There are linear life paths and people who have always known what they wanted to do. Jordane Lelong is not one of them.
Between passion, questioning and personal quest, her story is like that of each of us: unique. Whether you are a student or a professional in transition, you may find yourself in her story. Whether you do or not, what is certain is that her story will not leave you indifferent.
And for those who, like her, are a little lost in finding their "way", we invite you to discover the excellent advice that she so well shared at the end of this article.
Jordane is a young woman of 28, passionate about music and travels "even if it's a bit complicated to travel at the moment". Product designer at Free since last July and co-founder of “UX Challenger” that she created with another Ironhacker, Morgane Favchtein, Jordane seems to be really fulfilled today. But it wasn't always like this.
Like many, she was asked at 18 what she wanted to do with her life without having any idea how to choose. Her taste for school being limited "except for English, art and computer science" and without really anyone to help her, she settled on a "safe" choice: that of a career in international trade "because there are more opportunities in this field.” Except that several years later, with a master's degree in hand, her questions were still there and none of the jobs that her studies could lead to appealed to her.
Jordane, as creative as she is passionate, turned to the only environment that really attracted her: music. This was followed by 6 years as an event manager organizing concerts all over the world. But far from a life of dreams, as an intermittent performer, she had to face a lot of dedication, difficulties and sacrifices. At the beginning of 2020, a burnout and a first confinement later, her job and her health were gone. So it was time to "think about what I wanted to do with my life".
Beyond her incredible personality and proven creativity, what is striking about Jordane is her independence and her need for freedom.
So it's not surprising that, while searching on social networks, she was attracted by videos of women explaining how not to depend on a salary. That's when she first heard about web design and her future job.
Little by little, Jordane trained herself in "no code" tools and started to create her first websites for friends. By the end of 2020, not only was she financially successful thanks to several projects and clients, but she also discovered a new and growing interest in web design and UX/UI issues.
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Thanks to her thirst for learning and her unlimited curiosity, Jordane has managed to completely turn her career around in a few months, so why launch into a bootcamp when everything is so well (re)launched?
You probably know the answer. It is sometimes really difficult to fight against the imposter syndrome and to succeed in thinking that you are legitimate to join a new sector or a new job. That's why she joined Ironhack, to be accompanied, to learn the basics and apply them on concrete projects but also to join a community of enthusiasts.
Hesitations and fears she had a lot of them:
However, thanks to her determination and the help of a scholarship from Indeed, created especially for people who lost their jobs due to the covid crisis, she quickly joined the bootcamp. From that moment on, all her doubts evaporated: theory combined with practice every day was her magic formula.
She learned to trust herself by practicing, by "putting her hands in it" and especially by seeing how much she was able to progress day after day. Not to mention the fact that, at Ironhack, you learn in a group. Having feedback, being able to share her questions and receiving support when things weren't going well were all essential elements in her learning process.
Knowing how to do things and knowing how to behave are the two keys that allowed her to unlock the door to the self-confidence she was missing.
What she says when asked what the bootcamp did for her?
"I came out of it energized. I was a new person, prepared for this new adventure that I was about to embark on. [...] Ironhack taught me that I can start from nothing and go far. [...] I had a really bad experience when I left the music business because of my burn out, my world collapsed and with the bootcamp I proved to myself that I was not an old dinosaur who could not do anything anymore, quite the contrary. Too often we think we are too old to learn new things, change careers, start a business, but we are not. In general, habits condition too much our way of doing things and of apprehending changes. You need to have a good environment and a good mindset to learn new things, that's what Ironhack gave me".
Jordane finally reconciled her life as a freelancer and a salaried employee by joining an agency just a few weeks after the bootcamp, and then, today, the Free group: "I didn't think I would find a job so quickly. Ironhack has a very good reputation in the UX world and companies are impressed to see the work we manage to do in 9 weeks. I felt confident talking about my background and I wasn't ashamed at all when I walked out even though I didn't have a specialized profile."
To stay in line with her convictions (editor's note: she has been vegan for 8 years and practices "0 waste"), she had given herself the mission to accompany entrepreneurs in the field of ecology, health, or well-being.
Finally, she finds her usefulness not only in these projects but also at Free, on a daily basis. Her job consists in having a more responsible approach towards the user, putting him at the center of the strategy so that "technology is at the service of people and not the other way around."
One might think that Jordane is already quite busy with all this, but that's not knowing her well. As if that wasn't enough, she set up a volunteer project “UX Challenger” with another Ironhacker, Morgane Favchtein, whom she met during the training to "give back what she benefited from". The principle is simple: 1 pitch = 1 project. Between the two of them, they regularly launch "design challenges" so that young designers can practice and offer them mentoring after the project is submitted. "The designers in the making are very happy to have constructive feedback that will help them progress".
As you can see, her desire to help is matched only by her passion for her job. So it is here that we share with you the advice she so eloquently put forth:
"If I had met myself back when I was lost, I would have said to myself: stop overthinking and trust yourself. It's too easy to compare yourself to people, especially on social networks, you have to take a chance and go for it. Ironhack was almost a spur-of-the-moment thing but I had nothing to lose. At first, I felt bad about making a decision so quickly but, in fact, it takes spontaneity to shake things up. If someone had told me a year ago where I would be today I would have laughed.
When the bootcamp is over, we continue to learn, that's when the work really starts. Then it's a different kind of learning, you're confronted with reality, with business problems, you have to deal with all parts of the company. You have to tell yourself that every opportunity is good to improve. That's how you learn who you are and what you want to do, or not do.”
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