As Glenn Irwin raises his family, a remote tech role gives him work-life balance

May 13, 2022

In this interview, we had the pleasure of sitting down with Glenn Irwin, an alum of our September 2021 cohort. He is currently working at UprightEducation as a Business Development Representative.

At the start of your career, you were headed down the psychology track. What made you pivot into tech?

I went to school in North Carolina and played college basketball, which was plan A for me. I studied psychology & human family services and worked in that space after graduation. I planned to open a therapy practice but it’s difficult to advance in that field with just a bachelor’s degree. I felt underpaid and overworked and decided I needed to make a change.

I knew tech was shaping the future and I wanted to become a part of that. At the beginning of 2021 I left my job working in a group home after four years. I was pretty much a stay-at-home dad over the next several months, really trying to figure out what I wanted to do in the tech industry. 

And then you joined School16.

I felt like the program would give me the best return on my investment. I wanted to figure out how I could market myself in a way that was attractive to tech companies and pursue a job where I could make three times what I was making before.

You had a lot on your plate! What was it like to juggle raising kids and also marketing yourself for work?

It was very difficult. I have a four, two, and one year old. Childcare is crazy expensive, so my kids were with me when I was putting my resume together, participating in the School16 cohort, and even interviewing for jobs. They are not the best co-workers! But having them in the room motivated me to create a better future for myself and my family.

I didn’t know how important it was to share my brand in a way that was marketable. School16 taught me how to feel confident in my abilities so I didn’t have to just accept whatever came across - and I ended up with a number of interviews and offers.

Did your role as a caretaker influence the type of work environment you were looking for?

Remote work was important because I still take care of my kids full-time and needed that work-life balance. I had a number of job options but chose the one that best fit the values that were important to my life. School16 taught me to become confident in my abilities so I didn’t feel like I had to just accept whatever offer came along. 

What types of values were you looking for?

Aside from work-life balance, I wanted the ability to continue growing. I currently work for a startup that launched last year. I’m enjoying it because I can wear different hats and continue to add to my portfolio of skills. I could have worked somewhere that’s a little more established and had more guidelines and structure. But I like being in a position where I might need to do some marketing today, sales the next day, etc. 

So you enjoy working for a super small startup!

It’s allowing me to better identify what my strengths are and how I can become a better asset to the company. I’ve been with UpRight Education for a little over three months now. It’s an exciting ride. For others who just got a new job, it’s important to become a constant learner. This isn’t the end of the road, it’s just the beginning. 

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