Impostor syndrome is something that a lot of people reading this article have experienced (or are experiencing) at one point or another in their personal and professional journeys.
In my case, I don't have the proverbial "voices telling me that I am not good enough." Rather, I am the voice
constantly telling myself I am not good enough.
This is a burden I have carried for a long time, and now see the need to speak up and liberate myself.
I have been dealing with impostor syndrome and decided to document my journey and get inspiration from how far I have grown professionally and personally.
I think of myself more as a writer and teacher, than I do anything else. Basically, all my life has reflected this. Right from when I was a child, I had written. Previously, my focus was on fiction writing, which lead me to author my poetry anthology, WHERE DEAD MEN WALK in 2018.
Here's a link to the book. Let me know what you think about it. 😃
In 2016, I got my first job as the Senior Editor at Writers Space Africa.
This was something I was very excited about because it afforded me the opportunity to do two things I loved so much: read and write. WSA magazines were published weekly after collating entries from various submissions under a particular theme or effect. My major job description was:
to determine which article aligned best with the given theme,
look out for, and correct grammatical errors,
contribute to the pool of submissions,
advertising as well, seeing as the team was rather small at that time.
At the turn of 2017, I got into the university to study Petroleum and Gas engineering (Gas major). I maintained my role as a Senior Editor at WSA, juggling it with school. In November of 2017, I got into another (volunteer) role as the Director of Media of the Society of Petroleum Engineers(Uniport chapter), where my primary job description was:
to write editorials on behalf of the chapter,
proofread the editorials being sent out by the chapter president and other team members before it was sent out.
Create and manage a social media presence for my chapter.
The year is 2018 and I had branched out a bit in writing from fiction to academic writing (I needed extra income to survive school 🤣). With my increased school work and three jobs, I decided to drop one of them. I dropped my job as senior editor at WSA, as that was my most demanding job. In October 2018, I published my first (and currently only) book; a poetry anthology, WHERE DEAD MEN WALK.
2019 continued much the same, with my tenure as Director of Media coming to an end at the turn of the year. I had only academic writing at this point. In June, I became the Co-editor for the SPEUPC weekly Technical magazine [A volunteer role]. This brought me back to where I was with WSA, writing and editing articles, although technical articles this time around.
Later in the year, I started my own e-learning facility, Alphar Group of Companies (group of companies because it was meant to grow into more). With AGC, I aimed to make the knowledge of proper English and the mastery of Writing accessible to more people. With this in mind, I had my first training cohort of 40 participants, training them to understand writing, English, and art in general. I,
Built and grew this community all by myself.
Managed advertising for the first cohort, which yielded 40 active participants.
Organized and conducted the first cohort.
Sourced for speakers and anchors for the first cohort.
In 2020, COVID hit and everything was on lockdown, including school and my writing career. I officially started my programming journey in 2020, at the peak of the COVID lockdown.
I started my journey on Solo Learn where I earned my first certificate in, after completing the course, INTRODUCTION TO PROGRAMMING USING PYTHON
Having equipped myself with the knowledge of python, I decided that what I wanted to do was become a machine learning engineer. I went ahead to do a great deal of projects, and to earn more certificates in machine learning. I took datasets from Kaggle and worked on them on my local computer.
I got another certificate from SoloLearn.
I had the second (and sadly last) cohort of my Art and Writing workshop where I had over 80 participants, double what I had the previous year. I had more speakers and more anchors.
As part of the mandatory internship exercise at school, I worked as a Research intern at a QA/QC lab.
I also continued on my machine learning path, adding more certificates to my collection and increasing the projects I did.
I thoroughly enjoyed Python and machine learning and kept striving for perfection in them. I also took a YouTube course from Mosh Hammedini on Understanding Python.
Towards the end of 2021, I was introduced to the world of blockchain technology and development by a friend, and I couldn't resist my interest.
I dropped what I was learning as a Machine Learning engineer, and went straight to learning Blockchain development.
In September 2021, I landed a role as the Growth Marketing Manager at Kaoshi Network! I was enthusiastic about my journey.
By January 2022, I had bagged a certificate from SimpliLearn on Blockchain development.
After this, I went ahead to use a tutorial video on Youtube by Patrick Collins to perfect my skills.
For the first half of 2022, I struggled to learn Blockchain Development. I did learn, but I struggled with learning and understanding blockchain development. It was a difficult time for me.
In due time, I had an epiphany. It was that,
'for me to properly learn and understand web3, I had to learn ad understand web2.'
However, before leaving the web3 space, I learned about Developer Relations as a role. I was fascinated. It was like they had bundled all the things that I love doing, and made it into a role! From then I determined that this was the path I wanted to follow, and began my transition into it. But there was still so much to do and learn.
I got into front-end web development, a path I have since come to love and be very passionate about.
I began my front-end development journey in earnest. I thoroughly enjoyed everything I was learning and building. It was special to me to build something and get to see it come to life with my eyes.
I consumed front-end development with everything I had, thanks to Angela Yu of the App Brewery. I had a wonderful time getting introduced to Frontend web development. I took other courses on the side to amplify my knowledge, which you can find on my linkedin profile. You can also see the fantastic projects that I have worked on or am working on in my GitHub profile.
A friend told me in September, and I quote,
You should write for a living, man.
I have been averagely releasing technical articles every week since October 2022.
I don't quite think anything prepares you for the enormity of the tearing at your soul each rejection email you receive carries.
This is November 2022, and I felt equipped enough to start applying for junior roles, so I put myself out there.
I was getting so many rejection emails, it felt as though my name had been blacklisted by job boards.
I didn't even get invited for interviews, just straight rejected.😭😭
In December, luck smiled on me, and I was invited for an interview with a recruiter at a big blockchain company. Unfortunately, I was stood up for this interview. 😥
I thought rejection emails were painful, but being stood up for an interview that you poured heart and soul into preparing for was devastating.
After everything that happened to me in 2022, I decided to take a break and focus on school. By February 2023, I had graduated from the Department of Petroleum and Gas Engineering, University of Port Harcourt. With everything else, this was a win that I cherished so deeply.😊
Being done with school, I decided to put myself back out there. I continued on my front-end development journey and kept writing and getting better.
I cannot talk about 2023 without talking about the volume of rejection emails I got. Although, unlike last year, I got up to the interview stage with some of the companies. I was, however, always dropped because it was said that I lacked the required years of experience. As though to add insult to injury, I lost my job as a Growth Marketer.
Prior to losing my job, I was often displeased with those who made long, sad posts on LinkedIn about being laid off. I thought, "It wasn't that deep." After losing my job, I discovered just how deep it actually was.🤣🤣
It has been a couple of months for me without a job, but I have persevered.
I have gotten better at writing technical articles and, consequently, my teaching. I ran a complete front-end web development course earlier in the year, and I had a great time doing so. I have also gotten better in terms of my advocacy skills. Having years of experience with growth marketing for a B2C company, I have developed more skills in technical evangelism and developer advocacy. My front-end skills are probably the most surprising to me. I do not claim that I know so much now, but I have learned and grown so much!
This is where I currently am in my journey, and unless I am bold enough to write about the future, I shall stop here for now.
This article is my way of getting out of the shell that impostor syndrome has placed me in. Writing about and detailing all these things that I have done (though not much) has given me a sense of accomplishment, pride, and good in how far I have grown and come.
If you have made it this far, congratulations! You now carry a part of my story in your mind.