James Bateson Personal Site: Post

Reflecting on, and rebranding myself

My job role has unfortunately been made redundant recently. The time since has honestly been a bit of a blur. Lots of emotions that have changed daily.

Whilst I'm devastated, and currently in the shock/fright/realisation of what that means in terms of cost of living and such, I'm trying to not get overwhelmed by it, stay positive, and do at least one proactive thing a day.

One thing it's given me a chance to do, is think about the direction I want to take my career in, what role would I fit into that would make me happy.I don't just want to make a career move, but the right one.

My passions have always been the development fundamentals. HTML, CSS, and vanilla presentational JavaScript, and over the last several years, focusing on digital accessibility and culture.

Both the jobs I have had in the digital industry have been 'Front End Dev/Engineer'. However, as the stack has moved on and the role feels more like 'full-stack', I have struggled as working with frameworks and TypeScript, etc has just never 'clicked' for me.

From the first few days of looking for job postings, however, this has presented a bit of an issue. Almost all positions I saw were React/TypeScript proficient/expert, node.js, npm, headless, unit tests the lists go on and on!

So I've decided to try and rebrand myself in a way that plays to my strengths and allows me to try and speak to companies about a role I feel is hugely important within a development/design team.

UI Developer and Digital Accessibility Specialist permalink

I don't know if this sounds pretentious, but I feel it best describes what I'm passionate about and where I think my strengths lie.

UI Developer permalink

By this, I mean building components with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Possibly with them and then being integrated by somebody else. Or try and expand on my Vue/React knowledge in this downtime. I truly believe there is strength and value in being an HTML/CSS expert within a team.

Something that I hugely enjoyed in my last position was also encouraging and participating in the design team routines, seeking new ways to bring the design and development disciplines closer together. As a UI Developer, I feel that would be a great chance to get back into some design work and applying the principles and passions I have picked up from working closely with UI/UX designers.

Digital Accessibility Specialist permalink

Accessibility is at the heart of everything I consider important, and over the last several years I have advocated for and championed implementing accessibility culture, processes, workflows, skillshares, and mentoring.

It is something I would love to keep on doing in my next position. I feel that working on building components and more closely with designers/on designs would be a very nice pairing, and allow me to make earlier impacts and start communications earlier.

Continuing to talk and write about accessibility is something I hope to make part of my new role.

Personal development permalink

During the search for a new job, I'd like to take the time also to start doing more of what I love in terms of article writing and experimenting with code. Whether this be some tinkering on codepen, finally getting around to making some updates on this site, or trying something a bit different.

Using Figma more for actually designing components/layouts is something I'm actively going through also.

There are lots of areas I need to improve in, and I mustn't try and do too much and take this break to look after my wellbeing also.

One thing that I have taken from my previous role that I need to work on personally is ensuring that I getter a better work/life balance and think about be more consistent and often, opposed to cramming lots in a short space of time and then burning out.