Looking to transition to a tech job? Capgeminis Lucy Sands explains

Looking to transition to a tech job? Capgemini's Lucy Sands explains

 June 23, 2022

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The world of technology is extremely wide and varied.

While transitioning into the tech field without prior tech experience can be a challenge, there are in fact many ways candidates can navigate a possible pathway into the technology sector through drawing on their prime interests and experience, and aligning this passion with definitive directions.  

Meet Capgemini Salesforce Marketing Cloud Consultant, Lucy Sands. Lucy has advice for candidates who have finished school, graduated from university and want to work in technology, but don't have a technical background. 

"If you’ve ever thought this, then you’ve come to the right place as this was me a year ago," Lucy explains. 

Tech is a fast-paced industry with constant change

"I’d graduated with a business degree and couldn’t wait to leave my formal education behind for my next chapter," Lucy continues. "But in terms of my career, I’d say this wasn’t so formally planned."

Lucy knew that she wanted to work in a fast-paced industry with constant change and growth opportunities in a variety of directions, and had always been fascinated by technology and how it is vastly integrating into every aspect of our lives.

"But I didn’t have a technical background and knew the industry was male dominated, so how was I going to navigate this?" she says. 

Lucy joined Capgemini in November 2021 as a Graduate Salesforce Marketing Cloud Consultant. During university, undertook an industrial placement for an online fashion retailer, which is where her passion for all things digital began.

"I loved the company that I worked for, but the role itself wasn’t for me. I found strategy, digital and international marketing modules incredibly interesting, so I focussed my graduate job search more towards consulting and marketing roles," Lucy explains.

"However, interviews and further research highlighted that consulting and marketing are quite different worlds, so I needed to make a trade-off. But an idea popped into my head: “Could I combine these positions in any way?” On the one hand, I really liked the client-facing and solution-driven aspect of consulting, and on the other hand, I liked the creativity aspect of marketing. This is where I had that lightbulb moment and came across Salesforce, and Salesforce Marketing Cloud in particular. "

Hitting the ground running and absorbing all knowledge 

Capgemini Salesforce womenintech

Lucy didn’t have any technology experience before starting her graduate role. Apart from knowing a few basic Excel formulas and ERP planning systems from her internship, she was a blank canvas.

She explains: "So, I knew that if I wanted to hit the ground running, I would need to do some research. I started off primarily by talking and reaching out to people on LinkedIn. These conversations provided me with practical advice from individuals that interact with Salesforce every day and helped me to extend my network and build relationships."

"Many people directed me to Trailhead, so I started some of the learning pathways where I could focus on specific elements of the Salesforce ecosystem to build my knowledge. YouTube was also a key starting point. If you were like me at university and your attention span dipped after reading the abstract of an academic paper, but you managed to binge watch your favourite Netflix show, then its highly likely that YouTube will become your best friend."

As a visual learner, Lucy found YouTube videos and playlists essential to gain first-hand insight into the Marketing Cloud interface and the platform set up, all delivered in an engaging manner.

"Although I’m settled in my role, my appetite for learning is still growing. I’m very much a hands-on person so I’ve learnt the most through client projects and can test out the platform’s functionality – kind of like putting theory into practice. Learning from senior team members has also been invaluable. I think I’ll always view them as wizards and aspire to have their level of knowledge one day: it’s like water off a duck’s back."

Network and get connected to an industry group 

Lucy has also joined the Salesforce London Women in Tech group, which provides another learning path, but also enables her to connect with inspiring females in the field and raise awareness for a greater gender balance within the industry. 

Key advice for transitioning intto a tech role

Here are Lucy's three pieces of advice for getting into a technology-based role: 

  • Do your research
    Understand what training the company you are applying to can offer you and if it suits you.
    - Is it a structured training programme or more flexible?
    - Do you prefer learning independently or thriving in a group environment?
    - Do you learn quickly or do you prefer more time and support?
    - Perhaps ask in interviews what previous intakes have looked like and how training was delivered.
  • Network
    Not only is this useful prior to starting your job to gain greater insight into your daily responsibilities, but if you are successful and secure a position, you’ve already established early connections. It’s important to also continue to network when you start. If you join virtually like I did, don’t be afraid to reach out to your team members for a 15-minute call. 
  • Trust the process
    This is my golden rule. I even have it on a post-it note which is stuck on my laptop as a constant reminder. When you first join, it will be information overload and can seem quite overwhelming. But it’s only the beginning and you’re not expected to know everything just yet. The jargon and technical terms will seem like another language, but it’s one that you will soon be able to speak. Regardless of your background, your company has chosen you over hundreds of other candidates so make sure to believe in yourself!

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