My first year in tech
Last week, I was curled up on the sofa one evening, when my phone began to vibrate vigorously. Buzz. Buzz. And buzz again. Odd, I thought.
I turned my phone over and examined the screen, expecting a stream of ranting texts from a friend or perhaps a sequence of spam emails. My face was illuminated by equal parts LED and horror as the notification glared back at me:
“Congrats on your work anniversary!”
Oh, God. A whole year has passed since I started working at Neverbland. A year of my life blinked past me in an instant. A whole year. Not to be too overly cliche, but they do say that time flies when you’re having fun. I would tend to agree, and it definitely flies by whilst you’re in the first year of your new career.
Some fifty-something weeks ago I was pouring pints and shaking cocktails, writing sporadically as a freelance hustle in between bouts of desperately crying out into the LinkedIn void: “please someone hire me!” Flash forward to the present day and I’ve progressed to become the Digital Communications Manager at Neverbland, with a whole year of industry experience under my belt. Wild.
Despite being a member of Gen Z, arguably the techiest generation, I’m not much of a tech wizard. I use tech with ease, but like most of the general population, I’m not sure I understand it - so you can imagine my surprise when I had to learn what a digital product studio does.
I had envisioned every unfortunate stereotype under the sun. I roughly knew what designers did as I have a few arty-farty friends, but developers were a new and foreign concept for me. And what even is coding? My mind swirled at the concept of a few measly letters being able to give the user control of a new function on the website.
I remember feeling like a coder back in the day, tweaking my 2012 Tumblr theme to be just the right shade of 'no one understands me' grey, but real coding? Way above my mental pay grade. And as for the type of person who codes - I had visions of a basement-dwelling group of boys, afraid of sunlight and socialisation. Sorry guys.
I think it’s the only time I’ve ever been happy to be wrong.
Despite my anxieties, I ploughed through my first few weeks with Neverbland to somewhat success, but I became re-acquainted with my old nemesis: imposter syndrome.
For those lucky enough to have avoided it, imposter syndrome is that little voice in your head that tells you you’re not good enough. Mine goes a step further to tell me that all the self-deprecating humour in the world won't conceal how inexperienced you are - because you should have just kept your job as a barmaid because you can pull a pint, but can you write professionally? Of course not.
She’s very mean. And very specific. I also eventually realised just how wrong that voice is, but it took a little time. As I reminisce on the year that's passed I thought I’d share a nugget of my limited wisdom with someone.
You know more than you think you do. Have some faith, even if you can't believe in yourself you can believe that the people that hired you to know what they’re doing, and they knew what they were doing when they gave you the job. You’re not going to know the answer to every question but no one expects you to. You’re here to learn and grow, if you came with all the answers you’d be wrong for the position.
Jump in. With both feet. Don’t be afraid to start something new - it might just be the most rewarding thing you’ve ever done.