Published first on 13.08.18
It might feel very difficult to change a career when you have long years of experience in one profession. You may even feel it is not possible. I want to challenge your "impossible". I want to show you in this blog some examples of how it is possible, I want to introduce some people to you who made it possible and how they did it.
I want to introduce you to Magdalena Rogl
I met Magdalena Rogl via an interview I read on a website* and I was inspired by her story.
Magdalena Rogl is the Head of Digital Channels at Microsoft Germany. But she didn't always have this position. She was 30 when she got this job, she did not have a university degree and she was once a Kindergarten teacher.
Let’s go back to when it all began. Magdalena quit the gymnasium (high school) to follow her dream of being a kindergarten teacher. She completed her vocational training and started her dream job. She got her first baby when she was 19, the second one 4 year after that.
She was happily married, working in her dream job when everything shattered down.
The marriage ended suddenly and she became a single mother at 24.
The kindergarten teacher salary was not enough to take care of the household, so she got a second job. She worked as a community administrator, managing the comments section of an online magazine at night.
In the interview I met her, the reporter asked her how she managed two jobs and kids at the same time she said "I never asked myself how I would do it, I just did it. There was no other option.”
It was not an easy time. It was exhausting, she cried many nights on the couch after putting the children to their beds; she cried out of fear, she cried out of anger, she cried out of exhaustion. But she was determined to take care of her family.
She worked 5 years like that until a leadership opportunity came and she took it. She became the manager of her team and soon got a position as the manager of online and social media communication in the mother company. During her work there, she completed an online certification program in social media and community management.
She became interested in Microsoft as an employer after attending an event of theirs via the invitation of a friend. The same friend recommended her for an open position. She was invited for the interview where she convinced the hiring managers of her potential and got the job.
In the meantime she also found love, married again and has now a patchwork family with a husband and 4 children.
Nothing can stand in the way of your career change
You might be raising a family. You might not have the degree stated in the job description. You might be going through a challenging time of your life. But nothing really can stand in the way of your career change.
Rogl did not have a university degree, she had the vocational training. Due to the crisis in her life, she started in marketing and soon developed her skills and moved to the job she desired.
The children has never been in the way of her career change, instead they made it possible for her to take the chance for herself and the family, to take the responsibility for her own life and to be courageous.
Wasn’t it difficult to make the change? I bet it was. Especially not having the university degree raised many eyebrows. It also made her judge herself. But she made peace with it. She realised she had many talents and a huge potential, the degree had nothing to do with it. She accepted it, owned it and made it part of her story. That gave her a huge self confidence and respect of other people.
Her advice for people who would like to make a career change but find it difficult is first to do a self reflection: to ask themselves the questions "Who am I? Who do I want to be? What are my goals and my values?”. What really helped her was having mentors, talking to people who are already in the place where she wanted to be.
"Who am I? Who do I want to be? What are my goals and my values?”
She sees career to be happy, to do something one feels right, to improve oneself. It doesn’t have to be linear. It can change as we also change throughout life.
Her life changed drastically and so did her career. It all became as a crisis but turned into a huge chance, made her believe in herself and take the opportunities when they arise.
What do you have in your life which seem like a crisis right now? If it would be a chance, for what would this chance be?
What do you have in your life story that makes it unique, that makes you unique? How can you own and use this story?