What If I Don’t Get A Job?

Don’t worry, this isn’t me moaning, miserable or mourning.

It’s 4 months since I lost my job.  When I left, I thought that I’d probably have a job by the end of January.  Definitely by the end of March.  And I have come very close on 3 occasions.

Last Thursday I was sat, enjoying unemployment in Regent’s Park on a sunny day, wondering how long it will be before I get a job.  And more importantly, how long can I afford to not have a job?

There is a bit of me that would like a few more days sat in the park.  That’s the optimistic part of being unemployed.

But I’d rather have some money.  I want to be able to afford the odd beer, roast dinners on a Sunday, eating out during the week – not having to worry whether I can afford the tube fare.  I want a summer jacket, a decent saucepan, some lids for my Technics – gosh maybe even a holiday or three.

More importantly, I want to develop my career – the area of my life that I have focused on for the last few years to the detriment of other areas.  I want that dream role where I can contribute to projects whilst vastly expand my coding abilities.

I know that I am capable – this is proven by repeated positive comments from those that interviewed me and gave me coding challenges.  But so far there has always someone with more experience.

There was a plan and there still is a plan.  And there is now a plan after the current plan.

The current plan is to build around 6 more sites/apps, showcasing my React, and more importantly, JavaScript skills.  I think out of my websites that I have done, they do not really show off my JavaScript knowledge enough.  At which point I’ll have a super-strong portfolio for a junior, and I will spam the hell out of design agencies.

If that still doesn’t get me a job, then I will need a new plan.

Either I could go on a 12-week bootcamp such as General Assembly, or the one that really appeals, Maker’s Academy, which has quite exceptional reviews – and allegedly only takes 10% of applicants, and also allegedly, almost every graduate gets a job – and mostly with a higher salary than I am aiming for now.

Such bootcamps tend to cost £8,000 in tuition fees alone.  And then rent, food, transport into central London every day for 12 weeks – with no housing or jobseeker’s benefits (as I would be a full-time student), and one would be looking at a rather prohibitive, but possible, £15,000.  Most of which would be debt.  Hi Grandma!

Other than the cost, the other downside is that I would have to learn another coding language as part of the Maker’s Academy syllabus – Ruby.  Oh and they make you do yoga.

The massive positive is that you are pretty much guaranteed to be employed with the qualification, probably on more money than I would otherwise be, I would get to meet and befriend lots of other coders and have hands-on tuition.  It would be hard-work – I expect around 60+ hours a week but I can handle that (would mean absolutely no social life though – and definitely no drinking – maybe the NHS should pay?).

And there is one other alternative that I am considering – setting up my own little agency and try to get some clients.  I haven’t really got a clue how to do this and I’m not much of a salesman but it might have to be the route I go down.  I’d far rather have a job, because then I’ll get to work on a far-wider range of projects, and also much more in-depth projects, and also I feel that I would develop more as a developer.

I met someone pretty interesting at WordPress London last week, who said that he was in a similar position to me 6 months ago, and has set up his own agency.  He spent his time at first introducing himself to business owners who didn’t have a website, or needed an upgraded one, in his local area.  Now he is booked up until August – and doesn’t have to go out selling – the bit I wouldn’t enjoy – rejection…yuck.  Though I do like meeting new people.

The more I think about it, the more this option appeals.  As I stated earlier, my preferred option is to work for someone as I feel it will be of more benefit in the long-run for my career.

I am still waiting to hear back from a couple of roles, there are still spokes in the fire, but likewise I am putting spokes into another fire when it comes to having my own business too.

Lots to think about, but for now, time to get back on with a project that I’m doing for someone, kind of paid too…albeit back-pay for lots of free drinks over the past 10 years!

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