Yes, I'm turning passion into purpose


Yes, I'm turning passion into purpose

The saying goes, "Do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life." With that in mind, why wait? Let's start living that today!

Where it started

When I was a boy, my grandfather noticed my drawing abilities and encouraged me. He was a carpenter in a small village, and he taught me how to use a jigsaw, how to paint, and how to file. It allowed me to take my drawings off the page and bring them to life.

​Take away: I discovered what I was good at and what I enjoyed early on, but it doesn't have to happen at such a young age. Even now, you can determine what you are good at and start making a career of it. The key here is to discover what you are good at and what you enjoy doing, and hopefully they intersect.

Build Your Skills

It was the time spent working creatively with my grandfather that made me choose to go to a creative school. My formal design education began at Sint Lucas in Boxtel, Netherlands. Here is where my earliest skills as a web designer and animation were formed. The earliest project that really caught my interest was interactive design. The movements themselves brought me great joy. This was all on Adobe Flash, to add interaction you had to program, which seemed crazy at the time!

​> Take away: When you find what you enjoy, expand your knowledge of it. Allow yourself to learn everything you can in that field and to make the most of any opportunity that arises. I was fortunate to find a school that I could go to, now the internet has made it possible to learn almost anything from anywhere.

Real World Experience

It was my enrollment in school that gave me the opportunity to seek out an internship. Here is where I was able to put what I was learning into application. I looked for a company that was close to my home to make my travel easier. I ended up interning at Compubase - a company that worked with Drupal, not Wordpress. I didn't know Drupal at the time, but I was able to learn it quickly. Drupal is a cms and one of the most popular alternatives to Wordpress. It's used to make many of the websites and applications you use every day. This was how I grew from web designer to website architect and builder. After this work, flat design wasn't a challenge anymore, and I was ready for more. That's when I discovered programming and the possibilities within it.

​Take away: By following my passion, I discover an area of focus that I'm enjoying even more. Programming wasn't an option when I was in school, but graphic design and being a web developer became stepping stones that allowed me to find my way to programming.

Passion to Purpose

Now that I had all the basic skills, I knew that I could take on more advanced work. I got a position at a marketing communication agency in Apeldoorn called Emotion. They were looking for a "front-end developer for interaction". I found myself on a team with five other like-minded individuals. There was a learning curve, I had to re-learn a lot of techniques and styles at a much higher level. Everything from Craft CMS to Vanilla JavaScript to Vue.js. Here is where I started to discover the relationship between design and customer experience, the meeting place of accessibility and search engine optimization.

Whats next?

With 11 years of experience under my belt, I am now ready to take control of my career and pursue my passion for working from home. I am eager to expand my network and explore new opportunities in the freelance and remote job market.

It's never too late to follow your passion, my grandpa always told me; “Do what you are good at and the rest will take care of itself”. Taking the right steps for you opens up opportunities that can turn your passion into a great goal.