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Making Moves: Tips To Change Your Career

22 February 2022 •

By: Tahlea Culture

Do you feel stuck in your current position? Unable to dream or look forward to something better because you feel trapped by what you studied or did not study. Well, you are not alone. There are many people who, just like you, found themselves married to a career field but pulled up the strength and the courage to change their career. An interesting thing about life is how it's constantly evolving, moving, and changing with more opportunities being made available so if there is a will, there is a way. We’ve asked three Orbiters, from different backgrounds, to share their story on how they made moves in the workplaces and changed their career paths to tech.


Don’t be afraid to speak up

Funnily enough, Elzabé fell into tech 9 years ago and hasn’t looked back. Her career started out in the customer service industry where she was a consultant for several years. She got a brief introduction to tech through the company she worked at which offered actuarial software for short-term insurance.

At the time, she had no idea what software was and remained within the customer service industry, which was what she knew. She eventually got to a crossroad where she had to decide on whether to continue her path in customer service or move into a customer experience role at a software development company. She opted for what had intrigued her – the adventure of moving into a different field. Elzabé joined Byte Orbit and was able to sharpen her skills and learnt a lot about perseverance and tenacity.

CX vs Customer Service: What’s the difference?

You might be wondering what the difference is between customer experience and customer service. According to Sarah Blackstock from Help Scout, customer experience is the client’s experience with a product from start to finish and ongoing. Customer experience analyses how the client makes use of a product or service, the client's interactions with customer service as well as their initial experience of the product or service and so much more. You can now see how broad customer experience is in comparison to customer service, which is when a client requires assistance or advice on a product or service.

From CX Consultant to Scrum Master

Two years flew by and Elzabé got to a point where she felt she had reached her ceiling. After sharing this with her manager, she was invited to attend an Agile course with some of the Product Owners in the company and got acquainted with the role of a Scrum Master. After differentiating between a Scrum Master in rugby and tech, she identified key personality traits and skills within herself. She threw herself into research and asked lots of questions. After completing the Agile course, she enrolled and completed a project management programme which helped her further understand the role of a Scrum Master. Thereafter, a position for a Junior Scrum Master became available. Management reached out to her and asked if she was interested…let's just say Elzabé was not slow to jump at the opportunity!

Practical steps if you’re feeling stuck in your current position

“Walk around and speak to people, get to know your colleagues and what they do. I made a point of doing this. If you find something that interests you, do research, ask questions (and then ask more questions) and if you feel it’s your next step, maybe do a course or two to educate yourself. Don’t stay silent, speak up to your managers and have a conversation.” - Elzabé


Never stop learning

Nicole wasn’t all too sure what she wanted to do after high school but she knew she was a creative at heart. She pursued graphic design, after a nudge from her mom. Three years later, after graduating, she was looking for job opportunities on Gumtree and stumbled upon a position at Byte Orbit. While she admits she doesn’t do well in interviews, Nicole got the job and has since received her tenure (10 year) appreciation from Byte Orbit.

College had set her up for success, however the knowledge she had gained within the first few days at Byte Orbit, had broadened her world and opened her eyes to so much more than she had ever imagined. Back in 2012, Nicole was the only female in the company and had to navigate work-life not only in a male-dominated industry but also in the business. As she grew confident in her abilities over the years, she knew she had more to offer and explored the world of code, specifically HTML and CSS, during her spare time.

Nicole felt she was ready to implement front-end requests for clients, however she didn’t see the light of day until she took initiative and actioned a small request (without asking) and it luckily worked in her favour. The team took note of her capabilities, and she was able to take on more front-end work where she soon transitioned into a Front-end Developer. The learning doesn’t stop as she is actively working on growing her tech stack.

Advice from Nicole if you feel you're stagnating in your role

“Don’t wait for an opportunity to arise, jump straight in and see what happens, you might surprise yourself and your co-workers”


Don’t limit yourself by your skill set

Throughout her adolescent years, Leo had always believed she wasn’t intelligent enough until she realised where her interests were and excelled in fashion school. After completing her Honours and then later her Masters, she moved to Hong Kong where she lectured the “Theory of Design”, assisted the 3rd year students with their concepts (otherwise known as collections) and was a part of the Hong Kong Fashion Week committee in 2014 and 2015. In those 3 years abroad, she learnt the strategy behind design, the methodologies, concept creation and researching theories that link back to the design. She was completely in her element and was a defining moment as she identified her niche.

While the fashion world in Hong Kong was all the rage, Leo knew she didn’t want to be organising events for the rest of her life. She packed up her things and moved back to Cape Town. With her background in lecturing design theory, she was able to land a meeting with the principal at Inscape, a design education institution. Inscape was launching a new degree called “Ideation” and they needed someone to write the content and develop the syllabus. Leo had no clue what ideation was but she was committed. As the first years came in, she was researching, teaching and learning in parallel to her students.

Most of her graduates moved on to complete an internship at Frontier Lab, which is where she had established a relationship with the team. For those who might not know – Frontier Lab, founded by our CEO, was the product design sister company to Byte Orbit. Frontier Lab later merged with Byte Orbit to become a one-stop-shop for all product-related needs.

Martin, the Managing Director at Byte Orbit, reached out to Leo to find out if she was interested in pioneering the Product Design team. For Leo, this was a natural progression, as she had taught the theory and was now asked to practice it in real life. While she hadn’t yet designed or even built an app, she quickly discovered working with clients was similar to engaging with her students and her previous life experiences had equipped her on how to navigate working with clients.

Practical tips from Leo to help you see beyond your skill set

“You're only as stuck as how much you're willing to wiggle. You don’t have to jump from one extreme to another, you just have to wiggle a bit, learn a new skill and change a job role slightly. It’s about taking those tiny steps and not being brave in the sense of changing your world but being brave in the sense of doing something manageable. Whether that is online courses, shadowing a colleague, or volunteering. It’s incredibly important to not limit your belief about yourself and to avoid framing yourself by what you do.”

We hope these stories inspire you to dream about your future. If the opportunity arises, take control and carve your own path in the space that you find yourself. Don’t limit yourself by what you’re currently doing because you are capable of anything you put your mind to.

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22 February 2022
By: Tahlea

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