“I was always exhausted by the end of the day.” 

Image of Tooba Jamal
From Tech to Writing

Frustrated and drained by her job, Tooba Jamal knew something needed to change. But she was hesitant about leaving a profession she'd put so much time and effort into. An opportunity to work temporarily in a different field became the start of a fulfilling new career. Here's her story.

What work were you doing previously?

I worked as a data scientist and web developer, for small businesses and non-profits.

What are you doing now?

I’m a content writer, writing blog posts for different businesses. 

I also run a blog named Dreams in Script, where I publish advice based on my career change experiences.

Why did you change?

I’ve been writing short stories and blog posts since I was 16. 

However, I had external pressure to build a career in IT and ended up in an Engineering University, and went on to work in tech. 

I never enjoyed scrubbing large code bases and building machine learning pipelines. I was always exhausted by the end of the day.

When was the moment you decided to make the change?

Last year, I landed a content writing job while I was working hard to land a full-time web development position. 

I noticed my exhaustion and frustration dissipating as soon as I began writing content for the company.

A month later, I went on a long trip with the intention of resuming my search for a web development position upon my return. 

However, the exhaustion and constant tiredness returned as soon as I resumed coding.

How did you choose your new career?

The unexpected writing job led me to choose my new career. 

My colleagues appreciated my work, and I began receiving positive feedback from company customers for my writing as well.

Are you happy with the change?

I've never been happier. 

My current career not only allows me the freedom to pursue my childhood dream of owning a blog, but has also improved my lifestyle.

What don't you miss?

I don’t miss the tiredness, the oversaturated job market, a burning sensation in my eyes, and asking AI to generate code snippets for me.

How did you go about making the shift?

I hesitated to make the change because I was worried about losing my credibility as a developer. 

After returning from the trip, I was unemployed for a month, which made my future anxiety even worse. However, I was lucky again to unexpectedly receive an offer for a content writer role.

Although it wasn’t a permanent position, my content soon began to rank well. I used it as an opportunity to tell my LinkedIn network about my expertise in a new career, attaching photos of my top-ranking content. 

Soon I started planning my blog which kept me super excited. Days went by quickly as I wrote content for others during the day and built my blog in the evening. 

Fast forward to today, I write content for multiple clients and working on my blog makes me the happiest.

How did you develop (or transfer) the skills you needed for your new role?

I already had a gist for writing. 

However, I needed to learn practical SEO and writing best practices. To fill this gap, I took a few content writing courses online and learned SEO while I worked for a marketing agency.

How did you handle your finances to make your shift possible?

I had almost zero bank balance before I transitioned into writing.

Everything I have today is what I earned through writing over the past year. The journey was tough, but I had family support which helped with finances during the shift.

What was the most difficult thing about changing?

The most difficult thing was letting go of the uncountable efforts I put into my IT career. 

Additionally, I was afraid to rebrand myself online because I feared others' opinions about my career choices. 

What help did you get?

I had a supportive family, which allowed me to change careers without worrying about my survival. 

I used my LinkedIn network to promote my newly acquired skills and blog.

What have you learnt in the process?

A career in IT isn’t the only choice. 

My health matters the most.

And an updated LinkedIn profile works wonders!

What do you wish you'd done differently?

I wish I hadn’t put much effort into my previous career, and instead pursued writing as a career from the beginning.

What would you advise others to do in the same situation?

I know that career change isn’t easy and can be mentally draining. 

So, the most important advice I can give is to take care of yourself and know that everything will make sense one day.

You can connect with Tooba on LinkedIn.

What lessons could you take from Tooba's story to use in your own career change? Let us know in the comments below.

Plus, if you know someone who's made a successful shift into work they love, we'd love to hear from you. Drop us a line at [email protected]. and you could win a £25 / $35 voucher in our monthly draw.