Switching Careers at 30: How I transitioned from IT to Journalism
Personal Musings

Switching Careers at 30: How I transitioned from IT to Journalism

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Thinking of switching careers in your 30s? Here’s a story of how I changed mine.

When people ask me what course I took back in college, I proudly answer them “BS Computer Science”, and I was in the IT industry for around 10 years. I was supposed to take Journalism at UST since I passed their entrance exam, but my mom asked if I can study in PLM instead to save money. But as much as I enjoy the logic of programming, it wasn’t my true love. Journalism was is. 

My mom made a lot of bad decisions when I was younger, and to be honest, I think she’s still making them. I don’t think old people can change anymore. So the toxic cycle ends with me, and raise Geof as best as I possibly can.

Now it wasn’t a quick transition, personally, it took me roughly around 10 years to transition from IT to Journalism, and because everything now is technology-dependent, both fields overlap.

 

#1 Starting a Blog

I started Kikaysikat back in 2012, while I was working in HP because I needed an outlet and platform to write my thoughts. I loved reviewing different beauty products and sharing what I knew, so I thought why not start my own blog. I set up mine using Blogspot and purchased a domain a year after. I was super active, publishing a post almost every day (and writing while at work lol)

Also see: Should I start a blog?

After a few years, my website gained a lot of traction and regular visits. To the point that I was earning in Google Adsense, as much as what I earn in my day job. Not only that, the number of audiences, international and local helped me build my personal brand and get sponsorships from clients. I am in no way as famous as some influencers are, but it’s enough to be called one. 

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#2 Torn Between 2 Lovers

A few years later, let’s say 3 years. My career as a blogger and an “influencer” was interfering with my day job. Because there are events I needed to attend to, and a lot of projects coming in.

I appreciate what I do at work, but debugging and analyzing software wasn’t really my calling.  I didn’t like spending 2-3 hours in traffic, work 8 hours in an office, then spend another 2-3 hours in traffic.

I wanted to write. I wanted freedom I was able to thanks to my blog, but I was considering going full time because I was earning just as much (but not as consistent).

Should you stay or should you go? I actually wrote an article about going freelance full-time. 

 

#3 Blogging wasn’t enough

Literally. I knew the risks, but I didn’t know it was this bad. Clients are always delayed in payment, some taking up to 6 months to a year to pay their due! It was frustrating, and stressful because I had a son to provide for. Should I go back to IT? Nah.. Instead, I looked for freelance writing jobs (and even marketing!) online to pay the bills and feed the family. 

Starting 2017, I think I had 5 different employers? Working for their company freelance with a range of 6 months to more than a year. Some were short-term projects, others were long-term but I had to quit because of a toxic environment. Through the years I learned a lot and gained experience. My grammar and writing style in my previous years’ blogging had so many errors! I even kept a “Writing Style Points” journal to remind me of what and what not to do.

#4 A Fortunate Unfortunate Event

My last workplace, prior to this current one, had me working for a toxic boss. It pays fairly well but treats us inhumanely. I wrote about it in another story (See: Working for a Toxic Employer)

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I was having panic attacks every morning and couldn’t sleep at night I had to quit! But, a blessing in disguise was, one of the company’s partner owned a writing agency and I worked directly with them during my time with the toxic boss.

Now I have delicadeza and didn’t apply for them right away, and I didn’t even know they had an opening. I applied for a different position and role. Back in IT once again as an SEO Analyst. I had no choice, I needed work. So there go more months of.. unhappiness. 

#5 Finally

But a few more months later I received a message from the agency, asking if I was interested to work for them. I submitted past works, and completed sample writing tasks, which weren’t perfect, but the owner said I had potential. So they hired me as a part-time writer for their writing agency. WOW FINALLY!

Their agency works for a news organisation and after a few months of writing articles, they finally gave me my own by-line and added me to their team of journalists! 

It’s surreal, but it still happened. Every little thing that happened in my life had a purpose, and while my life isn’t over yet, maybe it just means we have to go for what we really want to do in life to give us contentment.

This job isn’t paying much honestly, but it gives me a lot of FREE TIME to do other things. I’m able to work at my own pace, go to my home gym, spend time with Geof, eat whenever I want, read books, watch Netflix, and a lot more. 

Time is the real currency of this planet, and I am grateful to have enough.

 

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