It was in December 2021 last year that I had made a decision to attempt a career switch from general administration to data analytics. There were a number of considerations that pushed me towards the direction of a career switch.
1 — Career Stagnation
At the point of making my decision, there was no doubt that I had reached a point of career stagnation. Specifically, I know I could do more but I was not in a position where I could contribute more without feeling bad for myself. The scope of my work had increased over time, but my compensation didn’t. Neither the chances of promotion. In fact, one of my superiors had put in bluntly that “there is no way for you to progress further in administration”. And I agree.
My daily life has been filled with mundane and repetitive tasks. Tasks that used to trigger me into thinking and problem solving are now just being acted upon subconsciously due to the sheer amount of times I have completed them in the past years.
2 — Job Security
Due to technological progression, many repetitive tasks are now being automated by tools such as robotic process automation (RPA) and machine learning. Sourcing for a common meeting time used to be more complicated (where liaison with the management personal assistants were required repetitively). Now we have tools such as Microsoft AI meeting scheduler, calendar AI, calendar hero that would schedule a meeting and reschedule them whenever required in a blink of an eye.
RPA was also being used to generate and consolidate administrative and financial reports through the integration with transactional database systems. These were the tasks that administrative staff had to spend a good amount of time consolidating, tracking and verifying previously.
With these technological tools, administrative staff demand is significantly reduced. All you need is just a couple who know how to manoeuvre around the tools and prepare the required information for the management or team who needs them. When I was made aware about the headcount freeze and no replacement for teammates who have resigned or retired, I predicted that it’s a matter of time that I might encounter the same fate. Maybe the near future or 10 years down the road. By that time, it might be too late for me to pick up new skills to remain relevant in the job market.
3 — Diversification of Skill sets
When I chanced upon the career change programme in December 2022, I essentially saw it as an opportunity to diversify my skill sets and working experience. Being able to learn about data analytics then be attached to an organisation to apply the knowledge learnt is a great way to gain industry experience and increase employability in the long run. That was what I thought was missing in my career.
The thought comes with doubts as well. What if I’m unable to make it due to the lack of domain knowledge in the industry that I am entering? What if things don’t work out as I expected them? And the many what-if(s) to come when embarking on this journey of switching careers. But my belief in trying and experience before giving up because of the what-if(s) pushed me through.
There are the three main reasons that I have decided to switch up my career. Being only six months into the programme, it’s still early to tell if the decision was a right choice. That said, I have learnt a whole bunch in the past six months and there will be a lot to learn in the upcoming year or so.