Legally Orange: from Law student to Engineer

  • Geplaatst op maandag 17 juni 2019

At Avanade I got the opportunity to discover my true passion. I made a career switch nobody saw coming. How did I end up starting my career as an engineer straight out of Law school? Start daring to choose for yourself.


When or what was the moment that became the tipping point of a career switch that nobody (except me) saw coming? Obviously, there’s a lot more to it than to apply for a job at the number 1 Microsoft Global Partner aka Avanade. It has something to do with stopping to care about the opinions of others and start with daring to choose for yourself. Meaning, putting yourself first.

Rethink choices

I believed at the time when I applied for Law school, that I was already choosing for myself. Allowing myself to have access to higher education and transforming myself from a business-driven/money-making mindset into this role where I was able to help those in need by representing them in court. A noble mindset of course, but not something that gave me the fulfillment I was unknowingly seeking.

Working as a solicitor opened my eyes to the reality that I’m (emotionally speaking) much more of a softy than I initially thought. I started taking my client’s problems home with me and as hearings approached, I was more and more occupied with my clients' cases and working overtime I did not even charge. One would argue that I was being the best legal advocate I could possibly be, but I felt otherwise. The work very quickly started to consume me. I decided I needed to take a break and rethink some of the choices I made. I realized I had made a massive trade-off by barely meeting with family and friends and no longer spending time on my hobbies I loved so much.

Combining my hobby with my job

My hobbies were always centered around creating something. That burst of motivation and coming up with new ideas to either draw, develop, or design was completely gone, and I knew that I would not be able to find that in the legal field. This is the very moment a friend of mine asked me why I didn’t get a job in IT. For some reason, no matter how remote IT felt to me, it somehow made complete sense. He was right!

In IT they have developers, and developers continuously develop, thus create new things. Maybe if I could find one company that was willing to invest in me, a homebrewed developer, they could in return get a highly motivated individual who is eager to learn more and make himself an asset to the company. The company that was willing to take this risk is Avanade.

Finding a company who wanted to invest in me

Of course, this journey was not without any bumps and bruises. I have had my fair share of obstacles to overcome. One of the hardest moments was when external obstacles (business requirements) conflicted with internal ones (Hello ego, my old friend...). This happened early on where my skills were not assessed fully, and Avanade wished to place me on a project. Of course, I knew learning development via YouTube was different than Enterprise level development. And it was only fair that I still needed training. I had to get off the high horse and accept I was a newbie. I was no longer in a field where I knew all the ins and outs.

Above expectation, the culture here is none like I have ever experienced before with an employer. For the very first time, I could understand why people would want to stay with an employer until retirement. I have made friends with some of my colleagues, I have built an open and transparent relationship with my Career Advisor and I have witnessed the lead of our Talent Community putting me and my family’s wellbeing first with respect to business deadlines.

With Avanade, I have been able to take a U-turn in my life and enter a world that once seemed so far away. The best part is not only that I can finally combine my hobby with my job but also that I can learn so much more and develop my skills to a whole other level than I would have been able to if development, programming and design was just a hobby next to a legal career.

I love that I am offered not only a chance as a developer but also as a functional consultant, allowing me to explore two major facets of the business and experience how all the skillsets come together in technology innovation. I have experienced a lot in a very short time and I can only look forward to what comes next!


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