Career Relaunch

Laptop showing codes

After a six years hiatus, I decided to switch my career. I’m going to become a full stack web developer. It has been a fulfilling journey and will continue to be.

My initial spark to become a full stack web developer started decades ago. I did a lot of self-study or more accurately “community”-study.

JavaScript program running
Which way?

I scoured the internet from forums to technical websites and applied what I learnt through the years.

I know, why didn’t I enroll in classes back then? Well, I started a family, and the pressure was to provide for them. I don’t have the time to study except for what was required at that time. As the years progressed, time slowly became my time.

I was at that time driving Taxi, Uber/Grab for a living. Taxi or driving a Private Hire Vehicle (PHV) is good when you are “in-between”. If you like it because of the time freedom, then do so. With that time freedom you can use it for things that are meaningful to you.

It all depends on your goals. I do know that some drivers do it because they want to spend more time with their loved ones or pursue an interest. Some like the idea that they don’t have to report to a boss. You must make your own choices as I have made mine.

My Taxi Drivers Vocational License (TDVL) was up for renewal in May this year. Two years before, I decided not to renew it. That was when I started asking myself what can I do? I know my strengths and I explored the possibility of either becoming a property agent or an insurance agent.

My insurance license is still valid, I just needed to take a “refresher course”. To be a property agent, it was a lot tougher. They limited their certification to only a few in a year because of Cov19 and there was a huge number of candidates on the waiting list. Those two options didn’t inspire me at all.

As I was going through assessing my options, I came across a course. The course is about being a Junior Full Stack Developer by Generation Singapore. I knew what it was about, and I applied for it. Fortunately, the timing was near perfection.

Cleaning a car
Wash and vacuum before returning the car. It’s the Hyundai Kona Electric car.

I was driving a leased car. The lease expires on 24 March 2021. My TDVL expires next month. The course starts on 23 March 2021.

What did I do? I returned the car a day earlier. I still need to pay for the lease until 24 March 2021 which comes to around $84. It was necessary to return the car because the course is a full-time course.

Three months, Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm and six months as an apprentice with a participating company. That was a well-spent $84.

As for my TDVL I decided not to renew it. Everyone told me to just renew it and not drive. Keep it for a “just-in-case” situation. For me, I made my choice and I’m sticking to it. Anyway, it’s not really a big deal. I can always re-apply for the license.

Six years ago I started as a taxi driver and six years later if I didn’t stop, I’m still a taxi driver. The reason for me was simple: I’m “in between”. Driving for Grab allowed me to calm down and re-center myself after a personal crisis. I’m thankful for the opportunity when I was driving as a Grab driver.

I’m happy that I made the switch, happier still that I’m finally able to do what I like.

Live your life being happy in what you want to do. Be it a taxi driver, cleaner, security guard or whatever. You make choices that fit your aspirations. It is right when you think it is right.



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