How I Have Switched Careers From Fashion to IT

How I Have Switched Careers from Fashion to IT

Date 16.10.2020.

I have always admired teenagers who knew what they wanted to be when they grow up. I, on the other hand, was never sure of that. I studied foreign languages and economy in high school and Uni, but had no idea what I wanted to become after that.

Due to familiar and financial issues I didn’t complete my University degree and decided to look for a job. The first job I got was in the Fashion retail industry, and since then I have worked in this field for nearly 10 years. I have covered different roles within Fashion and moved to London to study Fashion Merchandising.

Little I knew this decision to move to another country would change my life for the better.

After a couple of difficult years, juggling between studying and working to support myself in the expensive London, I got my Diploma from the Fashion Retail Academy and also landed my first job in the HQ of a famous retailer as an Allocator.

I was really committed to my career and my future and worked hard to get promoted as Assistant Merchandiser.

Although I have reached what I thought I wanted, I wasn’t happy with my job. I remember going out on Saturdays afternoon with one of my colleagues and friends and complaining about our jobs, and would spend time wondering which other industry we can move to.

Fast forward a few months later, when I was serious about changing my career and started to read blogs of other professionals who switched careers, I was introduced to a girl who was studying IT. This opportunity was an eye opener and the next day I started to look at what IT careers I could apply for and what skills are needed.

I also started to study Python, but any other programming language that you chose will be fine.   I used to spend my free time doing workshops online after work and also on the weekends. I was holding myself accountable, which means I limited my social life, to have time to study.

I followed and watched different Youtubers with tech backgrounds and how they got into IT and how to get ready for job interviews.

Then I subscribed to different Tech Meetup groups, like “womenintech”. These meetups helped me not only to have an idea on how the IT world is and stay motivated, but also to make networking and meet other like-minded women already working in the industry.

It was super hard to manage my time efficiently, after a busy day working from 8-9am to 6pm and emails with tight deadlines, the only thing I wanted to do is to go home, wear my cosy PJ, have dinner and watch a movie or catch up on the latest tv show.

I am happy I didn’t let my lazy side prevail, because in one of those meetups I found out the company hosting the event, Cloudreach, was hiring junior tech enthusiasts. I was so lucky to be in the right place at the right time, and couldn’t let that opportunity slip away. As soon as I finished the event, I went straight to speak to a team member of the company, who is also the Founder of Wagora. A couple of months later I signed my contract as an Associate Cloud System Developer at Cloudreach.

Now, when I look back, I would have never thought that one day I would be working in the tech industry with so many bright minds. I am so glad I made those decisions and grateful for all the experiences I had, because they all helped me to be the person I am today. I have met some of the most talented and ambitious women and role models in my journey. I have received encouragement and support from everyone around me, and proved myself I can achieve anything, if I work hard enough!

Author Meryem Fourdaous

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