Would anyone ever bother hiring someone like me?

I am 41 years old and deal with depression and avoidant personality disorder which is a type of social anxiety. Due to this, I have not had a job in over 20 years. I never learned how to drive, I don’t ever leave my house due to not having a social life or friends. I live with my parents and so desperately want to be independent.

I forced myself to go to a community college at 33 where I got an associates in graphic design which has not been put to use even though I am fairly good at it. But, I have no passion for it and got scammed out of a few potential remote jobs. This caused me to lose interest and motivation.

I recently got into coding and have learned html, css, javascript, Sass, and currently learning react. After react I will start learning Nodejs and express and mongoDB or some other DB. After that I will learn python, data structures, algorithms…

Would someone even hire someone at my age(41) with my lack of work and life experience and having pretty much nothing to put on a resume?

I worry I am just too late and nobody will ever give me a chance which depresses me and causes me to lose motivation to keep learning. What are my options?

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Hello dude, the fact that you learned all those things is an amazing thing. People who do amazing things are rewarded! Keep trying until you land a job and when you’ll land one the fruits of your hard work will be sweet, I promise.

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Hi @mkdude09 !

I wouldn’t worry about your age because plenty of people have gotten jobs after 30

When applying for jobs, I would tailor my resume to heavily feature projects and other coding activities. And then if they ask you about your previous work experience then you can talk about that.

Well, I got my coding job at 49 so it is possible. There are other with similar stories. Yes, your age will handicap you a little. Yes, your lack of work experience will make things a little more difficult. But getting the first job is always difficult. For you it will be more difficult. But that’s not the same thing as impossible.

You have nothing right now on your resume, but you can build that up. Build things. When you’ve gotten some skills, do a little open source. Do a little freelance. That’s basically what got me my job.

The number one thing that most employers will care about is what you can show them that you know and what you can show them that you’ve built. There are different things that get considered: education, work history, attitude, personability, etc. But I think foremost is what you know and what you’ve built.

Yes, it will be tough. Yes, you will get rejected (everyone does). It took me a year and probably 100 applications. But I didn’t need to get every job - I just needed one.

But don’t learn coding because you want a job. Learn coding because you enjoy it. You don’t learn coding because you want the job, you try to get the job because you want to code all day. I love that I get paid a lot of money to basically solve puzzles all day.

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This is super important.

There is all of this hype around learning to code that a lot of people just want a job and stop learning.

But you have to actually like it.

@mkdude09 I hope you like coding too and see a future in it.

I started 8 months ago and never in a million years did I think I would land up here. My whole life I have been a musician but now I am learning how to code and really enjoy it :grinning:

Having just done a little research into Avoidant Personality Disorder, I have to warn you that there will be triggers. The idea that developers feel unqualified and out of their depth is practically a cliche, so much so that it has a name, “imposter syndrome”. And being able to take criticism is going to be an important skill - people will critique your code. It was jarring at first on my first job, until I realized that everyone was giving constructive criticism to everyone’s code and it was improving the product - if I could put my ego and insecurities aside, it was making me a better coder.

But yeah, it is weird at first. I hope you can work past it and find something that you love.

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Hey Mike,

nice to meet you! :wave:

I think you already have some great skills, experience in graphic design is very valuable.

Software development is also a lot about communication.

Are there people who can do this for you, e.g. someone who can get you some clients or talk to them, e.g. for freelancing?

Hi @mkdude09! First of all, congratulations. You have already learned a LOT of things and are well on your way to becoming a developer.

Despite making things a little bit more difficult, age is not really a big issue. As other people said above, there are stories of people who got their first job as developers after 40.

This field is perhaps one of the few where factors such as age, lack of experience and lack of a diploma do not influence so much on your ability to get a job.

About your condition… from what I’ve researched, psychotherapy is the best way to treat avoidant personality disorder. If possible, seek treatment with a trusted psychologist. I think dealing with this will be your main obstacle on this journey, more than age or lack of experience. I suffer from social anxiety and, although it’s not the same, I know what it’s like to want to avoid people.
It’s difficult. But with treatment its way easier.

As stated by @kevinSmith’s excellent comment, there will be triggers. So prepare yourself psychologically to deal with them and manage to overcome these difficulties. There will be times when you will be unmotivated and doubting yourself, so it is good that you are strong mentally speaking to be able to combat these feelings and overcome them.

Good luck!

PS: That’s a cute cat in your profile pic. Its yours? Or just a random cat from the internet?

If you are feeling better and ready to step out into the world you can always volounteer. It’s not much but at least you get to put down some people you aren’t related to as references.

Thank you everyone for the comments. I feel better now.

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