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 each of ours: unique. Whether you are a student or a professional in transition, you may find yourself in her story. But regardless of that, her story will not leave you indifferent.
And for those who are a little lost in finding their "way," just like Jordane, we invite you to discover the excellent advice that she shares at the end of this article.
From Education to Passion
Jordane was 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 was 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.” But 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.
As creative as she is passionate, Jordane 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 the 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."
Being Inspired by Others
Beyond her incredible personality and proven creativity, Jordane's independence and need for freedom is striking.
It's not surprising that, while searching on social networks, she was drawn to videos of women explaining how to avoid depending 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.
Thanks to her thirst for learning and her unlimited curiosity, Jordane managed to completely turn her career around in a few months. So why jump into a bootcamp when everything is so well (re)launched?
You probably know the answer. It's sometimes really difficult to fight against imposter syndrome and to succeed in thinking that you are ready to jump into a new sector or job. That's why she joined Ironhack: to learn the basics and apply them on concrete projects, but also to join a community of enthusiasts.
She had a lot of hesitations and fears:
"3 months is short, what's going to happen after?"
"I'm a woman, do I really belong here?"
“What if I fail in this area?”
Becoming an Ironhacker
However, thanks to her determination and the help of an Indeed scholarship created especially for people who lost their jobs during the pandemic, 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 were the two keys that allowed her to unlock the door to the self-confidence she was missing.
What asked what the bootcamp did for her, she said:
"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".
Staying True to Herself
Jordane finally reconciled her life as a freelancer and a salaried employee by joining an agency just a few weeks after the bootcamp and later, 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 taking a more responsible approach towards the user, putting them 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 they offer mentoring after the project is submitted. "The designers in the making are very happy to have constructive feedback that will help them progress".
Spontaneity is Key
As you can see, her desire to help is matched only by her passion for her job. Here's her advice:
"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.”
Want to be like Jordane?
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