Switching Customer Care to Business Intelligence? Leaping from Sports Science to Software Development? 6 Ways to Transform your Career

Emily Alice
Dec 10, 2019 · 6 min read

Have you ever wondered what life would be like in another job?

These days, we are lucky to have so many options and possibilities when it comes to studying, working and carving out a career. Gone are the days of working in the same role for the same company for all of your life: instead, we live in a time of rapid change and flexibility which means that if you want to re-shape your career, you can.

Often, we want to but simply don’t.

Why? Maybe we are afraid of change or failure. Maybe we think we aren’t smart enough or that the job we want is too difficult. Or perhaps we are overwhelmed with the opportunities available to us and don’t know where to start.

Of course, it takes a lot of courage to change your career. Anna and Inga are two women who did just that; they recognized that their potential to excel in another role that was completely different from the field they were originally working and made the transformation happen.

They share their tips for making the change happen.

Anna enjoying the afterwork views.

As a student in Hamburg, Anna decided to join the Customer Care at FREE NOW to support herself during her studies. Back then, the Customer Care department was small and involved a lot of hands-on communication with the drivers and passengers. Anna thrived in this fast-paced environment and by the time she had graduated from university, she was leading a team of twelve. For Anna, this was a chance to develop leadership skills, develop a team, exposure to all aspects of the business including Business Intelligence. Anna quickly realized that she was curious to learn more about Business Intelligence and despite feeling nervous about trying out a role that was completely different from Customer Service, she applied for a Data Analyst role. With the help and coaching of a friend who worked in a data-related role, Anna became confident and now loves working in a job where she can apply the skills she learned in Customer Care to her analytical role in the Business Intelligence team.

How did Anna to make the leap from Customer Care to Business Intelligence? From her own experience, Anna shares three tips on how she did it and how you can too.

  1. Get out of your comfort zone:
    ‘It’s never easy to change but you need to embrace the discomfort and constantly challenge yourself; keep asking yourself what is the future perspective, what is your goal, is this going to help you achieve this? If you are unhappy with your current role, figure out why, and don’t be afraid to address and change it.’

2. Learn how to learn again:
When I started to re-train to become an analyst, I had completed my degree two years ago. It was hard to concentrate, to focus and not get distracted and really learn stuff from scratch again. That was a big challenge. I still have a lot to learn, but when I look back, it’s amazing how much have I learned a lot in the past few months.

Now, my five-year plan is to continue to have as much fun in data as I am having now. I chose this role as it is technical, there are always new features and that means that I am never bored. There is always something new to master and get to grips with.’’

3. Use your transferable skills:
‘The main skill I learned in Customer Care was processing a high amount of information in a short amount of time; if you heard something once you have to remember it. I learned how to work at a very high speed, how to save and process information, how to take your notes and understand what it meant later. Moving into my new role, I took all of this with me as well as market and product insights, which gives me a different perspective in Business Intelligence.’

Rooftop yoga is much more fun with good company

Inga studied sports science, yet knew she didn’t want to become a teacher after she graduated. Having worked in e-learning alongside studying, she decided to look for a job that combined her love for sport with her interest in tech. Her first role was in Customer Care for a website-building startup. Concentrating on how to help customers best utilize the software to build a website, Inga started to teach herself HTML/CSS in order to understand how it all worked. The more she learned, the more interested she became and quickly found herself attending coding classes, meet-ups and immersing herself in Hamburg’s tech community.

Although Inga’s skills were growing fast, her confidence took a while to keep up and held her back from applying for a role as a software developer. How did she manage to make the leap to becoming a developer? Quitting your job and social media are two unusual ways to achieve your dreams; here’s how Inga achieved hers.

Inga and the team coding as part of a week away in Denmark

4. Use social media
‘After being unhappy in my old job, I quit. I wasn’t really sure how I would find my next role but I knew that I could reach the tech community through my Twitter profile.
So, I just sent a single tweet about how I was looking for a job.
I had no idea what was to come.

Needless to say, it worked. The post went viral!

In the following days, I had ten interviews scheduled with tech companies for software developer roles. It was intense, but I met so many great people who wanted me to work with them and valued a more diverse team (something that I really wanted my future company to have).
I am pleased that my tweet paid off. Soon after, I accepted the role at FREE NOW and have been enjoying the progression as a software developer since day one.’

5. Believe in yourself
‘When I started learning about programming, I was very shy- I didn’t believe that my knowledge was good enough, so I veered away from opportunities to mentor or tutor other people. Instead, I helped the tutors in the tech community and did a lot of online training. Then I started feeling more comfortable as I wrote and created my own projects through these courses. The feeling of starting, creating and finishing with good results motivated me to keep learning.’

6. Own your success
‘For a long time, I was unsure about becoming a software developer because I didn’t have the typical educational background that many developers have. But then I changed my mindset: as part of owning my success I took on extra responsibility and tasks that would help me get closer to my goal of becoming a developer. Saying yes to these opportunities and no to anything that didn’t help me to grow. Suddenly, the doubt started to melt and I knew deep down that I could do it!’

Are you interested in working in a company where you have the freedom to transform your career? Check out the opportunities available in our Hamburg HQ and across our locations in Europe here.


Emily Alice

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