As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a Lawyer. I studied Political Science and earned a degree in it, but I decided to change fields due to a lack of work opportunities. I have always had a creative mind since I was a child, and I enjoy drawing, painting, and doing anything artistic. For this reason, I believe, I developed an interest in marketing and decided to study International Marketing. Digital marketing piqued my interest because the area is constantly evolving as new trends and platforms are created every day. I knew that with Marketing, I will always be improving and learning new things.
When you joined Adapt IT Telecoms for your 1st internship, what were your career goals, and how did you see your career future?
My first corporate job was at Adapt IT Telecoms. Of course, I had prior employment, but it was not corporate. When it’s your first corporate job, you have a lot of conflicting emotions. You don’t know where you’re headed or what will happen. However, it exposed me to a lot of new things. I saw many opportunities in front of me in my new role as a Marketing Assistant. I was determined to become an expert in Marketing and grow in my position. At that time, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to work in Acquisition or Retention Marketing. And because it was all new to me, I wanted to do everything, be multiskilled. Indeed, it was an exciting time for me, and I was eager for a new experience.
One of the most interesting things is that Adapt IT Telecoms works with a lot of international customers. Thus, through Marketing, I was given the opportunity to use my language skills – French and Portuguese. Along the way, I aspired to be a project manager or work on exciting international projects. I never imagined that one day I would quit Marketing.
Why Adapt IT & How is Adapt IT supporting your career advancement and change as you continue your journey?
To be honest, Adapt IT is a gift to me. I started as a Marketing Assistant, as I mentioned earlier. Then, one day, while working on a software platform updating the content, I was informed by a Developer that something had broken in the Self-Help platform. I was provided instructions on how to resolve the problem. I obviously copied, pasted, and googled a bit, which I found interesting. My passion for coding began there. I really liked it. Realistically, this was very far away from my initial skill and work, but something happened inside of me. I enjoyed it and was instantly hooked. This little experience truly gave me a taste of the Software Development field.
I then spoke to my manager to ask if I could undertake studies related to Software Development. It was the ideal time since we were going into Freshdesk transition and integration for the Telecoms team. I could work on this project and learn. But the truth is that I wasn’t sure if I wanted to work as a full-time developer. Therefore, I decided to let it go while conducting my own research on coding and practicing without any official training.
Finally, after some time, I made up my mind. I officially wanted to become a Software Developer. I had found my passion! I expressed my interest in coding to my manager once more, and there was no opposition.
Fortunately, I was given the opportunity to complete a DEV course, and then a software testing position opened, and my line manager thought I would be a great fit for it. Guess what? I took it with both hands. It was a sign that I was not making a mistake. I applied for it, and today I’m very happy.
When the opportunity was presented to you, what did you feel at that time because you obviously never really did coding before?
When the Tester position was presented to me, I initially thought, “This is not where I want to go, and this is not what I want to do”. I had a lot of mixed feelings; I worried about being stuck in this and not being good enough. Obviously, my aim was to learn coding and other development-related things. Yet, I had a major internal conflict over whether I should take this Software Tester role or not. To determine if this was the best course of action, I listed all the positive and negative aspects of the situation.
Sometimes, you might have to go through many pains to reach your goal but actually, to reach them; you have to take the pain. You cannot just expect that it’s going to be a straightforward, sweet way. I’ve already been in this role for a month and am learning so many new things that I had no idea existed. I have no regrets.
What is the hardest thing about finding the right vocation? And how can someone find their way out?
Finding the perfect vocation for me was initially difficult, considering that I have so many things I wanted to accomplish. For someone to find the right vocation, they need to keep having courage. You cannot give up. Only few in the Political Science field can ever think about getting into coding. You need to start somewhere, stay positive, and keep fighting for it. Fighting means that you need to show your worth for people to trust you and open the doors of opportunity.
You need to show what you are made of, and your work will speak for you. They wouldn’t have trusted me if I didn’t show that I was interested or if I did not put in enough effort.
The other thing I’ll add is that if you have an interest in something, even if it’s outside of your field of expertise, do a little study on it and take a short course and be open about it with your manager. Everything will fall into place.
There is no limited time for studying. Even People with degrees continue to study as life evolves, particularly in the IT industry. You cannot stop. There is so much new software and things to learn that you need to keep going.
What message would you convey to someone who is considering changing careers but is unsure?
To anyone thinking of changing careers, my advice is to take action and stay positive. Firstly, put down all your reasons for why you are unsure. Many people may tell you immediately that you are “crazy” for wanting the change. But keep your eyes on your goals. Secondly, do as much research as possible. Know your goals, why you want that particular role, and if you will enjoy it in the long run because you need to enjoy what you do. Also, there is nothing wrong with being comfortable in a position. But that’s where you are going to stay.
Another thing to do is research which skills are required, especially if you have plans to take on a new career. Before you even start, there are a lot of things you need to learn. And your mindset must be on point, or people will put you down very quickly. There will be a lot of unpleasant emotions associated with the change (doubt, anxiety, frustration). Questions like, “Are you sure you’re going to be able to do it?” will be raised by the public and even yourself. You might have a tough time in the beginning. But you need to remind yourself constantly that – “I want it”. Make sure your decision is not based on emotions but on logic and positive emotions, such as self-confidence, determination, and a single-minded focus on what you want to achieve.
Support is also very important, and I am very fortunate to have had it from both my previous and new managers. There is still a long way to go, but I do not regret my decision.
A lot of people think that for you to change roles or for you to grow, you need to change companies. That’s not always the case. I’ve been in the same company for six years and got this opportunity; however, you must show that you want that opportunity.
In conclusion, I would say instead of looking elsewhere when you want to change career or vocation, try to do it in your company first, because you are already comfortable with your people and second because you already know whom you can go to for support. Moreover, if you want to do something new, start today.