It’s been a long time…
First of all, happy 2023!
I hope this new year has been bringing you only good moments and memories, and life is treating you kindly!
I have been planning to write for a while, but sometimes life happens and it’s hard to prioritise, and it’s even harder to clear your head.
Let’s start this article with some positive news. I passed my 6-month probation at work 🎉 and it’s been almost seven months since I started this job!
I was a bit worried about this because initially I had some objectives that weren’t exactly doable for an apprentice but I’ve been trying my best! I also finished the front-end development module, I can’t really say I learned much from it and those live workshops, but I used it as guidance for independent learning so I definitely made a lot of progress and I’m happy with that.
Slow(er) and steady wins this race for me, and lots of things are starting to make a lot more sense.
Now I’m about to start the back-end module in a week, but since I already saw the curriculum, I’ve started learning alone and worked on some small bits. I still find it crazy that I get really excited when I learn some small things and I’m just in awe, that’s how I know I’m actually learning and understanding things better.
I had my first progress review with my manager and my coach at the beginning of March and I received really great feedback from both of them, which I can’t say I didn’t expect.
They are both very happy with how pro-active I am and how I always take initiative and I’m not only organised but I am also helping my fellow apprentices with whatever I can.
My coach told my manager that he is lucky to have me in his team. She told both of us that I’m the best apprentice she has had so far and she has never met someone so committed to the role and so eager to learn.
He didn’t have to worry about me, not even during the bootcamp because I was doing really well (although I was always stressed about it and it was very intense, and the curriculum was insane and I was even crazier to simultaneously complete the artificial intelligence bootcamp) and because I’ve done pretty much everything on my own since I joined the team and just kept him in the loop.
It was my preferred way of doing things because I know that I learn better this way, but I informed him about all the apprenticeship related things and created an entire page full of all the useful links and information provided by the apprenticeship provider, and it turned out so good that it was passed around to several managers who have apprentices in their teams.
For me, this makes me feel like I am more in control of what I’m doing and learning, and that I have all the resources available and ready to double check if necessary.
There was a moment when I was almost given a huge load of work to complete on my own, an entire project that the whole team could use and perhaps other teams too (don’t get me wrong, I’m flattered that people think I can do it, but I am not at level yet and I do not want to be stressed out every single day with such a huge responsibility, I am not even a junior yet so I suppose I have to act less self-sufficient because my job is to learn now), luckily it was postponed and instead I am just working with the team now.
I also document everything I do, again, not just for the next reviews but I have to do it for my portfolio regardless, so it’s a good habit.
There were moments when I felt too overwhelmed because I didn’t have much support navigating both my company and everything that I’m supposed to do for the modules, and it felt like my to-do list kept growing, and most days I have even five meetings a day which feels draining sometimes, and then I fall behind on important things.
This is something else I have to address eventually, but right now I am just happy I passed my probation.
There has been a bit of restructuring with the new financial year coming up and my team has picked up projects that are quite complex so hopefully I won’t have to switch to another team.
Anyway, I worked on my first ticket, also created my first tickets and I am about to review some code written by a senior colleague which is a bit daunting!
My manager decided that it would be a good idea for everyone to be the scrum master for each sprint, and it was a random lottery and guess what, I was picked first.
I have to lead pretty much all the essential and recurring team meetings for two weeks and it's the first time I do this, I was a bit nervous...
I received feedback from my manager, who is also the team lead, and so far I’ve been doing really well. He is considering asking the company to cover some additional training for people who want to officially get the title of scum master/developer, and I put my name on the list too because why not? Those courses are short but very expensive, and I like the idea of learning how to lead.
Speaking of this, during the bootcamp, I was reaching out to one of the coaches to ask for some help and advice, and this person has been working in tech for about thirty years now, but what I liked the most is how easy he could explain things, without getting too technical.
We ended up having a short conversation about how I tend to approach things and how I like helping others too, which I was doing at the time, actually spending time with a colleague who reached out for help and explaining some code snippets to her and my solutions.
Anyway, eventually after that conversation this coach told me that it is a must if not now, some time later in my career that I buy and read this book called ‘The manager’s path: a guide for tech leaders navigating growth and change’.
I am glad that someone with so much experience recommended me this after a simple and short conversation, and I obviously bought the book. No time to read it yet, but soon enough!
The people that I love the most always tell me this and how I will get very far, and they have been my biggest supporters so they were just as pleased as I was to hear this!
On a similar note, I decided that it’s also time to start giving back, so I joined a mentorship programme to help more women get into tech and I became a mentor, I have one mentee and we have the introductory session in a few days. Wish me luck!
As you can see, I’m quite a busy bee.
Apologies if I used some technical terms without explaining much, and I promise writing an article that can be used as a guide to get into tech as a career changer is on my to-do list with a flag of high priority on it.
I was also supposed to lead a Multiverse workshop about this but I had to postpone it due to lack of time, just like many other things. However, I will eventually get to it and I hope it will help lots of people!
Today I am also moving because, as always, I had to have a bad experience here too.
I am not feeling well either and the pain makes it hard to move, but this is typical.
I will write about it in the next article because it might help lots of people being put in this situation or a similar one.
However, long story short it caused me a lot of stress, and once again I felt not only disrespected but taken advantage of because of my kindness. Ain't life great?
I feel like I am a ticking bomb. Why do people always try to be so terrible?
If you give someone a finger, why does this person feel the need to take the entire hand?
Wherever I go, all these things seem to follow...
I keep meeting the same crappy people, just different names and different faces.
This is exactly why I am always planning ahead and looking at the future, because life has given me enough lessons to know that nothing good lasts and you always need to be prepared.
Regardless, this is not entirely a terrible thing, I will have a bigger place and finally more privacy, because in London it will cost you your soul to live alone and I am not there yet.
I have been in this country for almost five years now, and I have come to the conclusion that I have no place to call home, I can’t even call this country home no matter how much I hoped that this would change. This is the 10th time I am moving so far only inside the U.K., I also moved three times before and after finishing high school in Romania.
Even when I was a kid, and it was just me and my mom living in Italy, we probably moved four times and every time I had to change school and start over again.
I have learned to be detached about this because I have no roots, I belong everywhere yet nowhere. I can always pack my bags and move across the country like it’s nothing, definitely to another country too.
But honestly, it takes a lot of energy to do this even if I have been told that I make it look easy. People always say that I am so strong, brave, and adaptable and I just smile, but deep down I know that I have never had other options. I have always had to be like this, perhaps it was even expected of me growing up so it’s what I am most familiar with.
My mom asked me recently how I manage to do this, because she wouldn't be able to keep moving and be away from family and everyone. I was honest and I said that most of the time, I don’t allow myself to miss them because then it would become too painful to keep moving forward with my life and goals. I already know how much I am missing out.
All the birthdays, all the holidays, all the special occasions, I am never there…
However, I am one phone call away and I talk to my family daily. I get to see my younger brother growing up through a screen and the only memories we make happen maybe once a year when I go home, so yeah, I need to push away all those thoughts because I love my family and I am always trying to help them as much as I can, even financially.
Maybe this is my way of compensating for rarely being there with them…
Regardless, I will keep working hard and I will rise up.
I will create the best life for myself!
Definitely, I will buy my own house too some day and it will be the house of my dreams because I absolutely deserve it!
On a more personal note, I haven't been feeling like myself lately.
I feel on the edge and overwhelmed almost every day and it has affected my sleep, my appetite, my mood, self-esteem and that inner critical voice has become much harsher than before.
There are some things that I cannot talk about, and being vulnerable in front of so many people is hard enough. It actually doesn't get easier although I always try to be as open and transparent here as possible.
I feel like I need to change a lot as person. I am so tired of being hurt, being taken advantage of, and honestly, I am tired in general.
Do you know how hard it is to always have a smile on your face when you are around people?
I've learned the hard way that most people that I meet are not genuine in any way, most of them see me as competition while I only compete with myself to become better.
A bit of workplace advice: I made a promise to myself that I won't make the same mistakes again. I will not allow people, especially at work, to get to know me in any way that could give them any sort of power over me. Please remember, do not fall for words, you rarely ever meet people at work who actually are supportive and want to see you grow.
It's all a facade!
I always have a smile on my face, I am always prepared and I always try my best to be confident and look like I, at least, have my life together.
I could be sleep deprived, in a terrible mood and even in pain, and I refuse to show it.
No matter what happens in my life and no matter how I feel, I will try my hardest to keep that hidden because I want to keep myself safe.
I paid a big price when I didn't do this before with other jobs so, never again!
Most people don't deserve to know the real me anyway, so it's best if I don't give them access to begin with.
Do not confuse this with happiness, which sadly many people do.
For me, it's all an act that I have been perfecting since I moved to this country alone and I had to learn how to take care of myself.
Anyway, what I meant when I said that I need to change is deeper than this.
Lately, I have been feeling like I am not exactly a good person and somehow I always end up hurting the people I care about the most.
I always end up saying the wrong things, and I always end up making them feel terrible.
I guess sometimes I let anger and ego take over when I lose my temper despite my best efforts to keep it under control, and the guilt always comes back in waves.
I tried therapy again for two months recently but there is a lot of work I need to do to truly become a better person.
Maybe I should talk less, listen more, be less of who I am because perhaps I am too much and it hurts to see people you love deeply giving up on you.
I could write a lot more about this but right now less is more. I do not want to self indulge in negative thoughts...
I simply wanted to share with you that I am human after all and I make tons of mistakes.
My heart goes out to you if you feel this way as well, you are not alone.
Gentle reminder, be careful how you use your words. They can heal and they can hurt, be mindful. Don't forget to hold yourself accountable and try to learn from your mistakes.
Forgive yourself and keep growing as a person.
This too shall pass!
I will be taking a break from social media, and try to focus more on myself and my hobbies.
I've been neglecting both my mental and physical health so there are a few things I need to work on.
I've been making time for everything but not for myself. It's time to change that.
I bought a small electric keyboard and I want to learn how to play because I've wanted that since I was a kid.
I also bought a lot of new books so definitely need to focus on reading more.
Another thing that I can't avoid anymore is moving my body more because I'm in so much pain. You'd think resting would help your knees stop being so swollen, but nope.
I promise I'll try my best to write more, and be more consistent.
I want to thank all of you for always reading my blog, for always being here with me through good and bad, and for never giving up on me.
I wish you all nothing but a life full of happiness and blessings.
Today's song: https://youtu.be/M_BzzApU7Ts