Finding my place in tech

By Ymir Gissinger (they/them) • 31 October 2022

Ymir went from classroom teacher to a lead IT position in global tech company, CISCO. In this blog, they talk about that career-changing journey and reflect on the opportunities for progression in the tech world.

From teach to tech

Realising my career as a teacher wasn’t the right path for me, I left for Scotland on the hunt for something new. After applying for a variety of roles, I found myself working in customer services for a phone company, on the basis of one year volunteering to support players in an online role-playing game. I was soon being offered additional roles, and this is where it began.

I decided to take on a wider IT support role at the company, drawn in by the idea of working with computers and other electronic devices, something I had previously dabbled in. After all, my career in teaching was because of a love of sharing knowledge, so wouldn’t supporting people with technical issues and showing them how to resolve them themselves align with that?

Finding my place

With a thirst for knowledge, I started teaching myself about networking technologies then began leaving my CV online in the hope of it being picked up. Lo and behold, a London recruitment agency found it and got in touch, interested in recruiting a French-speaking network support engineer. I was doubtful at first, why would such a prestigious company like CISCO want someone with zero experience? But I applied and several interviews later I was being flown out to their headquarters in the USA, with a job offer in tow.

The next few years were spent developing my knowledge at CISCO and learning to troubleshoot more and more complex tasks. It wasn’t easy and was a very different environment to the world of teaching.

Moving on up

One day, a team lead position was posted internally. The requirements were the very skills I’d been developing throughout my time there, as well as from my previous work experience. The ability to support new or more junior staff and share my knowledge with them, being the key one! After a new round of interviews, I successfully stepped into the world of leadership.

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