I'm the happiest I've ever been in my career

Chalyssa Pasay, Junior Software Engineer

I spent 20+ years of my life dreaming of a nine-to-five office job with weekends off, only to find out that it’s not at all what I thought it’d be! After being an Administrator and a Customer Service Manager for five years, I wanted something new, challenging and thought-provoking. In search of this, I became a Live Video Game Streamer on Facebook and Twitch where I was lucky enough to be partnered with Riot Games to promote their newly released game (at the time), Valorant. I also built gaming PCs and dabbled in intraday trading.

But like anyone in their not-so-early twenties, I wanted stability too and, unfortunately, playing games and waiting for the British Pound to increase against the US Dollar didn’t offer that. Have you ever tried looking for something, but you didn’t even know what you were looking for? Yeah, that was me.

I couldn’t plan my career progression because there was no career for me to progress in. I couldn’t see my life in two to three months’ time, let alone two years. I enjoyed being organised, so naturally I looked for jobs in project management. But I didn’t have a university degree, so I started looking for online courses and certifications that I may need. That was when I came across an apprenticeship for Software Engineering with Compare the Market.

Growing up in an Asian household where university was the only way forward in life, there was always a stigma that apprenticeships were only for people that couldn’t get into university – and I was so clueless to even think that.

Now, I personally think that an apprenticeship is one of the best forms of education. No tuition fees, no student loans, no debt, just real industry work experience AND you earn a salary from the very start, even when you’re still learning.

If you show determination, your passion for the role and your eagerness to learn, you’ll be given the opportunity to build a career.

I was sceptical about switching to a career in tech. I doubted my knowledge and thought it would take years before I’d be good enough to get an entry level job in tech. But I came to the conclusion that there was nothing to lose from applying, other than losing the opportunity that life was presenting me with right now. And I’m so glad that I took that chance because I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in my career.

I now know where I want to be in two to three months’ time. I know what I need to do to progress not only in my career, but also in life. I have the support I need from my line manager, mentors and my team at Compare the Market as well as individuals outside of my team that want to see me succeed in my career – which, unfortunately, you don’t see in most organisations. They help me to set my goals, work on my action plan, and they push me to take responsibility and accountability for my work.

Compare the Market embraces diversity and understands that combining people from different walks of life is where the brightest of ideas come from. They frequently hold online and in-person events for Diversity and Inclusion, where everyone is educated on the different backgrounds and cultures around the world, and the people in Compare the Market who represent those countries.

To be in a company that truly cares for you and your progression, that knows the importance of your culture, and with just the right balance of professionalism and fun in a workplace, is with great pleasure. Compare the Market was the company I didn’t look for, but one that I’m incredibly lucky and grateful to have found. Then again, luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.


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