How did I start working remotely from day one? Eight years ago, I transitioned from working full-time in transportation and construction at a 9 to 5 company in Manhattan to working full-time remotely in technology. I never looked back.
I wanted a well-balanced life, and I knew having two hours of commute back and forth from New Jersey to New York would not give me the quality of life and balance I was working hard to achieve. On the contrary, my health started declining, the stress was high, my coworkers were unhappy at work, and the salary didn’t compensate for the feeling that something was missing in how I was earning a living. Something drastic needed to change. I didn’t mind working hard, but at this point, I realized the importance of working hard doing a job that I might enjoy versus a job that was not teaching me anything. So I went back to online courses to try several of my interest at the time. The goal was to find something I would love to do every day, and to my surprise, web development and coding were the answer, and much later on, UX Design. The best part? Different industries are opening new positions in the direction of digital design, and the future looks bright.
For those attempting to change careers towards technology, let me advise you: it won’t be easy. Please don’t listen to those that shame technology or tell you that technology is an easy transition because it is not. In my experience, people with little knowledge of technology enjoy criticizing technology the most. Instead, answer this: How good are you at learning a new language? Well, coding is a language—a language between humans and machines. Of course, If you put up the work, you will eventually understand the language, but like everything else achievable in life, it requires effort and daily practice.
Day One Remotely
I quickly discovered that my new coworkers lived in different cities and countries. As a result, we became familiar with online zoom meetings way before the pandemic. I learned that long-distance trust in a work team is essential to completing a project. In addition, loving my job and having better satisfaction at work gave me a better instant connection with my online coworkers than in those previous 9-5. We don’t have the regular coffee chat in a 9-5 kitchen, but we have virtual conversations that keep us connected. The usual office gossiping is gone because instead, we chat about our days at home or share interests in our local cities. During the pandemic, we became closer, as many other people did with online support. But the most important lesson learned in transitioning careers from a 9 to 5 office to working remotely in technology is that good communication is the primary key to succeeding in any teamwork, whether in-office, hybrid, or remotely.
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Wendy Cecilia Reyes