baby’s first blog post: why I decided to give up a career in music and delve into web development!

Greetings! Welcome to my very first blog post.  I would like to explain why I decided to:

1) completely change my life

2) blog about it

Since I’ve graduated with a 4.0 GPA and a Masters in Orchestral Studies, I have worked as a freelance musician. I’ve performed in Hawaii and China, was a co-founder of a Brazilian music group, travelled through snow and ice storms in order to play solos and orchestral music in different states, performed with world-class orchestras and opera orchestras, played flute in a national Windex ad, and have taught flute and piano to some of the greatest kids (and some adults) one could ever know. Feel free to peruse my website to see what I have done with my life the past decade or so: www.madelenecampos.com

However, let me just state that I have never, EVER wanted to freelance in music. In other careers, it is possible to freelance and actually build a life. It is very difficult to sustain a life in the music field if you are a freelancer. Therefore, I have always strived to have a job. Security, benefits, being able to plan a life – job. In the music field, the odds are approximately 200 to 1 for winning a secure job with an orchestra. Even then, a lot of it is who you know, and is entirely subjective.  Because my freelance career was doing well, I went with it whilst trying to land the “job in the sky”. This was fine, because I was going to win the fancy job with an orchestra, right?

I can not recall any of my instructors or mentors ever discouraging me through this process. Several musicians in top jobs told me I “had it” and to “keep going” and “never give up”. It seemed a logical progression, as I witnessed great people (and a lot of mediocre ones) advance and succeed in the music world, that I would be next. It was just a matter of time, right?

Well, a few years ago, the freelance climate changed dramatically. As I found myself getting older, and actually BETTER on my instruments, due to developing and honing my skills over the years, I actually had less and less work. People with secure, full-time jobs were starting to take freelance work as well, “just for fun” or for “musical variety”, not thinking that other people’s livelihood depended on that work. I tried the whole networking thing, only to hear “of course there’s work for you! You sound great! I can’t believe you’re not busier!”, but not getting hired in the end. Based on my resume, one person actually sent an email to me stating that I was “too busy” to work with their organization, but they would “keep my information on file”. It is incorrect assumptions like these, and living on $12,000 a year that pushed me into moving my life in another direction.

In a fit of desperation, sheer frustration, and growing anger, I decided to google “top 100 jobs”, last October. Knowing I did not want to be a doctor, veterinarian, or pharmacist, I noticed “web developer” in the list. That looked interesting! The more I read about it, the more interested I became. I recalled watching Zach Sims, founder of www.codecademy.com on an episode of The Colbert Report, about a year ago. I decided to look into learning the various skills needed to become a web developer to see if I was truly interested in this field. Codecademy seemed a great place to start!

On top of that, my boyfriend at the time (he’s still my boyfriend at this time, too) mentioned that “One of our friends is a web developer!”. I immediately reached out to our friend, Randy, bombarded him with questions, and he has been acting as a mentor to me through this process since that time.

As of right now, I have completed the HTML, CSS, and JavaScript courses on Codecademy, gone to numerous Meetups, here in Chicago, on Ruby, Ruby on Rails, Railsgirls events, Cassandra, Chef, and JavaScript. I have done tutorials and pushed them to a Github account (for practice). The people I have met have been extremely open with their knowledge and so kind! It is refreshing to be around this environment of open-source knowledge and shared learning!

A few months back, Randy suggested that if I really wanted to be job ready, I should look into enrolling in a web development boot camp. This brings us to the present. Because I am completely changing careers, and have a general disdain for winter weather, Randy suggested that my boyfriend and I move to where he and his fiancee live: Miami!

Starting in September, we will be relocating to Miami, and I will be partaking in a cohort at Wyncode Academy (wyncode.co)

That’s all for now. I’ll keep you updated on my progress, the next webinar or Meetup I go to, and hopefully will inspire you to make a career change, especially if you are feeling stagnant, poor, or generally unhappy in your current career/lifestyle.  In the meantime, I need to get back to learning Ruby!

Ciao!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s