2020 Was one of the best years of my life

Trevor James
4 min readFeb 19, 2021

No this was not meant to be funny. I am being 100% honest. 2020 was one of the best years of my life. The only way to explain it really is a play on the quote from The Dark Knight, 2020 is not the year I deserved, but it was the year I needed right now.

At the beginning of 2020 I was taking the holiday to decide if I wanted to truly commit myself to being a Sales Rep for ForEnergy, a company that did Solar Panel sales and home efficiency. Something that has always been a passion of mine; the environment and sustainability. Although the company structure sales process was… door-to-door. That is correct, there are still companies out there that make their claim that door to door is the best way to create a funnel for clients, while maintaining a contractor based sales team. To me this sounded crazy at the start, but once I started to see how successful some people were at that practice, I wanted to take on a challenge. A challenge that has skills that still stick with me today.

Having started with ForEnergy previously to the start of 2020, I was going to give it one more serious try at the beginning of the year. I went out and started my afternoon “On the doors” as they said. Then within 20 minutes of knocking, I was back in my car crying. Crying because I was unsure of my future, crying because in my mind I had failed, crying because I was unaware of what I really wanted in my professional life.

The next morning I got up and started to look for my next opportunity, I scoured LinkedIn and came across a company I had refused to move forward with prior, in favor of ForEnergy 🤦🏼‍♂️. But luckily enough they were still hiring and I worked my way back into an opportunity to work with them. Still in sales, as a Sales Development Representative.

Excited to climb the company ladder, while working in a cool, larger start-up environment I was finalizing my training and about to hit the road when the road hit me in the face first. Opening my first team stand-up as a full fledged SDR that morning with crying faces of my fellow teammates reading the email that said our entire org was pretty much laid off. My employer, being in the health, fitness, wellness vertical during the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic was forced to lay-off 700 employees in the beginning of April 2020.

In the course of 6 months I had been laid-off from 2 different jobs for no fault of my own, and left one that was never going to make me happy.

I now hit the ground running again the next morning picking myself up and grabbing money where I could doing working as an Instacart shopper. After about 2 months of looking and finding my way, a trusted friend suggested an opportunity that sounded too good to be true…

Lambda School, full time schooling in the tech arena of your choice, and you don’t pay a thing until you earn a job paying you 50k/year or more in gross yearly income.

I dove deeper, I did my research, I started to look into what the world of tech had to offer. I liked what I saw. I saw myself as a professional in an area with intelligent, motivated people that were looking to make changes in the world through innovative thinking and fast paced decisions.

Data Science — I honestly had never heard the term before my introduction to Lambda School, sometimes it can be scary to say that. But owning your journey is a step in the process to becoming something entirely different in your life.

It was a perfect description of who I was. Data driven decision making, forward thinking and scientifically oriented towards a process that was making companies, people and the world around us a better place.

A few days later I got on the phone with Tommy Collison, he dropped the pre-course material in my lap and said students usually take 1 week to finish the pre-course material, but I had until Sunday evening to finish it. It was Friday afternoon. Classes started Monday if I wanted to begin with the June Full-time cohort.

2 1/2 days later I was submitted everything that was needed to begin my studies as a Data Scientist. I was up to the challenge and I will be henceforth. My life as a Data Professional began in a way that I will always look back on and see as some of the more formative times in my life.

Nothing rings more true during that time in my life than a phrase that may or may not have plans to be one of my first tattoos “Amor Fati” — coined by the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche and explained as “That one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backwards, not in all eternity. Not merely bear what is necessary, still less conceal it….but love it.”

With that being said, I loved 2020, for exactly what it was.

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