It might feel very difficult to change a career when you have long years of experience in one profession, it might even feel impossible. I want to challenge your impossible. I want to show you in this blog some examples of how it is possible, I want to introduce some people to you who made it possible and how they did that.
So today I want to introduce to you Magdalena Rogl.
Magdalena Rogl is the Head of Digital Channels at Microsoft Germany. But she didn’t always have this position. She was 30 when she got this job, she did not have a university degree and she was once a Kindergarten teacher.
How Magdalena changed her career path
Let’s go back to when it all began. Magdalena quit the gymnasium to follow her dream, being a kindergarten teacher. She completed the vocational training and started her dream job. She got her first baby when she was 19, the second one 4 year after that. She was happily married, working in her dream job. But everything shattered down. The marriage ended suddenly and she became a single mother at 24. The kindergarten teacher salary was not enough to take care of the household, so she got a second job. She worked as a community administrator, managing the comments section of an online magazine at night.
In an interview she was asked how she managed two jobs and kids at the same time. She said “I never asked myself how I would do it, I just did it. There was no other option.” It was not an easy time. It was exhausting, she cried many nights on the couch after putting the children to their beds; she cried out of fear, she cried out of anger, she cried out of exhaustion. But she was determined to take care of her family.
She worked 5 years like that when the opportunity arose to be the manager of the team she was working in and she took it. After a few years she changed to the group company which owned the magazine as the manager of online and social media communications. During her work there she completed an online certification program in social media and community management.
Now comes the big change
She had already accumulated experience in social media through her previous jobs which started out of a need, a crisis time. Now she had a new goal, she wanted to work at Microsoft. This became a goal after a friend of her who worked in Microsoft invited her for an event there which changed her perception of Microsoft. The same friend recommended her for an open position, she was invited for the interview, she convinced the hiring managers of her skills and potential and got the job.
In the meantime she also found love, married again and has now a patchwork family with her husband and 4 children.
The children has never been in the way of her career change, instead they made it possible for her to take the chance for herself and the family, to take the responsibility for her own life and to be courageous.
Wasn’t it difficult to make the change? I bet it was. Especially not having the university degree raised many eyebrows. It also made her judge herself. But she made peace with it. She realised she had many talents and a huge potential, the degree had nothing to do with it. She accepted it, owned it and made it part of her story. That gave her huge self confidence and respect of other people.
If you want to change your career path, this is what Magdalena advices:
Her advice for people who would like to make a career change but find it difficult is first to do a self reflection: to ask themselves the questions “Who am I? Who do I want to be? What are my goals and my values?”. What really helped her was having mentors, talking to people who are already in the place where she wanted to be.
Her life changed drastically and so did her career. It all became as a crisis but turned into a huge opportunity, made her believe in herself and take the chances when they arise.
Now back to you
- What do you have in your life which seem like a crisis right now? If it would be an opportunity, for what would this opportunity be?
- What do you have in your life story that makes it unique, that makes you unique? How can you own and use this story?
- Who around you can support you for your career change? Who can you support for their career change?
Love and gratitude,
P.S. If you’d like to know more about Magdalena Rogl, here are the interviews and videos where she tells her story; which are also my references for writing this article. Oh by the way they are in German.