According to the UK's Financial Times you need to plan for 5 careers in your lifetime. I'm not sure I'll rack up that many, but I've already worked in customer service for 4 years, where at my worst point working in a call centre, I was shouted at around 330 times a week and in my second career I worked full time as a software tester. Whilst I found an uncanny natural affinity for that role and saw a distinct career in it, that permanent relationship wasn't really a good fit for me, as it wasn't taking me where I really wanted to go. So I set up my own business and went freelance, a move that allowed me to drive my training and the testing services I provided in a direction that gave me drive and purpose. I've learned so much during this time and overall it's been such a positive experience.
Now I find myself at the career junction for a third time after hitting what I can only describe as a technical T-junction and not liking the view whether I looked left or right. To become a pure technical tester or head down the road of management once more, neither of which really appeal, because whichever I choose I feel that the things I once loved about my job have been squeezed out by the direction the industry is taking and to be honest that makes me more than a little sad. After having mooched about on the internet trying to find a few pearls of wisdom I came across a blog in which the author said the right career is one in which you "lose yourself" and that's when the metaphorical light bulb lit up for me.
I've spent a good portion of the last decade officially, and sometime unofficially, re-configuring JIRA and Confluence for my clients and to be honest, in some cases it was the best part of the work. I use both for my own business as well as often finding myself the unwitting Atlassian admin for my clients, as few people seem to understand how they work behind the scenes. And if it is that I should be doing something in which I lose myself then I think it must be JIRA admin, as to be honest it's the one thing that I do as part of my job that makes me lose track of time - in a GOOD way! I love a challenge and I love being creative. I love problem solving and I love that feel good factor when you create something that people use and it makes life easier for them.
And so here I am looking to take a leap into my third career, taking nearly two decades of software development and delivery experience with me. I've realised that far from a career T-junction I can just create a new road for myself, one that isn't immediately visible, but who knows what I'll find once I start exploring. I have hope that I'll find an entry / mid level role where I can take my years of Atlassian tool experience, delve into what the products have to offer and develop my skill set into something I feel is worthwhile.
I'd love to hear your stories about career change too as I think in today's workplace with distributed teams it can sometimes be harder to find a work "home" in which you feel you fit and all too often shifting jobs mid life can be daunting.
And if you know of an entry / mid level JIRA admin role that needs filling just let me know :)
My feedback p.s. (thanks to the lovely community people who've given me advice)
- my CV can be found here: https://1drv.ms/b/s!As5nm38HRoosg_Vn22YT1naPjwSzrw?e=xIjjKf
- Currently based in London, UK. Happy to consider local roles / relocation