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  • Writer's pictureMariana Carvalho

The Pain and Pleasure of Making a Career Transition

A personal essay on my experience with career transition to technology

To write this article, I reflected a lot on my journey so far. I reflected on all the moments I had during my career transition in a way to try to translate into words the pain and pleasure that are part of that process.

I chose two moments that I considered the most important ones, but at the same time, they were difficult.

The first is the decision-making process itself. During this moment, you say to yourself: “I want to change! I want to try something new!”. Fear hits. Anxiety too. But it is not a fleeting fear. It’s a fear that parks around your neck and around your shoulders. You feel afraid.

All. The. Time.

You may even know the direction you want to take, but many things cross your mind: “I’ve studied Humanities, why venture into STEM?”, “What will others think of me?”, “And what if it doesn’t work out?”.

The second is the moment right after the final decision is made. It’s when you cross the bridge. It’s when you get to the side of the unknown. In my case, it was when I entered the classroom for the first time at a university in the United States for the Computer Forensics class (“What the heck am I doing here?” — I thought).

If the insecurity of moment 1 resides in the decision-making process, the insecurity of moment 2 resides in the lack of self-confidence that we can be everything we want to be.

And that’s when all the pleasure (&& opportunities && challenges && possibilities) will start to appear. New projects with novel technologies, conversations about the future of a project coded by you, salary increases, international opportunities…

The insecurities of changing careers are many. They come and go.

If I could go back seven years ago and give Mariana some advice, it would be: “Fear can be your best friend. If it doesn’t work out, know that you can always adjust the path”.


Mariana Carvalho is a writer, career mentor, Latino 30 Under 30 2022 by El Mundo Boston magazine, Mentor of the Year 2023 by WomenTech Network, with over 12 years of professional experience, the last 7 in corporate America. Connect: Mentoring | Medium | LinkedIn | Instagram | Threads | Website

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