups and downs you can expect, what it takes to land the job, what you can expect to earn and more.This is a true career story as told to DiversityJobs and is one of many interviews with computer technicians and graphic designers. When I was in high school, I did not give much thought to what I would study when I went to college. I always anticipated getting married right out of school and living life as a stay at home wife and mother. However, life does not always work out how you expect that it will, and by the time I was 20, I was divorced with a one year old daughter in my care. While working part-time jobs that I did not enjoy, such as working as a waitress and as well as a telephone operator, I decided that I needed to get a college education to provide the life I wanted for myself and my daughter. It was only then that I put serious thought into what I wanted to study in college. I started college about two years behind my age group, but the time between high school and college that I spent working those jobs made me a very serious student when I finally started my first semester in higher education. I decided that I would major in psychology and minor in English before I even enrolled in school. I maintained my choices of my major and my minor throughout college. However, I did consider other major options, such as a major in architecture and a major in biology. Before enrolling in college, I invested in a career and aptitude testing session and found that my forte was really in the Liberal Arts. With my aptitude test results in mind, I selected psychology as my major and English as my minor. Because I did not develop strong math and science skills in high school, my career options were a bit limited when I entered college. Had I focused more on my studies during high school and applied myself in math and science courses, I would have been much more well-rounded and may have selected a more technical or math-based major. Before graduation, I did search for a job. However, I discovered early on that I was not qualified for any job straight out of college with a degree in psychology. I started turning my focus to attending graduate school. During my senior year in college, I spent most of my time applying to graduate programs and studying for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). I was sure that graduate school was what I wanted. However, I was not immediately accepted into a graduate program and had to wait a year to enter the program due to less than optimal GRE scores. The day I took the GRE, I was completely exhausted and well over my limits. I knew that I had not performed my best during the test, and my scores reflected this fact. If I had it to do over again, I would have gotten plenty of sleep the night before the GRE instead of trying to cram for the test. I may have started studying for the exam months earlier, and I might have considered a contingency plan in case I did not get into the program. During this time off from school, I worked as a bartender in Chicago in an English pub just off Michigan Avenue. I was not a big fan of the job and the work was hard, but I kept my eyes on the prize, saved money, and prepared to enter the graduate program when I was able. Eventually, I ended up learning to program for the Web while in graduate school. This skill took my career in an entirely different direction. I discovered that I have a natural aptitude for computer programming and once I learned programming for Web applications, I found it very easy to learn other languages, such as Java and C. Had I known in high school that I had a natural talent for programming, my choices for a major in college may have been different. When I became adept at programming, I began to seek out jobs in the field. Though I did not know as much as I thought I did, and others were far beyond me with their programming skills, I was able to land a job as a web developer. Money was good, even on the first job. Life for me and my daughter began to get a little easier. By then, she was in elementary school and we were able to start having nice things. If I knew then what I know now, I would have directed more of my energies toward learning computer programming in college. My programming knowledge lacked structure and I could tell that there were deficiencies as the result of my self-taught methods. However, though I didn’t follow my original career path, I really enjoyed my graduate school experience. I would not change the fact that I was able to obtain a graduate degree. However, I do not work in my field of study. I originally wanted to be a professor at a major university, but ended up being a computer programmer instead. Many people have a direction in mind for their lives while they are in college. Oftentimes, however, their lives take a very different direction than the one they have planned. You sometimes discover your true talents and skills in obscure ways, and when you do, follow your heart. Many people work in careers that are entirely different than their field of study when in college or grad school. Life tends to work out, one way or another. Transition computer programmer image from Bigstock
8 Ways You're Being SHUT OUT Of The Hiring Process
1-hour workshop to help job seekers figure out what's getting them tossed from the hiring process
September 28, 2022
Are you terrified of screwing up a job interview? Does the thought of writing a cover letter horrify you? Are you scared to network with others? What do you even say, anyway? If you're struggling to overcome your job search fears, this live event is for you.
We get it. Looking for work can be scary, especially if you’ve been at it for a long time and haven’t gotten any results.
Understanding which fears are getting in the way and how to overcome them will make all the difference. Sometimes you might not be aware of which obstacle is getting in the way of your goals. If you want to overcome these fears once and for all, we invite you to join us!
In this training, you’ll learn how to:
- Utilize strategies for coping with your job search fears
- Be confident in your job search—from writing your resume to networking
- Face your fears and move forward
Join our CEO, J.T. O'Donnell, and Director of Training Development & Coaching, Christina Burgio, for this live event on Wednesday, October 5th at 12 pm ET.
CAN'T ATTEND LIVE? That's okay. You'll have access to the recording and the workbook after the session!
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If you feel like many of the job postings you come across in your job search are scams, you're not alone. You are not the first job seeker to tell me they feel this way. But we have to think about where this comes from.
The Job Application Process Is A Broken System
@j.t.odonnell Replying to @nana_5075 Why job listings feel like a scam... #jobs#careers#careertok#jobtok♬ original sound - J.T. O'Donnell
Back in the day, a company would post a job in the want ad section of a newspaper, so you'd have to open up a newspaper, read through it, write up a resume and cover letter, and snail mail your application off to them. When the idea came to post jobs online, it meant more people who were the right fit could apply. But over time, that's broken down.
Now thousands of people will apply for one job when it gets posted. And many of those job applicants are not a fit. So employers now have to hire recruiters, who are also called sourcers, to go through thousands of applicants so they can whittle it down to about 50 qualified applicants. What's the rhyme or reason they're using to select some applicants and screen others out?
This is why you don't get called—because it's just so random.
After employers get down to 50 applicants, they look through those, find a few they like, and call them. That's why only 3% of people who apply online ever hear back from companies.
It's a completely broken system, so I can see why it feels like a scam. The whole thing is flawed.
So, how do we improve this system? It starts with making better matches, getting back to a place where only the right people are applying to the employer. We actually want fewer applicants, but more of the right applicants. That's the solution. And there are hundreds of millions of dollars in this industry trying to figure it out. But the one thing we have seen is that storytelling is one of the ways to do that.
You're going to see a rise in companies telling their stories. And there's a fancy term for this in our industry. It's called employer branding. Companies will tell their stories on social media platforms like TikTok so that those stories fatefully, naturally, and organically show up in your feed. But it's not fate, right? It's the algorithm at work—and before you know it, you'll start to see companies that feel like a fit. Then you'll go over and check them out. You'll see that there's a job posted that you're fit for. And this is how this matching process will start to fine-tune itself.
Right now, yes, you're right. Those online job postings don't work. They don't work for either side. We need a better system. And storytelling is the key. So go learn how to conduct a proactive job search today so you can finally land a job and work for an employer you actually like!
Need more help with your job search?
I'd love it if you signed up for Work It Daily's Event Subscription! I look forward to answering all of your career questions in our next live event!
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