What did your 9am-5pm look like and what does it look like now?
My previous working day was worlds apart from where I am today. Working in retail stores my days would start as early as 6am or end as late as 10pm. During the typical day I’d spend most of my time on the shop floor interacting with customers, merchandising stock, or leading the team to deliver for the customers. In the few brief moments away from the shop floor I would be focussing on the administrative side of running the store. With the bulk of food retail work being shop floor tasks the average days did tend to become quite monotonous and repetitive.
With nTrust, it’s almost a complete reversal and for the better. My working pattern now has consistency, and I’m able to tackle unique and interesting problems every day, with the time to actually investigate and find solutions. Every day is filled with new things to discover and fix, and I’m in a position where I’m really enjoying myself.
How did you choose your new career?
I have always loved technology and always envisioned a career in IT one way or another. It’s an industry I’ve wanted to get into for as long as I could remember, however without any formal training or experience getting that foot in the door was always a difficult endeavour.
A colleague in my previous role suggested that there might be private courses I could look into which could help me get noticed in the IT industry. I ran with that and found a company offering a package of industry-recognised certifications. When it came to finding a place to work nTrust really stood out to me. From the job posting they presented themselves as a small business of people who really cared about making sure the customers are happy. It was clear that this wasn’t going to be a corporate call-centre job and I’d actually get the opportunity to “get my hands dirty”, so-to-speak.
What qualifications did you complete or start working towards before switching career?
Before seriously trying to enter the IT industry I studied towards and achieved my CompTIA A+ certification. After completing this I began studying towards the CompTIA Network+, which is still in progress.
Which former skills have been directly transferable to your new career?
The biggest skills transfer would have to be customer service. In my previous role being able to quickly build a rapport with customers and make sure they felt heard and appreciated was essential. This has directly transferred across as I now interact with plenty of clients daily.
Additionally, the ability to handle many tasks at once and prioritise accordingly has helped me massively in my new role. Back in stores it was common to have several “day jobs” to do while also having to fight intermittent fires such as staffing, shoplifting, and supporting other local stores. Being able to keep a cool head and approach several conflicting demands has really helped me in my new role.
Why was a local career important to you?
I’ve never liked the idea of being too far from home for too long. Combined with the fact that I rely on public transport to commute at the moment, a local business was a must.
Do you have any advice for others looking to change or try something new?
The best advice I can think of is to prepare yourself – research the industry and the job role(s) you’re interested in. If there are relevant courses or accreditations you can work towards to show that you’re serious these will definitely help increase your knowledge and help get your foot in the door.