On changing careers

I’ll start a kind of different thread here. Not sure how to call it just yet, but it’s somewhat personal.

Those on the community who know me probably know I’m a marketing professional. Well, for some time I’ve been a reluctant one. My current job is underwhelming to say the least, and job searching for my field in Montreal is gruesome. After a few years of knocking on doors which never opened, I got some inside information on the reality of the marketing profession here, and what was already a though in the back of my head started to become a will. And, as of this last Friday, it has become a path: I’m changing careers.

A little history: I started my career as a copywriter in 2003, when I was still studying for my bachelor’s degree. After five years as an advertiser, I saw the opportunity to make a slight career move and migrate to marketing. Now, I have a post-grad diploma in marketing and over 10 years of experience. Still, I’m stagnated at an entry-level position in a small non-profit without any perspective of growth. And to add offence to the injury, the workplace is not the best. So, a couple of years ago, after long talks with my wife and a few friends, I’ve decided to pursue what was always my second choice at university: computer science.

Of course, returning to the university to complete a full CS course would take a lot of time and money, so I had started a night school diploma on software development in 2017, while still working as a marketing professional and looking for job offers. But it was too slow too, and the workplace was getting even worse. A tip from a friend of my wife turned me into a new direction: a coding bootcamp. Last Friday I aced the entry exam and, coming April 1st - no joke - I’ll be embarking in a 11 week hyper-intensive course whose survivors get on the other end as competent web developers. I’m on paternal leave right now, and little does my boss know the organization has already seen my last day on that job.

It’s exciting and frightening. After nearly two decades dedicated to a field, I’ll abandon it. I want more financial stability, of course, but above all I want a healthier mind - I had a burnout on the beginning of 2018. I’m not as naïve as to think any career is without its challenges and stress, but from everything I’ve heard from friends in the field and from my wife - who works as a HR director at a tech company - software development matches my personality better than marketing does.

So, that’s it. I’m hoping that, by the end of the year, I’ll have completed an u-turn in my work life and will be headed for something different.

Has anyone here made such a career move? Any wisdom you wish to pass on?



The best career, Tiago! :joy:


I am what some call a Renaissance man, in that I am a master of nothing but skilled in many different trades. I started with a healthcare provider certification which changed into first responder, I am Marina Management certified, Iam also merchant marine certified which allowed me to get my Captains license. I have a degree in IT Networking. I am a master certified repair technician for IBM, Lenovo, HP, Toshiba, Apple, Acer, Asus, among others which also includes tablets and phones. I am Osha certified to operate up to a 15T forklift, and heavy equipment operator as well as crane work. I currently work at The Home Depot doing retail freight, I have done this work for the last few years.

I know a lot and can do just about anything, my only advice is be happy with what you do. I love computers and working with them, but sometimes I just rather help people and or work on my own hence why I work retail now. My job, while not the best to others, works for me because I’m content with what I do and how things get done.


You have to be happy with the situation you are in.
Otherwise you will get mad and sick!
Some kind of contentment with yourself, the world and Our Lord.
Nothing more.


First thing: to learn something new is always good.

And for my personal story: I made it kind of similar to you - only in the other way. First I was SW developer, then went into marketing as product manager. But thats just for information.

I have to agree fully to @elmo41683, the most important thing is, that you enjoy the kind of work you are doing. Because then you can stand also hard times, which always will happen. And then they change to better times.

I wish you all the best !

In Germany people do not so often change their job. I had the opportunity to do it - inside the company. So after all, I was very happy there. Now I am retired and working on my hobbies.


Good luck on your new career move. Hard work always pays off :+1:


Go you follow you dream bold but that’s something to be looked up to since you’re willing to follow what you like instead of sitting there unhappy waiting for life to change. Go you I hope it brings you all the best!!


Always daunting to go through a change like this as like you day it can be/feel scary. A lot will ride on the outcome because ultimately you have a family to support but you will be better placed to support your family on the other side and you will be/feel happier. Plus, you’ve always got marketing to fall back on. The good thing is if you can find the right moment to make the leap and make the change and it looks like you’ve done that so don’t look back, keep working hard as a family and you’ll all get through it and be happier.

I used to do mainly warehouse/factory work through the 90’s but was offered and job to help make a warehouse all barcoded for electronic ordering etc. I didn’t have to retrain for it but it got me into computers. I did have a little side line copying PS 1 games before that but let’s leave that there.

Then the business went bust in 2007 so made the leap to do a 2 year course in computing. Terrified me. I’m not that social. Hate deadlines and pressure but managed to get through it. Then got a job off the back of that with my local authority in a business reporting team. Learnt some good reporting and analytics and now learning SQL which fries my brain but enjoying it.

Good luck fella. You’ll smash it


Congrats on your decision, @tiagomota! I think we all ponder a career change from time to time.

Also, I think the coding bootcamp is a good choice. I previously took take some online classes at a local university from time-to-time to keep my coding skills up-to-date, but I found a lot of time that they were using outdated technologies and languages. The coding bootcamp sounds exciting and will likely be more up-to-date.


It is always good to keep trying new stuff!
I hit 25 years with the same organization this year. Have had many different jobs during that time, but always communications or IT related. I have a BS in iT as well and some certs. This last 10 years has brought me to the point this year that I feel like i’ve settled and maybe stale and dying here. We have started a plan to lighten our footprint and prepare house for sale and prepare for the next adventure wherever that may be.
You only live once, and the world is a smorgasbord of opportunities and adventures. Some people are happy buying a house and settling down. I think i may be the opposite.
Also i tried coding (java), hated it. I’m too A.D.D (self diagnosed lol) and i hate math

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My god, my qualifications don’t match my skills or various jobs.

I.left school with nothing (a long story, and my choice!.. If ya really want to know …PM me), I went straight into a catering g college, and gained a few qualifications.

The rest is either filling time, or just getting paid! …
Security for casual events, sound technician, soloist and singer, stage hand, building work, demolition, teaching, youth worker, photographer, film tech n cameraman, preacher, to name a few.

I’ve earned loads at times (over a thousand a week) and got paid nothing but a sandwich n coffee.

Most skills were picked up on the job, or were adapted to fit (it’s amazing what you can do with the skill set you already have).


Thanks everyone for the support and kind words!

I would like to address something that arose in this thread that’s maybe more important than my professional future:

We need to see that! :grin:


I recently left a job that I liked for another that paid more. After 6 months I went back to my old job. The pay definitely wasn’t worth going somewhere that didn’t pique my interests and utilize my skills. I’m back in the old (slightly) lower paying job and I’ve never been happier.

that said, I added some additional from-home work on the side in the meantime. I happen to have a skill set where I can contract with outside parties and still work full time at a 9-5 job. Interestingly, it is CS/Web development.

HOWEVER - If I were you, I’d be looking for a niche in the coding area. Anyone can be a coder, what makes a coder special and in demand is their ability to code AND understand the industry they work in, as well as how to communicate with the people that work in that industry. It so happens I don’t have any CS degree at all (I have undergrads in English lit and creative writing and a masters in education), and this turns out to be my strength in comparison to others that might compete with me for consulting clientele.


I believe my advertising/marketing degrees will come in handy at some point. And while, yes, anyone can become a coder, the demand here is so high right now that it’s unlikely the market will be saturated to the same point as marketing professionals any time soon.

Those marketing and advertising skills are definitely going to serve you well. I’ve also found a lot of use for people that are both graphic designers and coders, in case you have any design skills in the marketing and advertising bundle.

I do, actually! In the near future, after I’ve launched my career as a coder, I’m intending to look into UI/UX design as an further option.

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YES. That’s a great idea. I think you’re on the right track. I think you’ll find plenty of people not only that want you to work for them, but are willing to give you a bit of lifestyle flexibility as well. In my experience, that matters more than anything. :punch:

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Where did you learn to code? Form a book or a website like codecademy Udacity?

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Not gonna happen. These days, as out of practise (and many more years of smoking) I sound like Harry Secombe (Google him). lol

Was quite chuffed the fiancée was delighted in my singing in 2017 when we went to a night time carol service at the local zoo… Was well cool

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Who cares we still wanna see/hear ya so get to practicing