You might not know it, but signs of the growing tech industry are all around you.
Maybe you have a friend who spent the winter working from Mexico? Could be that your cousin landed a job that started with 4 weeks paid vacation. And was it your neighbours who told you they were suddenly able to afford their own home after just 3 years at a software company? Stories like this are drawing people to technology, and for good reason: in addition to the competitive salaries, the tech industry is a growing field often comes with a range of perks and benefits your current employer doesn’t even know about.
The growing sense of curiosity around working in tech is being felt by all kinds of people, and across all kinds of industries. Palette Skills helps people transition into rewarding careers in tech, so we decided to find out what motivated people to make the change to tech, and what making that change was all about. Who better to ask than participants in our own tech training programs? The people we interviewed have transitioned from careers in fitness, retail, construction and hospitality, to name a few. Their reasons to make the switch to tech varied from cool perks and remote work, to job security and innovation. Although they come from different backgrounds, there were a few things they all had in common.
We talked to SalesCamp Alumni John Woohyun Choi. SalesCamp is one of Palette Skills’ flagship programs that prepares people for work in the field of business-to-business (B2B) tech sales. Choi told us that he was a personal trainer, and that some of his clients had recommended tech sales jobs. Choi was always interested in technology but was also drawn to the opportunities for working remotely, a challenging career path, and a better workplace culture. He told us that what’s surprised him the most about working in tech is that the “people are so open-minded, and the work culture is beyond amazing!”
Fellow SalesCamp alumni Kimia Nalchi transitioned to tech sales from the hospitality industry, and told Palette Skills that the flexibility, opportunities for learning, and a competitive salary ultimately triggered her choice to launch a new career. Nalchi’s top reasons for wanting to work in technology are job security, working remotely, and “being able to use my personal skills in my daily job.”
Choi wasn’t the only one who heard about tech by word-of-mouth. We spoke to account executive Anoke Dunston who told us he had plans to be a lawyer until he found out about opportunities in tech. “A friend told me about it,” says Dunston, “so then I dove in head first.” He’s at his second software company now, and says the most surprising thing about working a tech job is being able to work hard and yet find balance at the same time. “Lots of workplaces leave you drained,” Dunston told us, “but working in tech doesn’t. Plus all the cool benefits!”. Dunston pivoted from a retail environment and found the motivation in the growth, challenge and innovation offered in a tech sales role.
Hey, wait a minute. Let’s back up and look at some of these great perks that everyone keeps talking about. And here, we thought: who better to ask than some of our hiring partners and employers? These are the people and companies who work with Palette Skills to help design and deliver our upskilling programs. TouchBistro boasts extended long weekends, monthly lunches for staff, and a generous time off package. ThoughtExchange tells us they’ve been remote first for over 10 years. And, they offer maternity and parental leave top-up, and a minimum 3 weeks vacation. Our hiring partner Trulioo offers workers free snacks, unlimited coffee, and catered lunches twice a week. In addition, they told us they host sports and wellness activities, social events, birthday celebrations, lunch-and-learns, and encourage friendly (but often competitive!) games of ping-pong and foosball.
Although cool perks are becoming more and more common, it’s still true that outside the tech world, things like bonus structures and benefits are a little too secretive. In more traditional industries like hospitality and retail, the information isn’t out there for all to see. Here’s a message to traditional employers: it’s the transparency around flexibility and benefits in the tech industry that attracted many of our SalesCamp participants when thinking about making the transition to tech.
Although job stability and salary ranges are top priorities for making the pivot to technology, and more specifically, to tech sales, all participants told us they were interested in remote work opportunities. We think this means that the work-life balance available in many tech jobs can be just as important as a competitive salary or benefits package. In the end, pivoting to a new industry can be challenging and intimidating. Technology itself can seem vague, and the products are sometimes hard to explain. Despite this, the perks and the opportunities in tech are often crystal clear. Call it bait, but the evidence is that it seems to be working as more and more people pivot to careers in technology.
Are you interested in joining the technology sector as a B2B sales representative? Consider our intensive, online SalesCamp program to help you get there!