It’s crazy to think that just over a year ago, I was putting on my nursing scrubs and heading to work as a Pediatric Intensive Care Nurse.
Working as a nurse through a global pandemic pushed me to think about whether I chose the right career path, or if there was something else out there for me that would be a better fit. While nursing was an incredibly rewarding career and a passion of mine, I had a hard time picturing a career progression or a path to advancement that fit with the lifestyle I wanted for myself.
Controlling my destiny
I came across the field of tech sales through my partner, who is in the industry. I knew what his schedule looked like, how he was able to flex and manage his day, interact with clients and colleagues and find success in his role. I knew that was something I wanted for myself, so I set out on a path to make it a reality.
Deciding to take the leap into a tech sales career, without having any prior experience, seemed daunting at first. However, I knew I just needed to figure out a way to prove my determination and showcase my untapped potential.
Preparing for a career change
I approached this career change with the same mindset I use as a runner while preparing for a race. As a runner, I prepare and train. I can’t cut corners, and I know that the more effort I put into my training, the more successful I will be and the faster I will reach the finish line.
Using these guiding principles, I started researching local tech startups in my area and reading about the various products and services of these companies. I read job descriptions, listened to podcasts and combed through any content available to better understand the ins and outs of the industry and working in tech.
One of the most impactful activities I embraced was engaging on Linkedin and building a network. I connected with people actively working in tech sales and reached out to them to gain insight into their day-to day, understand their work and responsibilities and learn more about how they navigated their careers. I wanted to be sure I was well prepared and understood the profession before I started applying for opportunities.
The next thing I did was prepare my resume. Trying to position myself as a candidate for a tech sales position when I had no related experience was a little challenging. However, I made sure to call out areas of my nursing career that were relevant to the position I was applying to, such as working well under pressure, communicating important and complex information to various audiences and being able to manage multiple priorities. My non-traditional background was sometimes an advantage and piqued the interest of some, other times it wasn’t.
I was also a big proponent of writing cover letters that explained my goals and interests as it related to each position. Answering questions in applications and explaining my background really helped showcase how I would be able to apply my existing skills to a new environment. It also gave me an opportunity to showcase how I was fully invested into moving to tech sales and was also taking a chance on myself.
Finding Fivetran and being set up for success
I’m proud to say that all of that prep work and hard work paid off when I came across the business development representative (BDR) role at Fivetran. I went through the interview process and the hiring manager saw my potential. I was obviously ecstatic when I received an offer to join the team.
Upon joining, and being in the BDR role, I can't say enough good things about my colleagues, my manager and the people I work with directly and indirectly. I had an amazing colleague who took the time to show me some of the smallest, most basic computer things that I wasn’t as familiar with. Everyone was extremely patient and invested in my success. They were willing to support me professionally and teach me how to do the job while helping me navigate a different industry. They also took the time outside of work to be a friend and explain the organizational structure and culture of Fivetran.
Fivetran also has a robust onboarding program, including one specifically for the sales organization that will help set anyone up for success. It’s impressive how much emphasis they put on ensuring everyone is prepared, informed and has the resources and tools necessary to succeed.
Hard work pays off
Within a year of joining Fivetran as a BDR, I was promoted twice and am now in a manager position. My success is based on a combination of consistent performance, being reliable and getting the job done. I also make sure I pay it forward to any new joiners on the team and take the time to help them and see them succeed. It never feels good to be on top and be the only one there. I truly feel that helping the team out naturally led me into the management path.
The advancement opportunities, ability to manage my own schedule, work remotely or in the office and interact with clients and colleagues are all things I set out to accomplish — and I am happy to say they have all come to fruition. In addition to the supportive environment and continued engagement I am reaping the rewards that would never have been afforded to me in my previous career.
My advice to others considering a career change
Be your own best advocate and believe in yourself. From the outside looking in, it can be scary. Now being in a management position, I look for people who have the drive, are eager to learn and are hardworking, which all mean more than having direct experience. Have confidence in yourself and don't be afraid to advocate for yourself.
We’d love to hear from anyone interested in joining Fivetran. We’re hiring for positions across all departments and regions. Check out our careers page to learn more and get in touch.