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Dare to Dream of Continuous Learning
Last spring Pasi Poisuo, Mitja Haimila and Mervi Siipilähde had the same idea: what would it be like to work for an IT company?
It took an intensive summer of training and a steep learning curve, but in the fall all of them landed a job in Cybercom.
Now the new cloud solutions specialists tell what it was like to change a career in their 30's completely.
What is your career story like?
Pasi Poisuo: I worked at a department store Stockmann for 14 years. I started as a concierge and store detective, but after studying information technology, I began to work as an expert on security technologies.
I've always been interested in how things work, and over time I wanted to focus on backend development and cloud technology. Eventually, I decided to find a job where I can develop my skills more.
Mitja Haimila: I worked as a librarian before – first with customer service and acquisitions, then more, and more with IT projects.
I started to think about how digitalization will change the field in 15-20 years. I was in a project where we transferred our old system to cloud, and I realized I want to work with cloud technology. My friend told me about AWS Academy, and it felt like a logical step.
Mervi Siipilähde: I've been a dancer, a dance teacher and a choreographer. During the past couple of years, I began to think if that's something I can see myself doing for the rest of my life.
I had never considered IT as an option, but suddenly I stumbled into an ad about AWS Academy. One thing led to another, and I got in.
How does it feel to work for Cybercom?
Pasi Poisuo: Everything has been very systematic from the beginning. Job induction was planned very well, and we got to dive into work right away.
There's a lot to learn so I've been spending a lot of time on the intranet and Slack. Since I started my job, I've already learnt more about coding through projects, including a web form coding without prior knowledge of HTML, and also got my second AWS certification.
Mitja Haimila: Beforehand I thought that IT job would be coding alone in a dark room. None of that was true.
The atmosphere is very inclusive, and there are employees from various backgrounds and nationalities. There are also opportunities for international projects. Cybercom is also committed to its values, like sustainability.
My tasks have been versatile and challenging. For example, I've been working with code both internally and on a customer project. I have gotten useful tools, and it's been easy to ask colleagues for help virtually. Even superiors are easy to reach since the hierarchy is low.
Mervi Siipilähde: I was a bit nervous to start the job because I didn't have any experience in IT companies.
Quickly I realized that Cybercom is a really nice place to work with great coworkers. I was surprised how easy it has felt from the beginning.
For me, it's been hardest to try to understand the big picture of a project, and at the beginning, it felt like I don't understand anything. I learnt that it's more comfortable and more motivating to deal with a project to smaller tasks.
Has your past work experience been helpful?
Pasi Poisuo: I've worked with all kinds of customers at Stockmann, which has given a lot of insight. Social skills are really appreciated in IT. It's important not just to sell but also to serve the customer and have a natural dialogue on making their systems better.
Mitja Haimila: I learnt a lot about customer service when I was working in the library. It's beneficial to be good in both written and verbal communication, such as explaining technical things to a customer. Skills in information seeking are also crucial because I have to look for different options when solving problems. Googling is fine!
Mervi Siipilähde: Creative thinking has been a useful skill. If something's not working my brain has learnt to take a different point of view. Like art, IT project is a process, and you don't fully know how it goes before you're done. As a teacher, I'm used to working with people and guiding others comes naturally. I think it would be interesting to teach future career changers.
What's your best advice for someone who dreams about learning new things and taking steps ahead in their career?
Pasi Poisuo: You have to have the courage and prepare to work hard. It's also essential to figure out the path that works best for you. It was an intensive education, but it doesn't have to be the same for everyone. It's also good to accept that you can't know everything right away. Last summer, I had no clue about the things I work with now. It's nice to look back and realize how far I've come.
Mitja Haimila: I was afraid of how I would succeed in a new field and if I'm able to learn things that I need to. Now I know that you shouldn't be afraid because curiosity to learn new things is enough.
Mervi Siipilähde: Don't think that everything has to be set in stone when deciding to try a new career. Give it a few years, and if it's not your thing, you can try something else. You won't lose anything, but every experience teaches something new.
Encourage yourself towards continuous learning!
Head of Talent Acquisition, Finland
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