Ever fancied a new career challenge? It can be daunting making the switch from one profession to another, but it can be done. Hear it from Catherine Donnelly, Project Manager, who decided it was time for a career change from fashion designer to project management.
how did you get into a career in tech?
I changed career paths as I used to work in retail as a fashion designer for Boohoo. I worked there and got to a point in my career where I just didn't feel fulfilled, so, I decided I needed a change.
My partner is a front-end developer, and it was through him I was exposed to the world of tech and the many careers and opportunities that are available. I really liked the sound of it all.
When I looked, I realised it was something that really interested me, and I possessed a lot of skills that were required. I think having a background in retail, tech, digital and eCommerce really married together, especially working somewhere like Statement. I had to then decide on what roles suited my interests and project management was something that appealed to my personality, so I began to teach myself aspects of the role outside of work. This included watching a lot of videos, online courses and teaching myself as much as I could outside of work, so by the time I started applying for roles, I was accepted in my first role.
why do you think tech has a reputation of being a male-dominated career path?
I think a lot of people associate tech roles with engineering and being a developer, and that has traditionally fallen to men in a STEM background. However, I think people are unaware that there are so many more opportunities other than highly technical roles. I think more women need to be exposed to all the different types of roles available. In my opinion, women aren’t exposed as much to development and that’s why we don’t see them as much in that role.
Equally, I think there are things you can learn outside of work where you can have a go with no commitment. An awareness of these resources is great, and more people, especially women, need to know about them.
what advice would you give to women getting started with a career in tech?
It's a career change that I wish I'd made sooner. Try to absorb as much as you can and don't be afraid to ask questions or lean on the people around you for things is a great way to learn. Use the resources around you and your support network. I think there are loads of resources out there, it’s all about reading up around the different opportunities available, learning skills and also seeing if you already have transferable skills.
Plus, it’s always a good idea to remind yourself that no one has all the answers. The traditional ladder of having a linear career path where you continue what you did at university just isn’t the case anymore. It’s really interesting to work with people who have come from lots of different backgrounds because there are things you pick up in other industries that enrich your experience.
why do you think more women need to be in tech?
It’s an industry with so many career opportunities and it has so much to offer women that it's a shame people don't know more about those opportunities. I really do encourage women to investigate careers within the tech industry as it offers other perks as well like flexibility in terms of remote working which can help with the pressures of family.
Are you considering a career in tech but wondering how to get started? You’re not alone. We’re proud of our workforce and are consistently on the lookout for new talent to add to our team. Take a look at the current roles we have available and let’s help match you up with the career you’ve always wanted.