But that's next time!
Let me now gush over things I've been excited about and proud of!
I'm certified awesome. Okay okay, my certification isn't actually in awesome, it's in A+! I had goals I and my boss created for my upcoming annual review, and I aced them! One of them being: getting an official I.T. certification for my job. CompTIA A+ is the official entry certification for just about any I.T. job and explicitly for my current field of Help/Service Desk. I knew a lot both from growing up with computers AND my last 12-13 months of work, so the test was a perfect fit and timing. Didn't have to put a GREAT amount of effort into studying, but it was definitely A LOT of work. I combined studying for this with another certification (I'll get to next) over the last 3 months. I have been waking up at 5:30 on the dot every day to study for 2-3 hours before work and then 3 days a week taking a mid-day break to study, and then sometimes after work would study. The weekends I'd still get up just as early, only study for 4-5 hours at a time.
The beginning was great because I was still able to bike to work 3 days a week, weight-lift after work, and run at lunch or after work twice a week and each weekend day. But then crunch time! for about two or three weeks put a halt on all activities not related to studying. Decided the extra time to ride my bike had to be cut, wasn't able to run at lunch or after work, and running on the weekends stressed me out too much because I felt I needed to focus. I get that some people would have NEEDED to run to loosen up, get blood flowing to think better, step away and breathe for a minute, etc. But unfortunately I don't work that way. My whole life I've been a walking stress bomb, so I have what feels like a jar that I can fill up with stress and it has a limit. Unfortunately doing anything extracurricular just gives me more stress. Running is still work, it exhausts me mentally, and I stress out over how I'm doing it, when, where, all the time it takes, analyzing my effort and results, and ultimately gives me too much time to dwell over all the other things I've been stressing over.
Instead, if I needed a break, it was going to have to be dumbed-down video games or read a book or mindlessly browse Reddit.
All in all, totally worth it. I passed two exams a week apart to officially get my certification and I couldn't be prouder of myself. Continuing education has been a roller coaster for me ever since getting extremely burnt out on Astrophysics at UCSC. And self-learning has always been out of the picture because I hardcore SUCK at it. But I was able to do it this time and earn TWO certificates!
That's right, I said two! I actually did another, non work-related certificate first and actually put a ton more time into it because I was learning from scratch with no resources. That's mostly what took up the 3 months of time. The one I earned was my Salesforce Administrator certificate and I passed that one easy! It was great because I spent my own money on the test and felt it was really important to help my career. I may talk more about Salesforce when I start working with my friend Mike to get a better job with the credentials, but I am going to get a few more certifications before that happens. After I take about 2 weeks off to get back in the gym, running, and doing NOTHING. I'll also be simultaneously (again) going for another IT cert, this time CompTIA's Security+.
I'm really excited for my future and hope all of this helps me stay away from unemployment ever again! Except when it's on my terms of course! I love learning this stuff, both all the IT certs I want to get and definitely the Salesforce ones. Salesforce has been SO much fun to learn and the community I've found with and within it have been amazing and very very fitting of me. It's been a really fun 3 months even though incredibly busy and somewhat stressful. But I'm not at all sick of it and feel like I'm on a roll and don't want to stop! Especially now that ALL my tests are behind me, I'm very happy I did everything I did and my stress is finally alleviated!