How to go from 0 experience to a career you’ll love

November 24, 2022
career pivots

Over the past few years, major events around the world have prompted deep reflection. It has led many of us to ask what makes a fulfilling career? The ‘Great Resignation’ shows us that on a mass scale, people everywhere are acting upon their reflections and changing the way they work.

Three years ago, Su-An Barton joined nbn’s Field Technician Trainee program with zero telecommunications experience, pivoting from a completely different career. Now she’s proud to say that after receiving support and training from her managers, she is thriving in a career she loves! We asked Su-An about her learnings moving into a new industry.

Recognizing a change needs to happen

“I had been working in the disability sector for over 10 years. I was burnt out and needed a change.”

Su-An in’t alone either. Deloitte’s 2022 Women at Work report found that nearly 50% of women have recently experienced burnout. Doing meaningful work that inspires and energizes you can have a restorative effect on your well-being.

“I was inspired to apply for the traineeship to give myself a new mental challenge, and to also challenge the stereotype that this is of a very male-dominated industry. This is a job where I could see real career progression, through different avenues of the business.”

Pivoting to a new career

“I started with no experience in this industry, coming from working in a completely different sector.”

It’s often more daunting to step into the unknown than it is to keep going down a path we know is making us unhappy. But for Su-An, the learning process was so supportive, that it became her favorite part of the traineeship. 

“You’re getting hands-on experience and mentoring from experienced technicians and engineers who have been doing this for well over 10 years. I was buddied with experienced technicians and network engineers for ride-along. This helped me build my skillset about the nbn network and its multi-technology mix.” 

Su-An wasn’t the only person in her traineeship new to the industry either. This shared experience of navigating a new career built a sense of comradery amongst her peers. “Going through the process with other new-to-industry technicians, it was good to know there’s someone else in your shoes that you can bounce off of and share your experiences with.”

And the support didn’t stop the minute she was ready to work independently in the field, even three years on, she’s continued to be trusted and nurtured to grow.

“I’ve learned a lot about myself through this job. I’ve learned I’m capable of a lot more than I give myself credit for.”

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What it’s like working for nbn

Prior to applying, my impression of nbn was that it was a big organization. The preconception with big organizations is that they don’t always value the opinion of junior workers. What surprised me was how much nbn values the opinions of all their employees.”

Su-An says nbn lives up to its commitment to create an inclusive workplace. In addition to promoting an open culture where people can share their ideas and positively contribute to the business, nbn backs their commitments with best practice employee benefits and services.

“For example, while working at nbn, I was pregnant and had my daughter in 2021. Throughout the whole pregnancy nbn took the time to ensure that my work environment was safe and that I had flexible options for my parental leave and subsequent return to work.”

The best parts of the job

It was hard to get Su-An to nail down just one thing she loved about her job now, and she listed: the supportive team environment, meeting people from different walks of life, and providing a meaningful service.  

But we particularly love this story she shared about just one (of the many) amazing day she’s had: 

“I was at a job the other day for an elderly customer with multiple call-outs. When I arrived, I listened, did additional testing, found the fault, and made sure that he had a perfectly working service. To see the impact that it had on him, made me so proud to do what I do and make that difference.

“By doing the work we do, we enable our customers to stay connected with family, work from home, and stay in tune with what’s going on around the world. Providing our best service makes a huge impact on them. It feels good to be part of that!”

Apply to nbn’s Field Technician Traineeship today!

nbn is recruiting for the Field Technician Traineeship right now with opportunities across Australia.

“I can say it was one of the best decisions I’ve made, taking the leap and changing the industry.”

She says the application process was very supportive and inclusive, and particularly wanted to stress: 

“It’s not just a man’s job.” 

“I get a lot of very positive feedback and encouragement from almost all my customers that there need to be more women in this industry. It’s reassuring to know that you have such great support from all sides.”

So, what are you waiting for? It could be the best decision you ever make too. Click here for more information.

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About the Author

Jacynta Clayton’s career started in recruitment advertising and employer branding, working with global clients to create and deploy strategic and creative content. Now she combines her industry experience with the knowledge from her psychology and professional writing degrees to write unique and resounding stories. As a WORK180 storyteller she relishes the opportunity to elevate the voices and experiences of so many amazing people, while also empowering and educating audiences on how to choose a workplace where they can thrive.

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