8 Reminders For Those Who Are Starting Over

8 Reminders For Those Who Are Starting Over


Game Over? No. Start Over.

Out With the Old

You’re a bartender. A salesperson. A construction worker. You’re a grocery store cashier. Maybe you’re an engineer or teacher. Maybe all your ducks are in a row but something just doesn’t feel right. 

You’ve got this itch to do something different. To be part of something that better suits you during your current stage in life. You’re thinking “it’s time I start over.”

You’re Not Alone

Feeling the need to begin again is more common than you might think. In fact I know plenty of people who are doing it, and even more who have always dreamed of doing it, but haven’t found the right time.

As for people who have found the right time, I’m one of them.

 At 34 I decided I wanted to enter the tech sector as a software developer. Now, at almost 36, I’m nearing the completion of my course. But that’s only a small part of the battle. Next comes finding a job, then settling into that job.

It’s easy to get down on yourself when you’re in this stage. So here are a few things I’d like you to know: 

Don’t Rush to Get Things Done

Slow Down

Learning is something truly special. Soak it up. Think about it: you are sitting here right now, reading what a total stranger has to say, and your brain is processing it in a way that allows you to understand these concepts. 

Correct me if I’m wrong, but unless you’re a well practiced speed reader or have a magnificent memory, you’re not going to learn much by skimming.

“But I Don’t Have Time”

That’s the beauty though. You do! See you’ve made it all this way - you’ve survived all this time - without all that new knowledge you’re soaking up. You’ve worked so hard. You owe it to yourself to slow down and enjoy the process.

If you rush, you miss out on a lot. Pace yourself, set healthy boundaries, and only take on as much work as you’re comfortable with. It’s not a race. Enjoy the journey and get as much out of it as you can.

Nobody is Judging You

We’re Excited For You

How many times have you heard someone talk about their passions and goals without thinking “that’s awesome. Good for them.” That’s because we’re listening to someone talk about something that they believe is important to the world. And what’s better than making the world a better place for each other? 

Your friends and family are all rooting for you. Your current coworkers will miss you, but they’re still rooting for you. Your dog? Definitely rooting for you. 

Your cat is just meowing because he’s hungry. But also: ROOTING FOR YOU!

So keep it up. And if anyone tries to make you feel bad tell ‘em I said they’re wrong. 

Natural Talent Isn’t Everything

It Takes Time

Were you born with the ability to walk? No. And don’t lie to me, I looked it up. The earliest (on record) a child has started walking was aged 6 months. I know It’s a little different than learning astrophysics or whatever, but stick with me ok? 

Wayne Gretzky wasn’t born on skates. Gabrielle Zevin wasn’t born with a pencil or a pen in her hand. Even the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles needed to learn before Master Splinter set them out against The Shredder. And they were mutants!

My point is you need to give yourself space to be new at something - to be bad at something - before you can be a pro.   

Hard Work Breeds Success

As I’ve made abundantly clear, you’re not born knowing how to do anything. Even the things that come as muscle memory to you were outside your scope of understanding at some point.

Whether you know it or not, everything that you are good at today is the product of your hard work and determination (still rooting for you here!). As long as you keep at it and don’t give up, you’ll do well. 

Don’t worry if you don’t understand it right away. It will come with time, so carry on! 

Take Care of Your Health

Are You Hydrated?

No? Well consider this your reminder friend. 

Below is a list of things that you already know. I’m going to tell you again anyway because they’re really important. You will never find ANY research that contradicts their benefits. 

  1. Drink plenty of water
  2. Eat right
  3. Get ample restsome text
    • Reduce screen time before bed
    • Take breaks from work
  4. Get some exercise

Speaking of Breaks

I’ve gotta ask: what’s with all these people out here that don’t take breaks? 

You work so hard all the time and then feel bad when you stop to catch some air. 

Do yourself a favour and give yourself permission to take a breather. If that’s five minutes every half hour or thirty minutes every two hours, so be it. Whatever works for you when you’re trying to be productive. 

A great way to manage breaktime is with timers as per the pomodoro method. Learn more about that here.

Learn to Fail Gracefully

There Will Be Struggles

One harsh truth about life is that there will always be failures. 

You will fail in your personal life. You will fail in your professional life. Sometimes you will let people down. It’s ok though. Life goes on. Pick yourself up, dust off, and keep marching. How else are you going to get where you need to be?

A Star Pupil

Keen on being a student in the school of failure? Here’s what you want to do:

1.Just do the thing and get it done. A lot of people are afraid of making mistakes and so they hold themselves back. This doesn’t really lead to success though, does it?

2.Remember: failure is nature's greatest teacher and you are its star pupil. Embrace it and take it as a win, because learning what DOESN'T work is just as important as learning what does. Otherwise how will you learn to fix things? 

3.Don’t panic. When you make mistakes, that’s fine - there’s plenty of time to correct them. 

While you’re doing all this, keep the next topic in mind as well. It will help out big time.

Be Kind to Yourself

Don’t Be a Bully

We all walk through life with this little voice in the back of our mind that pushes us to get things done. Sometimes the voice is our friend. It’s helpful and positive - our own personal cheerleader. But what happens when the voice becomes negative? 

Negative self-talk is a fatal flaw that can bring the best of us to a grinding halt. Seriously, who wants to work for a bully who does nothing but criticize? 

The trick is to treat yourself like you would a friend or family member. Don’t be rude. Encourage yourself to move on despite all odds. Take some time everyday to say “I’m awesome - I’ve got this”.  

Mark Your Progress

“If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it” -William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin

This is SUPER important. Have you ever just become really good at something out of nowhere? Probably not…although if you have please tell me about it sometime. I’d love to know your secrets. 

I bet you did become good at a few things after hours of practice, though. I bet you also remember every bit of progress you made. 

Take Notice of Where you’ve been

Put up a calendar and mark off each day you work on whatever you’re working on. Count the days and take a look back at your older work now and again. It will blow you away how far you’ve come. 

Comparing your first step toward your goal to where you are at every point during your journey will help guide you. As a bonus, you may also get a boost of confidence when you see how good some of your past work is!  

Don’t Be Afraid to Seek Help

Nobody is Good at Everything

Think about your place of work. How many people work there? What are their strengths and weaknesses? If you were asked who was the best at doing each type of task in the workplace, how would you answer the question?

Now think about this new path you’re taking. There are things you’re good at - things that came a little easier to you by way of previously learned skills or interests. There are probably things you’re not so good at as well. Those are the things that frustrate or burn you out.

Your Network is Your Team

You might think there’s merit in bashing your head against your desk while you attempt to solve these difficult problems (This is a metaphor. Please don’t literally bash your head against your desk). 

You’re not entirely wrong - determination is useful - but you’re not entirely right either. We can easily waste time doing this when in most cases we can reach out to someone who knows the answer. 

Having a support network and using those connections can lead to a healthy balance of self-teaching and mentorship. 

Talking to others can also be helpful in that it allows us a space to speak our thoughts aloud and process them in a different way. Plus you can soak up a new perspective from whoever’s lending you that helping hand.

That’s All For Now

A Summary

You did it. You reached the end. Whether it was due to actual interest or just good old fashioned gumption, I want to congratulate you.

Your prize is a list of questions related to the aforementioned topics. Answer them honestly:

  1. Did you skim the pages or did you read everything? What was the name of the guy who said “if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it?”
  2. Did anyone blast into the room and laugh at you for reading about self-improvement?
  3. Were you younger than 6 months old when you learned to walk? If so, contact the Guinness Book of World Records and let them know.
  4. Did you drink some water like I told you to? If not, DO IT NOW.
  5. Can you think of a mistake you made that led to an important lesson or discovery?
  6. This one’s a two-parter. 
    • When’s the last time you berated yourself for doing something wrong?
    • When’s the last time you recognized yourself for accomplishing a goal? 
  7. How far have you come since you started out? Or, if you haven’t started yet, where will you begin?
  8. Are you embarrassed about having read something that’s meant to be helpful? No? Then don’t be embarrassed about reaching out to others for help. 

Bonus Content: A Message of Encouragement

Alright, it’s time we parted ways. Before you go, though, I’d like to give you one final piece of advice - maybe the most important thing on the list. Take note.

I’m willing to bet you don’t remember it all the time. You probably go days without thinking about it. But I’m telling you right now - you’re doing a great job and you deserve all the praise in the world. Don’t give up. You’ve made it this far and we’d all hate to see you quit. 

Be proud of yourself.

Jordan Parrott

Jordan Parrott resides in Clarenville, Newfoundland and Labrador. He is currently working on completing Get Coding - a program that coaches future software developers. Through Get Coding, he has created a few projects, the most important of which is his pet-project Think-Write - a writing app geared toward neurodivergent brains. Jordan’s favourite things are video games, heavy metal and hardcore music, fantasy and horror novels, and his cat Poe.When he has time he also enjoys practicing nature photography, and pixel art. 

About Get Coding

Get Coding trains people to become software developers by building real-life projects with the most in demand skills, while being coached, one-on-one, with software developers from local tech companies. Students learn on their own time, making the program accessible even to people with a full-time job, family or both.