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March is Jobs & Careers Month on the Atlassian Community, and we asked your fellow community pals how they tackled shifting their roles in their professional lives.
In our fast-paced working environment, it’s becoming increasingly common for individuals to change their careers from one industry or role to another. Whether it’s a newfound passion, desire for new challenges, or a need for a better work/life balance, changing careers can be a scary, but rewarding experience!
If you are taking the first (or tenth) step in your pivoting journey, take a look at some tips, reminders, and inspiration from the online community!
If you’re looking to pivot your career, assess your current situation and motivations. Think about why you want to make the change. What are your strengths and weaknesses, and how do they align with your career goals?
Once you have a clear understanding of what you desire, research potential industries or roles that align with your goals. It’s important to consider the potential for your mental health, professional growth, salary, and work-life balance.
Sometimes our pivot may feel so far out of our realm, but our experiences can only grow, not diminish. You can acquire new skills by: taking online courses, earning certifications, or interning or working part-time in your desired field. There is no ‘right way’ to seek new opportunities and build your expertise.
Leverage your transferable skills! Transferable skills are those skills that can be applied to different roles or industries. Taking a look at job descriptions of your potential career provides a great way of recognizing what similarities your ‘old’ and ‘new’ job may have.
Networking is an important component of any career shift. Fostering and building relationships with professionals in your desired industry will help you gain insight into their day-to-day work, the field in general, or job opportunities/titles you may not have considered. Making those valuable connections, online or in-person, can contribute to your professional and personal growth.
|”I started my career as an engineer designing car seats for Volkswagen. I quickly realized that this is not what I want to do in life. In the meantime, I was also doing a PhD in welding, which I didn't complete. By chance, I started working at Nokia as a technical writer. This technical writing experience helped me to find job in the Atlassian Marketplace and Solution Partner in Poland. I gained experience with Atlassian products, delved into the whole Atlassian world, which allowed me to move from writing documentation to the role of a product owner.||
After 5 years, this resulted in the opening of my own company with friends - Appsvio - and the role of a Chief Product Officer. So it looks that Atlassian products and ecosystem changed everything in my professional life!”
Meet @Peter Van de Voorde
|”…I've pivoted roles, from being a Java developer to becoming a developer relations and community manager for global companies. Thanks to the Atlassian community I was able to join companies like Atlassian (you should still be able to find plenty of my blogs on Helo) and MongoDB and really grow my career in an unexpected but very rewarding direction.|
I've been able to explore the world, meet amazing people, and have amazing experiences all thanks to the Atlassian community. I once did a pecha kucha style 5 minute session about how the Atlassian Community and Atlassian itself changed my career and life at the Sofia ACE. Afterwards I learned that it had a massive impact I didn't foresee. 2 people quit their jobs afterwards because they felt inspired to try to change their lives too.”
Meet @Dave Mathijs
|“I have 20+ years of experience in IT Service Management in several roles: I started as a service desk agent, then became a service desk team leader and incident manager with experience in ITIL management practices. After being in a service environment for such a long time, the time had come to broaden my perspective and gain new insights. I joined Atlassian Gold Solution Partner ACA Group in February 2019 as an Atlassian Consultant. In April 2019, I was offered the opportunity to attend Atlassian’s Summit and experience a world of networking, getting to know the Atlassian Marketplace Partners in the Expo Hall and attend a variety of Key Notes and Breakout Sessions.|
I made use of the countless resources available: YouTube Atlassian channel, Atlassian University courses, accreditations and certifications, Atlassian Partner Portal, white papers etc. Within the Atlassian University, I followed some 30+ courses around Administration (identity & access management, permissions, workflows, ect.), ITSM (Jira Service Management, ITIL) and Agile (Jira Software, Agile Boards and Reports, Dashboards, …)
In 2022, I started participating actively in the Atlassian Community where I set to become an Atlassian Community Leader as a personal goal for 2022. To my surprise, I achieved this in April of 2022. Ever since, I got such a positive vibe and energy from helping people that I continued my online activity and climbed up the leaderboard through the gamification aspect of the Kudos program. (edited)
The role as Atlassian Consultant at ACA Group has opened up the world of Agile and DevOps for me as I was previously focused on the operations management of infrastructure, application and workplace support. I recently opted in for the Orbiit 1:1 sessions with fellow Atlassian Community Leaders. I attended 1 session so far (with @Andy Gladstone ) and subscribed for the next one as well. I really enjoyed this “building rapport” session offering a chance to connect, reflect and share."
Meet @Dave Liao
|“I was a Project Manager for almost 6 years. I learned that PMs (both project and product managers) have a really hard job, to track what they want and need to do, and how to prioritize that work - I'm organized, but my organizational systems were always meant for an army of one. It was necessary to learn systems like Jira to make roadmaps that others can understand and action upon! I had to up my communication skills, both written and verbal.|
I interviewed at a company and one of my interviewers thought I'd be a good project manager. I had never considered that previously! She took a chance on me, and was an excellent mentor - she was probably my best manager ever! Shh, don't tell my existing manager/s. I will say- mentoring is super important! If you haven't done that, get one! And don't be sad if you don't totally jive with a particular mentor - you can always switch to another mentor. After a few years of working, find yourself a mentee! Mentors and mentees are always learning, and we get what we put into a relationship.”
|"I studied at and graduated from Arizona State University with a BA in Communications with an emphasis on Organizational Communications. I then taught myself to be a Quality Assurance Analyst, which led into me being a Business Analyst. In my previous role as a Business Analysis I went from very junior to a lead BA and did it for 15 years. I worked in numerous industries and became an expert Business Analyst writing requirements for complex systems, websites, and applications.|
There are so many skills I learned over the years, but to name a few: I learned how to elicit requirements from stakeholders, transform business requirements into technical requirements, I became the SME of numerous systems, and ultimately I think I learned almost every skill that goes along with being a great business analyst. I currently hold CSPO and A-CSPO certifications and am now transitioning again from a Product Owner to a Product Manager role.What made you decide to pivot and how did you do it. About three years ago, my boss at the time asked me if I wanted to try out product ownership and he sent me to a Product Owner certification class where I received a Certified Product Owner certification (CSPO). After the certification, my boss could not convince the company we worked for to start a product owner practice so I started looking for my first Product Owner position, which I am in now and thriving in it. Really, the decision was easy given that I had been a BA for so long that it became mundane. I wanted to go do something more challenging and fun! And now, I'm transitioning again into a Product Manager role. A tool we just started to use is Jira Align for our SAFe Implementation. It is a pretty amazing tool and I highly recommend it. I also love OneNote to keep track of all of my odds and ends and meeting minutes.
As far as advice I wish I had heard, sometimes you just need someone to reassure you that while you are good at what you do, you can also be really good at something else! I was so stuck in my routine that I didn't realize I could start a whole new career and be really good at it! I really wish someone would have encouraged me sooner to leave my comfort zone and try something new! I wish I would have started down my Product Owner (and now Product Manager) path sooner!"
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