Go for a career switch

  • Geplaatst op vrijdag 5 november 2021
  • Leestijd 4 minuten

Go for a career switch

I decided to change course and start a new journey. Sometimes I felt doubt creeping in, but thanks to the Techionista Academy and Avanade I knew for sure that IT or tech was my destiny.

Many small steps make one big step

For years, I enjoyed working in various communication, marketing, and sales roles, but there was one thing that really made me happy: Excel! At some point, I concluded that my next role had to be an analytical one and I worked as a sales analyst temporarily. I took my first training, of which much more followed and I left my employer to look for a position with more perspective. With my hopes high I went looking for a role as a data analyst somewhere in-house. Whilst IT or consultancy never came to mind.

What exactly do you know?

In addition to applying for a job, I threw myself into the world of self-study, because what do you really know? What is there actually to know? I took one Udemy and Coursera course after another, and yet the list of things I wanted to learn just kept getting longer. Apparently, something was still missing. Experience of course, knowledge probably too, or was it my own false belief? I began to doubt my plan.

In the fall of 2019, I encountered the Techionista Academy. They offered the Microsoft Azure Certified Data & AI track, but they hadn’t had the exact start date yet. To not miss out, I kept in close contact with them. Meanwhile, I continued to apply for jobs, did an interim marketing assignment, left the city Leiden in change for Rotterdam and settled with my partner in Eindhoven eventually. We moved in together exactly on the weekend that the intelligent lockdown in The Netherlands was announced. My 2020 turned out to be a year full of switches.

A job in IT, don't think so

At the beginning of June, Techionista announced that the entire track had been converted to online classes starting from mid-June. The training was to obtain a job in IT which caused a little doubt in my head. Shouldn’t you operate from within the business as a data analyst? I signed up anyway as I thought this pandemic was the perfect timing to study full time for 5 months. Our group of 20 women formed the first 100% online group. We followed joint training sessions, lectures, and workshops for about 1,5 days a week. The first few weeks we struggled through more than 200 hours of Data Science, Statistics, Python, and SQL modules on Datacamp.com. Studying again, all in English with new jargon made it quite tough at times but above all, I had a lot of fun.

Daily contact via Teams where we could vent frustrations, help, and boost each other was a good resource. It was entertaining and it gave me the needed energy and motivation. Power BI (DA100) felt like familiar territory, this can be easily related to what we know from our working lives, something that made me feel very happy. We were immersed in Azure data engineering (AZ900, DP200, DP201), which was a different story. What was I supposed to do with this? I sure didn’t have the affinity, knowledge, or ambition for IT. Thanks to inspiring lectures by guest speakers from, among others, Microsoft and Avanadi Alice Bom and Mirjam van Olst, trust grew that this will be a valuable foundation for any role in the data domain and therefore worth the pain and effort.

A job in it, plot twist!

Five months later I had gained technical skills and knowledge with the widely recognized Microsoft certificates as proof. Techionista has brought me a lot, especially in terms of soft skills. We attended workshops on personal branding, job application and negotiating. We wrote an elevator pitch, updated our CV, and became active on LinkedIn. The fact that companies such as Microsoft and Avanade are committed to the Techionista Academy, gave trust that there is room within tech for lateral entrants. This trust was exactly what I needed. A career switch is like leaving the harbor without knowing the weather forecast and the exact destination. I found it all quite exciting.

With this new knowledge in mind, I went beyond what I had dared to dream two years earlier. I knew that I could get a consultancy job in IT, and I was eager to learn much more from experienced colleagues. Avanade immediately appealed to me because of the cordiality, openness, and opportunities they offer. Via Techionista I signed up for a business speed date at Avanade. It all fell into place, and I started in the Analytics Talent Community on February 1!

Even though I have learned so much in the past few months, it still feels like a long way to go. After all, a career switch is not an easy decision. It takes time, persistence, and trust. Techionista, together with stakeholders and partners such as Avanade, creates a safe environment for women to take that leap. I can very much recommend it.

Also interested in a career in Analytics? Check out open roles here

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