Five years writing custom e-commerce systems for the vehicle dismantling industry. Six years working on Magento and WooCommerce across several industries. All in all, I spent eleven years working in the e-commerce sector and it burned me out.
My stress levels were never low, everything was always critical, and I was never working on anything innovative. I probably spent more time on support and maintenance than I did actual new work in the last two years.
I’m back on medication for my depression and I’ve been seeing a therapist. It isn’t inaccurate to say I’ve been at my lowest in years and my mental health had been in decline for some time. Continuing as I was wasn’t an option, and I didn’t I had an option within the company that was going to change things for the better.
The problem was figuring out what else I could do. I didn’t want to remain in e-commerce but I had over a decade of experience in the industry – could I throw that away? The answer is yes, I could. Transferable skills are the key.
If this is a move you’re looking at, the key is figuring out how to leverage your experience as the skills another career is looking for. Being able to code is always transferable if you’re good at it (I have a dozen languages on my CV for a reason), but even being able to Google effectively is a skill you can leverage.
So I have a swathe of tech skills and a desire to use them in a way that improves my mental health. What’s next? For me, months of indecision before I discovered the Tech For Good sector.
Once I knew that was an option, I just had to look out for jobs in that sector that suited what I was looking for, and of the two companies I applied to, both really wanted me which is the best position to be in.
Now I’m two months into my new career, using my tech skills to develop sites for our clients who are exclusively charities and social enterprises. My mental health is much better and I’m looking to decrease the dosage of my medication. Feeling like my work matters and that I’m valued has done wonders.
This is also the start of my career record only being known by my new identity and having it just be accepted is beautiful.
Funny how you accept being taken for granted as just being the norm. When you’re not only valued but praised for all you do, it’s a much more positive experience. Don’t settle for okay, value yourself enough to find positive opportunities.