Sunday, April 25, 2010

career strife

the difference between entering the legal field and the information technology field is a stark one. if you're entering the legal field, you're not expected to know jack. if you're entering IT, you are. plain and simple.

this made getting my foot in the door when i was in law school easy. everyone was coming from the same place. we were all law students, going through the same bullshit classes, being put through the same bullshit hazing ritual that everyone has to go through. the more practical of us picked up a few chops here and there doing internships, but even then, it was never enough time to get a particularly realistic taste of the profession. on top of that, no one ever asked how we'd do a specific case or solve a specific problem. i got high grades in my classes, grades that showed i had skills like "forcing myself to study the day before my final", "staying up the night before the paper was due", and "pulling a handful of perfectly cromulent arguments out of my ass in three or four hours."

in other words, the legal profession was one that was ridiculously easy for someone vaguely bright to enter with no discernable skills. people wonder how i could say that going into the law was a path of least resistance. this is how.

computers are a completely different ballgame. instead of competing with other people to see who is better at bullshitting and being charming, they care what you've actually done. "entry level" means they expect you to have a certain level of experience already. they ask you in an interview how to do specific things. i know the best thing to do is own up to what i don't know, and say "i'd look it up and get back to them." but, it gets really frustrating when i'm inevitably competing against people with more experience than i have, who have more knowledge than i do, who have more [and more substantial] projects they can show off, who have far fewer things they'd have to "look up and get back" about than i do.

i'm just frustrated. i love the fact that everyone i spend time with is smart as a whip, because i can learn a lot from them and they never, ever bore me. but, sometimes i get a little frustrated with always being the stupidest person in the room, or the most clueless person in the room. i get frustrated with the fact that i messed up my life by bullshitting my way into a political science degree and a law degree. i had all these years, all those opportunities, and i wasted them all. all these people i know have spent their teens, twenties, thirties, whatever doing really cool stuff, and i just let myself go with the flow until i realised i had almost drowned. i resent the wasted years.

i know i have time to right myself. i'm trying. i'm just not doing a very good job of it right now.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm way behind on reading this post, but wanted to say I feel the same -- for opposite reasons. Making it through Comp Sci in undergrad was an accomplishment, but makes me wonder if I'd have been better off going the Poli Sci + Law route and getting out sooner...