I’ve had to change my plans twice recently and it was disorienting but for the best…
In my last blog post I mentioned that I had registered for web design classes here in Michigan. Well, I dropped them. I did it because I logged onto Indeed and Linkedin and discovered that there aren’t any jobs in this field. I was like WHAT?! Why did that career counselor do me dirty like that? …Probably because I have a weird background and she didn’t know what to do with me. At least I caught it before it was too late because I did my due-diligence.
There is a silver lining though. I discovered that there is another career-path that I’m sure about which is UX Design, or User Experience Design. Basically it’s a career in which you work on teams to design apps, websites and digital products to be useful, usable, and delightful for users. I have a girlfriend who transitioned into this career from a background in graphic design, but she had to go to grad school and I decided a while ago that grad school isn’t for me, so I hadn’t considered it as an option. Then I discovered that there is an easier and cheaper way to enter the field. It’s called a career path bootcamp. The bootcamp is offered online and costs very little compared to grad school. I knew this would be right for me so I dropped my web design classes and canceled my student loan.
Yay! Right? Now I’m not throwing my time and money away on pointless classes! …Well yeah, “Yay!” is right, but “Boo!” because it threw my whole life into chaos right before the holidays.
Without the school loan I couldn’t afford to freelance. However, since I no longer had to attend in-person classes I was free to get any job I wanted. That would have been nice to know like two months ago though, because I needed something right away because the money I saved to get me though mid-January was dwindling.
…Then I did the thing I swore I would never do. Allow me to explain:
In my computer documents is a folder entitled “Dental Resume, Break In Case Of Emergency”.
When I was a young woman new to Chicago a well meaning person referred me to work at the front desk of a dental office. That job was a fucking nightmare. I quit after a year. Then the same person invited me to work at another dental office. That office was worse. After a year I mutually disembarked from that practice. Then I started at another practice as a manager. That practice turned about to be run by psychopaths who were driving the practice into the ground and ripping the former practice owner off. There were sexual harassment lawsuits abounding (none filed by me) so I decided to GTFO as fast as I could. Then I got my first big girl career job. I worked as a surgical coordinator of a speciality practice and was highly paid and appreciated. The place was a fit for my personality. I went from girl to woman in that role but after four years I was ready to move on. I wanted to produce Girl Jesus. I wanted to get back to comedy so I retired from the industry and swore I would never get sucked in again like I had in the past.
It was Christmas Eve and I was panicking abut the changed school plans so what did I do? I logged onto Indeed and applied for the first dental job I saw and was working there in under a week. A week and a half later I did a cartwheel out of there for good. I couldn’t make it work. I’m just not that person anymore.
So that’s me. Chaos but good things are happening as a result. I’m starting my bootcamp soon and I have about a month to find a paid UX internship, or at least do literally anything other than work in a dental office. I. Will. Scrub. Toilets. With. My. Face. to avoid working in dental.
Another silver lining: My digital portfolio qualified got me into the better, cheaper, and faster bootcamp program. The admissions people were genuinely impressed. Their reaction boosted my confidence so yesterday I updated my Indeed resume and applied to remote and creative part time jobs using my digital portfolio landing page to show my work.
Through the chaos the work I’ve put into comedy and these websites is starting to pay off. People like my landing page. My instincts were on point. Everything’s gonna be ok, and hopefully within a year I will be back in a big girl career job in tech (not dental!) where I belong.
That’s all for now. Please check out my digital portfolio landing page: jessicakatewilcox.com!