How do I pivot careers?
June 13, 2014 4:46 PM Subscribe
I went to university for Architecture. I've been in the field for 8 years, never got my license, and I really don't see my future in it. I'd like to switch to computer science / programming. Is this realistic? How do I do it?
I have a decent job, but it's getting more stressful every day. Even a promotion (Project Manager) would probably mean a lot more stress, only slightly more pay, a more serious emphasis on me getting my license, and having a lot more interaction with the clients. I'm quite introverted, and I really have very little interest in schmoozing clients or with the business end of architecture, which is basically mostly what my bosses do. I'm fairly good at what I do, but I feel like that I just don't really care to develop my skills in the way that would further my career, so I don't feel like the answer is "just change firms."
I've been programming as a hobby for a long time, but didn't consider it as a profession (I wanted to get into something "more creative"). Since it's just been a hobby though, I just went wherever my heart lead me, so I know a smattering of various programming languages and platforms and computer related skills. I've written android apps, websites, programs. I'm not a beginner by any means, but my skills don't really add up to marketability.
Is this the sort of thing that I'll need to go back to school for a masters? Or do I just go out and cold call people? Masters might be a deal-breaker.
Have you made a similar transition from your previous job to a hobby?
If it helps, I'm in Northern California (extended Bay Area), divorced but definitely not open to relocating, and I'm not willing to take on the stress of being a full time freelancer (but contract-to-hire would be okay, I guess).