If the thought of working in web design or development sounds appealing, you may wonder how easy it is to transition into the field. Web design and development is a great choice if you are ready for a career change. The barrier to entry is low, and by showing your portfolio, it is relatively easy to prove your skills. Any sort of change can be scary, so taking a few preparatory steps before attempting to make the switch is a good idea. By focusing on what you need to do to become employable, you boost your odds of success.
Sharpen Your Programming Skills
To stand out in the competitive field of web design and development, you need to have strong coding skills. You should be comfortable coding in at least one language and have some familiarity with others. Whether you are targeting a career as a front-end, back-end, or full-stack developer, you should have some understanding of how each works. If you are not confident with your skills yet, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go ahead and follow your dream. There are a variety of free and low-cost tutorials online that can help you sharpen your skills. There is nothing wrong with this, and many web developers with lucrative careers are self-taught.
Get Your Finances in Order
Before you make any life changes, you want to make sure your finances are squared away. Switching careers is stressful, and there is no reason to add to that stress with financial worries. The tech industry is generally well compensated, so you can count on a solid income once you are employed. Reducing your overall expenses and having a savings cushion prevents you from accruing debt while you transition.
Reducing your overall expenses doesn’t have to be painful. You can refinance your student loans to save money. This is a smart decision because the money you save is in the interest you would otherwise be paying to the lender. You may want to minimize entertainment and shopping, as well as curtail other unnecessary expenses during this period. Keep in mind it is temporary, and once you have found a job in your new industry, plan a treat to reward yourself for the sacrifice.
Land the Job
While strong skills are necessary to be a successful web developer, it is not always enough to find employment. The first job in your new field will be the most challenging. Once you are working in the field, you will probably find recruiters reaching out to you. Focus on landing that first job, and know that you can move on after a year or so to something better. Networking is a great way to find employment. Whether through conferences, meet-ups, or making connections informally, networking with others who have the type of job you want is a great way to find employment.
Keep working on your coding skills while you apply for jobs. There are a variety of websites that offer coding challenges. Using these for practice will give you confidence during interviews. Finally, don’t be afraid to apply for jobs even if you aren’t a perfect fit. The job listing is a wish list, and you may be just what the company is looking for. If nothing else, the interview practice is invaluable.
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