There’s a Fairytale in the world of tech and it goes like this:
“And then, he became a software developer, and lived happily ever after…”
It’s the myth that once you become a developer, your whole life magically transforms. It’s as if you land that cool job title and then your happy ending arrives, and you ride away into the sunset (while wearing a hoodie.)
Learning to code is a wonderful accomplishment. Switching into software development is something to be proud of. In Silicon Valley developers are practically treated like royalty. Yet believing your life is going to be all figured out once you become a developer is as silly as believing you’ll live happily ever after if you just marry your prince.
We know there’s more to life than that. Yet with certain careers, we fixate on getting them and act as if the same magical end will happen once we do. Developer. Engineer. CEO. Startup marketer. CTO of something-something.
There’s a danger in believing that once you land a certain job, the rest of your life will come together, too. The bad news is, it won’t. You may now be doing for a living what you love, and that in itself is transformative, but you’ll still at times be pushing through hard work that you don’t feel like doing. You’ll still deal with work problems and stressful days and setbacks.
You can choose to use your job to transform your life, by deciding to go into this new job with a better mindset, a better work ethic, a better self-esteem, a better anything-you-want–but having that job title won’t suddenly land you all those things.
What will get you those things is what got you to this job in the first place: the grueling, unglamorous work you’ve been doing for months, the patience you kept as you chipped away at your goal, and the everyday grind that you chose to embrace.
You won’t suddenly live happily ever after when you become a developer. But you’ll probably realize some wonderful things about who you already were and what you’re capable of–regardless of your new shiny job title.