“Where do you see yourself in five years?”. I think we can all agree no one answered correctly five years back.
We had plans; some of us had a pretty good idea of where we wanted our careers to go, while others were still looking around for something that spoke to them.
We all would have liked to know beforehand about 2020, and while some things are just impossible to predict, data analysis strives to let us make informed decisions.
Graham Angus was one of many who in 2020 saw his work, which he had devoted years of his life to, severely affected by new regulations. A personal trainer since 2013, he took a good look around and asked himself a question many dreaded to ask, “What’s next?”.
He entered CodeClan’s Professional Data Analysis and, over the following months, kept his business open while training to change his career. Now he is a Data Analyst for a tech company in the travel industry with over 100 employees around the world.
Graham has agreed to tell us about his experience at CodeClan and his journey from Personal Trainer to Data Analyst.
Why did you decide to re-train?
I decided to study as the pandemic shifted my business online; it allowed me to do the course whilst working as a personal trainer.
I had been flirting with the idea for twelve months or so but didn’t think I would be able to pay for the Professional Data Analysis course and be without a wage for 14 weeks, so in one respect, the pandemic has been a big help.
What was the first step you took on your journey?
I started by going to a few of the taster sessions. I wanted to speak to others who have been through the course and some of the folk involved in setting it up. I then decided to apply, and before long, I was already getting to know the other students.
If you are interested in knowing more about the current situation of the tech sector and job prospects for CodeClan graduates, check out this post where we go into more detail.
If you could talk to your past self, what piece of advice would you give?
I would tell my past self that self-doubt is natural and a sign that you are doing something challenging, so try and get comfortable with it. I would say to reach out sooner to the rest of your cohort as there will be people who are glad you said you are struggling; they are too. Lastly, I would say enjoy it as the fourteen weeks fly by.
Was there a moment that made you think, “This is what I’m meant to do”?
A big breakthrough for me was on the last day of the first week when one of the instructors, Steph, gave a talk called “Bigger Picture”.
I was struggling with the initial pace of the course and the complete change of environment, and Steph essentially said there are loads of roles for data analysts, not just being in a dark room coding; we need people who can present and talk. That was the moment I knew that’s the kind of analyst I wanted to be.
Five years from now.
The future isn’t always certain, but even if our paths change, we can continue to move forward. Data Analysis can give us enough clarity to make informed decisions, boosting your career and making you stand above the competition while applying for your dream job.
Graham transformed his career; he had no experience before the immersive course and became a Data Analyst who does what he loves. If you want to take hold of your future and decide what path to follow, there’s no better moment than now.