Sing Out: The Act of Pivoting Your Career


Sing out, Louise!

And so epitomizes – in three short exclamations – the domineering Mama Rose* in the musical Gypsy, pushing her apprehensive, auditioning daughter to be louder, be bolder, be stronger, be…more. And while the tenor of the musical is at once humorous, heartbreaking, and horrifying, those three small words are vehement reminders to push through the slightly uncomfortable, slightly scary, all the way exciting process of reaching for a new career opportunity. Make an impression before you leave an impression. As Mama Rose bellowed from the wings: Sing out!

Actors, musicians, thespians, and performers go through the audition process for each and every gig (unless you are Lin Manuel Miranda and you just write your own, brilliantly, like you’re running out of time). Actors embody the role they want well before they are cast, and certainly well before they land on a playbill, or on a marquee. Read: they are the role, without the guarantee of a paycheck, and perhaps well before they feel that they are qualified. We can all learn a lot from a job search in the arts, the grueling process of auditions and go-sees; embody the role, understand it, own it, be it. And through that conviction, convince others to agree that you are the one.

Enter: the transition to the technical job search. A Galvanize graduate’s career pivot to be a web developer or a data scientist does not start the moment that she signs that offer letter; the pivot began the moment that she decided that this was her career intention. She is a web developer. She is a data scientist. And everything from that point on—every exercise, every introduction, every status update—needs to feed into that intention. She embodies the part even as she is honing her craft, and she is consistently convincing her audience with her confidence, skill, and commitment.

If you are reading this as you consider applying to Galvanize, a few takeaways from the above:

  • You are a web developer or data scientist the minute that you take your seat on Day One of your immersive program. Months before graduation, you have made a commitment to your new role. We know it, we believe it, and we believe in you – and we in Career Services spend a lot of time in the first few weeks ensuring that you own that brand boldly, confidently.
  • Confidence begets confidence; stand tall and embody your new role, and keep practicing. Attend a meetup where the repertoire of speakers and panelists is diverse and impressive… and practice introducing yourself – and your career intention – to your fellow audience members. The more that you hear it in your own voice, the more natural that your role will not only feel, but the more natural that it will be.

And finally…sing out!

  • Make the promise to yourself and to those close to you that you are a web developer. That you are a data scientist. Back it up with time in the classroom, with practice, with research, with coding, with pairing, and proudly proclaim your intention, well before you land that role.

You decide your new role, right now, today. And after you decide, every step you take is an opportunity to find center stage, locate that welcoming spotlight, and make an impression. It’s refreshing to know that the control is yours well before the interview process, when we begrudgingly share the control with our potential employers. You own your brand and your voice, and you control when you become a data scientist or web developer by that brand and that voice. “Sing out!,” Mama Rose bellowed. Make your intention known, and Galvanize will be there beside you, ensuring that you are successful, line for line.

*While perhaps not the best example of motherhood displayed on the Broadway stage, even Mama Rose deserves a hearty hug and thank you for her faith, tenacity, and (perhaps overzealous) support. So take this as a shoutout to all those who encourage us to sing out—our parents, brothers, sisters, friends, faculty, mentors, colleagues, bus drivers, and baristas—all of whom drive us to be better, be bolder, be stronger. We all own our journey as we switch careers, but none of us are alone in that journey.  


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