October 24, 2023

Radka Sabol: A Journey of Transformation: From Legal to Tech

Meet Radka, a remarkable woman who took an extraordinary journey from working in the legal field to the exciting world of technology and innovation. This wasn't just a job change; it was a big shift in her career and life.

Uncertainty: The decision to pivot careers

Radka had been working in the legal field for several years when she began feeling uneasy about the uncertainty brought on by the pandemic. Despite making progress in her legal career, she sensed there were constraints within the field, particularly concerning innovation. Radka, who was deeply dedicated to problem-solving and intrigued by design and human behavior, decided to explore options in the technology industry. Initially drawn to UX Design, she soon discovered that Product Management was an even better match for her.

Navigating challenges during job hunt

Radka's approach diverged from the conventional job search process. Instead of seeking opportunities outside her current employer, she aimed to secure a fresh role within the organization. Following the completion of her UX Design bootcamp, she embarked on a quest to identify available positions related to digital transformation. Her goal was to leverage her newly acquired skills while capitalizing on her prior experience in service improvement. Despite encountering a few setbacks during the application process, Radka ultimately emerged as the successful candidate for the position of Digital Product Owner.

Learning New Skills: A Game-Changer

In Radka's pursuit of a career shift, she initiated her journey by delving into comprehensive research within the tech industry. This exploration aimed to identify roles that resonated with her interests. Her investigations led her to the domain of UX Design.

Once UX Design became her focus, Radka embarked on the process of evaluating educational pathways. She meticulously considered her options and ultimately opted to enhance her skills through participation in a bootcamp program. In February 2022, she enrolled in the Applied UX Design Bootcamp, signaling a pivotal moment in her career journey.

However, life took unexpected turns, prompting Radka to temporarily withdraw from the bootcamp's first cohort. Undaunted, she managed to rejoin the program in the fall and successfully completed it by December 2022. The bootcamp offered online classes during evenings and weekends, a convenient choice tailored to the needs of full-time working individuals.

Integral to the course was a 6-week capstone project conducted in collaboration with local companies. This real-world experience provided Radka with an invaluable opportunity to collaborate with fellow UX designers and Product Managers.

Following her bootcamp graduation, Radka decided to extend her involvement in the tech community. She commenced attending various tech events in Calgary, aimed at fostering connections with like-minded individuals where she also became a proud member of the CITI community.

Key Insights

Taking decisive action, Radka observed a profound transformation in her life within the span of just one year. Her willingness to embrace new opportunities became a catalyst for this remarkable change.

Her journey underscored the importance of placing trust in the process. Radka realized that even the smallest of steps could pave the way for monumental, life-altering outcomes.

Furthermore, she offered a valuable piece of advice: steering clear of self-rejection. Radka encouraged others to simply apply, emphasizing that the ideal role and career path are out there, awaiting discovery. According to her, diligence and effort would invariably yield meaningful rewards.

Specific Advice for Immigrants

As an immigrant in a new country, Radka encountered the challenge of customizing her resume for different job applications. Her initial experiences reflected the European practice of aligning job applications precisely with the content of one's resume and hoping for a favorable outcome.

However, her journey in Canada provided valuable insights. Radka came to recognize her own limitations and, more significantly, the untapped potential of transferable skills. Her message to others in a similar position was clear: don't confine your worth to your formal education or past work experience. Moving to a foreign land was already a bold step beyond one's comfort zone, and it should be a catalyst for aspiring to significant achievements. She emphasized that dreaming big and pursuing fields or roles that feel like a natural fit should never be intimidating. In Radka's view, practice was the key to perfection, and it was essential to keep pushing toward one's aspirations.

CITI: A Valuable Companion on the Journey

CITI was a big help for Radka on her journey. It's a great place for people who want to be part of the tech community, whether they're just starting or they're already experienced. Radka attended different workshops and events organized by CITI to get ready for interviews, work on her personal brand, and improve her soft skills. But CITI is not just about networking; it's about connecting with people who are on the same path as you and working in the same field you're interested in. CITI members also share their knowledge and work on projects together, which can be a big help when you're trying to build your resume for a new job.

In the end, Radka's journey is a story of being strong and flexible, learning new things, and trying new challenges. It shows that with the right resources and support from a community, big career changes can happen and be very rewarding.

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