Considering a career shift - share your personal advice please :)

Considering a career shift - share your personal advice please :)
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#1

Hi! I am new to the FCC Community, although I’ve known about FCC for a long time.

I’ve been living in a beautiful city in Montana for the past 15 years and not planning on moving for a long time, maybe 20+ years. I really like living here and all of the available outdoor activities. The downside is we don’t have a lot of opportunities here. It’s getting a little bit better and we have a few more companies/startups to work for but still not a whole lot.

I graduated with a BA in Digital Media Design and worked through college as a web designer (html/css). When I graduated, I ended up working for a university here as a web designer for a year or so. Then I had a better opportunity to work for a larger corporation, making more money in town. My role started as a web designer then moving up to a Design Manager, overseeing all things design whether UI, web, portal or graphics. I was there for almost 6 years.

I left the place to work for an tech startup where I am doing Product Management. It’s pretty intense and I am learning a lot but I do miss the “creating/building piece”. I’ve actually been freelancing on the side working on WP sites to not lose the technical skills so much. I’ve been working with this tech company for a little over a year. Then got promoted actually to head up Product Management. I’ve been thinking about my career path for the past couple of months and reassessing if I am on the right track. I feel like in my 20s, it’s all about making more money, climbing the ladder… Fast forward a years later, I don’t want to climb any ladder at all. The more I move up, the more I am closer to bureaucracy and drama. And maybe startups are known for drama. Money is always great but I’m ok with taking a pay cut too. I just want to get shit done and be happy with what I’m doing. :slight_smile:

Anyway, like a lot of the people here who have switched careers because of family and wanting job security, I just found out I’m pregnant. Given that there aren’t a lot of opportunities where I live, here are the options I am considering:

  1. Stick to PM - even though there aren’t a lot of opportunities here as PM. I would guess that remote PM jobs are probably hard to get? And also, I really miss the building/creating piece.
  2. Focus on UI/UX - we have 0 job openings right now in the area for UX Designers. I am chatting with CareerFoundry this week to get some insight about getting a remote job doing this.
  3. Go full on dev - I’ve taken a couple of javascript classes in the past but since I am always in management role, my skills are pretty rusty at this point. I’m really good with copy/pasting from codepen and tweaking code according to my needs. That’s why I am doing the FCC course.

Anybody live in a remote/rural location and have the same challenges? Would love to hear your similar challenges in the past.

Thanks! And excited to meet people here.


#2

I get the desire to want to create something. It is a very real desire.
I also get the distaste for bureaucracy and drama. What are those to seeing beautiful things come to fruition by our own efforts? Nothing.

I also get something you may not feel yet, a mom’s desire to have it all. It’s weird, but I never felt it really till after I had my kid. I came back from a 7 month mat. leave and asked my manager (new to me at the time) for more responsibility and more opportunities to show what I can do. It is almost the reverse of what you are saying, as I felt more keenly the desire to climb the ladder than I had before having my kid.

but that’s me and not you. (ps. I was still in my 20s at the time so maybe that contributed something too)

However, I would say, it is not time to slow down yet. I’m not sure what the mat. leave requirements are in the U.S. (in Canada the employer is required to have the same position or a similar one available to you after you return from mat leave which is no more than 1 year usually plus accrued vacation). If you can have mat. leave and you can keep the job, keep it. Having a kid is going to be plenty of upheaval without adding a job search to that. You can always look for something else post-baby but you may find that you really appreciate that job more as you come face to face with your child.

My 2 cents and best wishes to you! (and of course, congratulations!)