Many people use excuses to justify their lack of progress in any field. While you can’t be a lawyer or a doctor without the proper degrees, there’s nothing in the world stopping you from doing what needs to be done to get to where you want to go.
At the simplest level, many people hate their jobs. If that’s your case, make a list identifying exactly what you hate about your current job. Now make a similar list detailing what you’d like in a job.
If you’re like most people, you may never have gone through this simple step. If you don’t identify what you don’t like about your current job, chances are extremely high that you’ll just repeat the same miserable experience in another job. The real source of job dissatisfaction revolves entirely around you.
If you don’t know what makes you unhappy, you may also not know what will make you happy. In that case you’ll never know what type of job you should be aiming for.
Once you know what you want and what you need to get what you want, you can go out and do it. Sometimes that might mean going back to school, but in many cases, you can teach yourself. If you’re not motivated enough to teach yourself, you’re not motivated to do it.
If you’re interested in programming, your best teacher is your computer. Just go to the library or bookstore, find a programming book, and start playing around. If you need more focused instruction, consider one of these programming sites that offer free (or low cost) programming courses.
Online programming courses give you the convenience of learning at low cost on your own schedule. Best of all, unlike other types of learning that may require interaction with a teacher, programming simply requires interaction with your own computer. You can teach yourself programming in your spare time. Regardless of your skill level, you’ll be more valuable in your job if you can create useful programs for work. If you don’t have an opportunity to write programs at your job, write programs for a charity where you can volunteer at, or just contribute to an open source project.
The goal is to give yourself some programming experience and learn at the same time. There’s absolutely nothing stopping you from learning programming or learning a new programming language. Once you understand the basics of programming from one programming language, it’s much easier to understand the nuances of another programming language.
Just remember it’s not what you know that’s important. It’s what you can do with your knowledge that’s far more critical. You don’t need a college degree in programming to succeed. Just demonstrate your skill in various ways and that’s far more valuable than a college degree if you can’t prove you know anything or can do anything.
Programming can take all kinds of forms from programming macros in Microsoft Office to designing web pages to writing Java to writing full-blown programs running on a smartphone or PC. Just choose the area you’re most interested in and if you can demonstrate your ability, you’ll likely make yourself more valuable at your current job or in a new job.
Just make sure you know what you want in a new job and you keep moving in that direction. By teaching yourself programming, you can enhance your skills in any field.