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My Career Transformation in One Year

Solmaz talks about the art of turning challenges into opportunities and shares how she managed to use the forced free time she got due to the pandemic to change her career within one year.

Solmaz Seyedmousavi
Solmaz Seyedmousavi

My Studies

May 22nd, 2018

Driving back from work I received the notification I was waiting for in the past 5 months: “The Swedish Institute has the pleasure to inform you …”. I still remember how excited and joyful I felt in this moment as it meant that I got the full scholarship offer that only 2% of eligible applicants get.

May 29th, 2020

Two years later, I graduated from Lund University during a global pandemic with little knowledge of the forthcoming journey. The pandemic challenged all of us in many ways including myself. For a fresh graduate in Tourism whose full-time job was looking for a job, it couldn’t get more petrifying than a worldwide lock-down.

The fragile situation I found myself in brought me to think about what do I really want from my job?  As a woman who resigned from her 2 full-time jobs as a Senior Financial Advisor and University Lecturer to experience a new culture and start a new chapter in life, not finding any opportunities wasn’t what I dreamed of. However, I truly believe there is a bright side in everything for those who seek it. I got all the time I needed to do something: To change! So, I decided to learn a new skill that would enable me to solve more everyday life problems. A couple of months later, in September 2020, as I was coming back from my birthday celebration trip, I dipped my toes in programming for the first time. Fast forward to September 2021 and I got to celebrate my birthday with my colleagues at Publicis Sapient as an Associate Frontend Developer. But how did I get there?

“I adopted Christine Carter approach: “Let yourself be mediocre at whatever you’re trying to do but be mediocre every day. Do something that is a smidge better than nothing”. I kept going in all those madness moments. “

My year of change

Thanks to the pandemic, online learning has become more and more prevalent. This level of flexibility is what I enjoy the most about being a programmer. I enrolled in several online programming courses one after the other besides coding along with tons of tutorials accessible on various platforms. I also believe my service mindset coming from working in the service industry for five plus years got me far in understanding users’ needs.

Once I got the confidence to apply for junior positions, nothing happened for a couple of months, but of course, when it rains, it pours. I got 3 job offers in one day. What encouraged me to choose Publicis Sapient over other opportunities was the impression I got from all the people involved in the hiring process. The fact that the interviewers were truly curious to know more about me as a person to find out if there was a culture fit rather than merely what I could develop in ReactJS fascinated me.

Yes, there are many opportunities for those who work in IT, but mainly once you have a couple of years of experience. Companies that are willing to provide passionate souls who lack relevant professional experience with the chance to learn and grow are rare.

September to September is what I call my journey. It really doesn’t feel like I only grew one year older. It was a hell of a character-building journey. I had countless reasons to convince myself that it was impossible. My pre-pandemic routines fell apart hard, and I struggled to follow my ambitious goals. I adopted Christine Carter approach: “Let yourself be mediocre at whatever you’re trying to do but be mediocre every day. Do something that is a smidge better than nothing”. I kept going in all those madness moments. My only goal within this one year was not to fail to continue. As Winston Churchill says: “If you are going through hell, keep going!”. And don’t get me wrong! Not only is it not over yet, it is just the beginning of becoming a competent Senior Developer.

Solmaz Seyedmousavi
Solmaz Seyedmousavi
Associate Frontend Engineer, Stockholm, Sweden
Solmaz joined the Publicis Sapient Nordic team 6 months ago. With a background in tourism and banking she decided to follow her dreams and is now a developer with a passion for human-centered design.

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