How I changed careers

At the very beginning, it was quite challenging to convince my future employers that I, with my Master of Structural Engineering, was the right person for the job as a software engineer. This is how I made it happen.

I knew exactly why I wanted to change careers. I conveyed this in every cover letter, at careers fairs and in interviews. I figured if I could convince myself then I could convince my future employer.

I presented all the relevant experience I had. For me, it was the engineering background and former work experience as a consultant. I also listed learning material in my CV and created a GitHub profile to offer some proof that I had completed or was in the middle of completing further education.  I should add that back in 2015 I didn’t have this blog and my list of learning material, my CV and my GitHub profile had a lot less to show!

I went to a career fair with the goal to learn as much as I could about each company that was there. I actually went there looking for a job as a structural engineer and just for fun I decided to get to know the IT companies that were there as well. It was only afterwards that I made the decision to become a software developer.

At the career fair, I got to know three IT companies and applied at all three, and got an interview at all three. For the first company, I passed the first interview but I didn’t pass the programming exercise. The second company offered me an internship for three months with one day off to study and the third company offered me a permanent position. I took the internship because I knew the day off would be a great opportunity to bridge my knowledge gap quicker. The happy ending to this story is that the same company offered me a permanent position, which I started straight after completing my internship.