Admittedly, I made most of this post on Instagram, but here it is again with some added details.
For context, I’ve always been interested in the internet and anything that could be digitally created. I loved the feeling of making something and seeing people use it. I loved being able to help people using tech whether it was by using it or helping them understand it. So when I joined the content operations team at my org, I found a lot of opportunities to help through automation, tool, and process improvements. This led to visibility among my peers and being asked to help with certain tasks or projects. Then, just over a year ago, I was given what felt like the most amazing opportunity of my lifetime.
I was asked to help create a new contact feature on our web portal and this allowed me to work with and join the engineering team. I still held my title as Catalog Specialist, but I was able to learn about the web and front-end development process within Amazon. I learned AngularJS and Java for the first time. I learned what unit testing was. I learned so much, but what I found most astonishing was how much I learned about myself.
A couple weeks ago, my manager sat me down and handed me the letter that read:
Effective December 1st, my role would move to a Web Development Engineer I.
I am officially a web development engineer.
Back in 2017, when I first started writing scripts and finding ways to help my original team, the idea of this possibility presented itself. The problem was that I was afraid to go for it. I didn’t think it could actually happen, so I hesitated and said I didn’t think I was ready for it. It wasn’t until I was told that creating a new position for our org would be too difficult that I realized how badly I actually wanted it. It honestly broke my heart a little, but I proceeded and continued to do my job as normal. I took the lessons and opportunities to learn as much and as often as I could.
The truth is, I was too afraid for the same reasons I was in disbelief of my title change. For the same reasons I thought about giving up multiple times in this last year.
I was afraid to take risks, make mistakes, fail, and to really live and face all of the messiness of being human.
Even after I move team in the system and my new manager fought to find me a new desk with the rest of the team, I didn’t believe it was real. I thought this was just a huge HR mistake someone made or would regret later. Someone really liked me or they felt really bad for me. I thought I fooled someone — I fooled everyone. Or I was really, really, really lucky. In the right place at the right time.
My mind was so scared of this opportunity.
Deep down I was convinced that this possibility of something I absolutely dreamed about happening wasn’t something I deserved or could have genuinely earned.
Then I checked the system today and guess what? It’s real.
It’s. Fucking. Real.
It was real for the last year, but it took the whole last year of change and growth for me to finally accept that this was real. It took therapy and the amazing support of my team, friends, and family. I am so thankful for these people. It took learning genuine self-care, boundary setting, and other tools to better cope with my constant fear and anxiety. It took a lot of pushing myself out of my comfort zone, but a lot of self-compassion and forgiveness.
I still struggle and I accept that I will continue to do so. There will still be negative thoughts of fear and anxiety that creep in. I will continue to fight off imposter syndrome. There will still be moments where I am too hard on myself. BUT I also accept that I am still growing. I am still trying. And I am still only human.
So tonight, I am reflective. I am happy and I am deserving of it. 💛