Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach

When You Can’t Work On Your Resumé

If you’re unemployed, you’re unlikely to get paid fairly until we have a COVID-19 resistant economy. After all, the market is flooded with jobless talent. Now what? 

You work on your resumé. 

Not only will that increase the odds of finding a job mid-pandemic, but you’ll increase your worth post-pandemic.

There’s just one hitch: not all professionals can sharpen their skills from home. A pilot needs a plane, a waiter needs a crowded restaurant, a mechanic needs a theme park, and a manufacturer needs a factory.

So what do you do when you can’t easily upgrade your expertise?

You become an expert in another trade.

A trade that’s among the highest paid professions in the world and that doesn’t require a degree.

Sound too good to be true? It’s not, as long as we’re talking about the same thing.


The average salary of an American programmer in 2020 is $73,529. Which is almost double the salary of the average American.

If that sounds appealing, here are 9 tips to get you started.

  • Don’t fret over the language. The ‘best’ language is entirely dependent on what you want to build. And until you have a basic understanding of coding in general, you won’t know what you want to build. To prevent paralysis by analysis, I recommend you use Python because it’s a good language for beginners
  • The only exception to the above rule: if you’re fully committed to becoming a full-time coder, figure out the job you want and reverse engineer your curriculum.
  • Find an e-course or book and stick with it. As far as books go, the internet unanimously agrees that Python Crash Course, 2nd Edition is the best. For videos, click here.
  • Code every day. Evidence shows that learning is most effective if you learn a little every day, as opposed to cramming one or two days a week.
  • Don’t expect miracles. Although you don’t need a degree to become an expert, you do need lots of practice. So it’ll probably be a few months before you build anything that’s useful.
  • The faster you have a project, the better. Although you’ll learn from books and courses, you’ll learn much faster if you have a project that makes the world a little bit better. Don’t worry, you don’t need to improve the lives of everyone. Just your own, or that of a friend, or relative. So keep your ears open for annoying chores that you may be able to automate.
  • Prepare to get angry. No matter how good you are, your code will always run into problems. Sometimes you’ll spend hours sifting through your code just to find you missed a semicolon. That’s simply part of the territory. So learn to embrace the struggle.
  • Learn from others. If a child wants to know how a watch works, she takes it apart and puts it back together again. The same applies to code. Did you run into an app with a feature that blows you away? Dive into the code and see what makes it tick.
  • Learn together. Clacking away at a keyboard by yourself can feel pretty lonely. Plus learning to code is pretty daunting when the road to mastery is still long. So get in touch with other coders to stay motivated. Perhaps rope in a friend who has time to spare.
By Jeroen Elsing
Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach