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I knew from early on that I wanted to be a programmer. I was about 14 years old and would watch my younger brother obsessively playing the Nintendo. Observing him, made me realise I didn’t just want to play the games I wanted to design them. I shared my dream with an uncle, also a programmer. Naturally, he encouraged me.
As I came towards the end of my university degree, it had become clear what had drawn me to this vocation. Apart from a realisation that numbers, mathematics, algebra, coding were all like English to me, I liked solitude.
I remember the day I handed in my dissertation. There was obvious relief as well as excitement. I could now get a job where I would work sitting by myself in a dark room programming. My first graduate job looked almost like that. I wasn’t by myself, but I did sit in a dark basement room with several other entry to senior level programmers, and no one talked. We coded, silently all day. It practically felt like solitude — Heaven to me.
But of course, things change. A few jobs later, a wedding and a baby, my priorities changed. I wanted to be as close to my new son as possible and enjoy a better work-life balance. I left the managerial job I had at the time, with admittedly no solid plan to pursue this new dream. After not being able to find a more flexible job, I became a freelance web designer. Not realising you could purchase ready-made WordPress templates, I began my career by hand coding one from scratch.
After much deliberation and dread, I opened a Facebook page so that I could market myself and get a few clients. I’m an extroverted introvert, I like socialising, I’m not shy, but I have no problem being on my own in the middle of a party.
Being on Social media, well Facebook to be exact, where you have to be social all the time wasn’t appealing to me. Unfortunately, if I wanted to spread the word about my work, going on Facebook was going to be essential.
So, back then, which was about ten years ago, part of my dread of being on social media came from the introverted side of me. However, like many introverts who are deep thinkers, sitting behind a computer screen, I was able to pour on my thoughts into a Facebook status without feeling like I was boring anyone, worked for me. Now this was ten years ago and surprisingly, I was one of a very few who would get a tonne of comments and likes. Soon my web design clients began asking me for social media advice. Most of them asked me to manage their pages.
In a nutshell, I accidentally became a Content Marketing Strategist. It hasn’t been easy for me. I still wonder whether I am suited for the job. Programming and marketing are two very different fields. But, over the years managing content for brands, doing my own content, I have realised my own gifting, like coming out here on YouTube. And I can do it.
I suppose what I’m saying is, if me, a former selfie-loathing recluse can be a content creator, anyone can.