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From Chef To Web Developer: How 28 y.o. Chicago Girl Made Career Twist

After 8 years of working as a professional chef, Tania Rascia from Chicago understood she chose the wrong career. She worked hard, studied on her own and transformed her adolescence hobby of web developing to a full-time job.

Photo: taniarascia.com

Like many others, Tania spent her childhood playing Super Nintendo and drawing a lot until she discovered the Internet in 1998.

Her brother brought Tania to public library where computers had Netscape Navigator. She learned the words “lol”, NET, created her first email address got to know some HTML basic rules.

She had to accept the first offer that came along

It all was an amazing world for the girl. She says that exactly there “a new hobby was born”. But most of all the girl liked to develop simple websites.

Photo: Twitter

After completing high school in 2006, the girl didn’t have any idea, which career to follow. She had two hobbies,  web developing and travelling. They could be hobbies but not income-generating jobs.

The chef position taught her an immense amount about hard work, managing stress, and being a leader

Yet whether we put a great deal of thought into our future or not, life moves forward, and decisions are made,” she says. Eventually, she had to accept the first offer that came along. It was a Culinary Arts program where she could be enlisted with test scores she had.

Photo: Twitter

Upon graduation Tania had several jobs and achieved much in the industry working her way to chef. That is how the girl recollects those days, “it taught me an immense amount about hard work, managing stress, and being a leader.”

Those books did not tell her what to do or give the magical answer

After eight years in restaurant business Tania felt she had to move on. Without regret she quit her job. She had neither another job nor ideas what it should be. But what she knew exactly was that she didn’t want to cook anymore.

Photo: Twitter

In order to understand herself better and finally land a satisfying job, she read different books and did many tests to find out her natural aptitudes. But these also turned out to be of no use.

“Neither of those books told me what to do or gave me the magical answer,” she stated.

The only verdict she reached was that making websites made top 3 answers in tests for the woman’s favorite pastime. Additionally, one of her greatest skills were quick information scanning and problem solving. It determined Tania’s choice.

Photo: Twitter

The woman’s resume was full of culinary experience and nothing else. As her main aim was other skills to add to the CV, she started applying to many random positions and got not a single response.

Tania had to return to chef position. Not leaving a thought of career change, she started taking the cheapest requests for web and logo designs she could find on Craigslist.

The way was hard and an income extremely low. Without teachers and classes, she learned HTML, Photoshop and CSS during breaks at work.

Photo: Twitter

Finally she managed to find an unpaid internship so she left her stable chef position to night shifts at NAMCO’s Pac-Man themed restaurant. It was priceless experience as she could supplement her resume with new projects, some websites she developed and internship.

I strongly believe in being the change I wish to see in the world

The former cook continued applying to jobs online only for IT positions and that time luck was with her. After an interview, some coding and personality tests, she was hired for the position of junior web developer.

Today Tania is an experienced (self-made!) web designer, web developer and she has her own website, where she posts articles for beginners developers.

Photo: taniarascia.com

Looking back on her past experience trying to land any job, today she’s happy she didn’t settle any of them. Tania persistently followed her dream from childhood when she made websites just for fun.

“I strongly believe in being the change I wish to see in the world,” she concludes.

Sources: TaniaRascia, Tania Rascia/Medium

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