I keep changing my mind about what to pursue. Any advice?

Hello everyone. I’m going to try and keep this brief.

I have a degree in Computer Science and am currently working as a “programmer”. Programmer is in quotes as that’s what my title is, but I rarely actually code. I mainly use packaged software to maintain internal applications and SharePoint sites.

For a multitude of reasons, I want to find a new job. Now I’m in a rut trying to even decide what type of job to try next. I recently started brushing up on HTML/CSS/JavaScript in order to pursue web development, but as I sit down to learn I doubt my choices. I was never the best at coding in class and I never really loved it. I basically tolerated it to get my degree. What if I spend all this time trying to learn something and I’m not good enough? What if I am good enough but I hate my next job too?

Another career that has always sat in the back of my mind is technical writing. I’ve always excelled in my writing classes and I feel I understand writing guidelines and styles a lot better than I understand code. I’ve also heard that having a computer science degree is a good foot in the door to that field.

I guess what scares me the most is the unknown in all this. I’m also scared that some type of coding job is the only way I can continue earning my current salary. (50k plus good benefits, 401k, etc.) Is this possible if I pursue technical writing? (I live in a low COL area so this is enough to live, especially with my husbands salary) I would also like to work remotely if possible, but that’s not a hard requirement by any means.

Is this normal? How should I move forward? Should I just try one and then keep trying if that fails? Any tips on pursuing either of these fields? Any advice or input is appreciated.

"I guess what scares me the most is the unknown in all this."

That's perfectly reasonable, but I've found that once I push passed the unknown and I get to the other side I am a much better person for it.

To answer your question, yes, it's definitely possible to make >$50k + benefits with a career in technical writing. However, your location and the kind of company matters a lot. If you can get to a larger firm with opportunity for growth, you'll be able to find a career in writing that pays a livable salary.

Lastly, it's completely normal to want to change gears, but I recommend calculated risks. Keep your current job, but update your resume and start applying for jobs on the side. If you start to get phone interviews, take the ones you really want and see what happens. The best time to find a job is when you already have a job because you can:

1) Pick and choose the jobs you like the most
2) You have more leverage when it comes to salary negotiations
3) You have steady income coming in while you're looking for your dream job.

Best of luck!