I reached my thirtieth birthday without ever having to take a standard 9-to-5 job. It’s not that I’m some kind of mountain-dwelling free spirit or world-changing entrepreneur, I just think corporate jobby-jobs are gross. I’ve done some freelancing here, part-time work there, and so far I’ve managed to bring home a livable income.
But my glorious freedom ends tomorrow. When my 32-ish-hour, choose-my-own-schedule, super-casual start-up job dissolved three months ago (the company went under), my other income streams couldn’t fill the gap, and so I began the dreaded job hunt.
The part of the search I struggled with the most (besides retyping my resume information over and over and OVER again on each new application) was putting a name on the job I wanted. I can see it in my head—I’m working with data, solving puzzles, using my mathy smarts and my language skills to find answers to questions about . . . anything, really. It could be space or insurance or urban planning or manufacturing, as long as the problems are complex and the details are key.
I thought this might be the sort of thing a data scientist would do, and it is. The problem is that most companies expect their data scientists to know multiple programming languages and be able to build a database solution from start to finish, and I’m not quite there yet. “Entry-level data scientist” is not a popular listing.
So I set my sights a little lower, on “data analyst” jobs, of which there seem to be plenty. Most of the employers I applied to never responded at all, as I gather is the norm these days. The one actual rejection email I got was a refreshing touch.
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