Girls in Tech Singapore is speaking with one of our own, Padmaja Sakthi. Padmaja has been managing our social media for the past half year and we don’t know how we could function without her. Every week she brings you, our community, valuable content to inspire and engage us in our careers in tech. Padmaja has not always been working in this industry and we are speaking with her today, to share her journey and learnings with those of you looking to make a shift in your own career.
Introducing Padmaja: Where did you start your career?
I am an IT Engineer. After my graduation, I moved to Singapore and started my career as IT Engineer where I was trained to performed software testing. That was my first job and I felt coding was not my interest. Then I moved into healthcare as Project Manager for a Teleradiology Company in Singapore. Where I learned about managing an Open MRI center, performed traditional marketing to clinics and doctors about the new MRI center in Town, also managed website projects for the clients.
What made you decide to make a switch into digital marketing?
I was curious to learn about how things work on the back-end of a website , how the code helps the crawlers to index the content so when a user keys in a phrase or a word in the google search how do we make our website appear in the top 2 pages. Also I was very interested to learn about how certain product or service ads followed me on my digital footprints.
So I signed up for a free digital marketing introduction session at General Assembly, it was a good 45 min session, where the instructor explained about the world of Digital marketing and I understood about how the tracking works.
Then I enrolled for a course at General assembly it was a full time project based course, The course fees was heavily subsided for Singaporean and PR’s to encourage people to learn tech skills. During my course work, we had hands on experience working on a pro-bono project with real clients. Managed to create my portfolio of my projects and was ready to go look for job in digital marketing.
I reached out to my friends at Girls in Tech Singapore and I had to mention Lynette, Tasha, Hayley, Vinny were so interested to hel
p me with answering my doubts and also helped me with resume writing tips and formatting.
It is my honour to share my experience so that some of you will find it useful and it will be soon your day to help our fellow sisters and friends to guide them from our experience in landing their dream-job.
After two months of job-hunting I landed in my first Digital Marketing job as a SEO Executive in a startup digital marketing agency. It is a long journey of constant learning on the job.
What have been your greatest challenge in making the switch? And how were you able to overcome them?
Uncertainty, Fear of failing, I was nervous to quit my job and pursue my Digital marketing course with General Assembly for three full months. The worst was yet to come. It was when I was looking for job, I was unsure which positions that I should apply for. In Digital marketing. I was looking for jobs for nearly 2 mo
nths and was very disappointed, when I didn’t get any response to my nearly 50+ resumes sent.
I didn’t give up. I participated in few networking events and met some really cool people, who were able to recommend some tips on how to write your CV, update linkedin profile and mention some job availability.
Can you share with us what your plan is from here?
I am into Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), which is a vertical in Digital marketing that I wanted to specialize in. Then move into SEM (Search Engine Marketing), Pay Per click (PPC) ads. I would like to work in a regional e-commerce business. I am happy with the current specialization and unlikely to go back to coding and building websites.
What have been the most striking lessons you’ve learnt so far?
Hard work and perseverance is very important in whatever we do. There are days where I felt excited and some days I felt why did I wanted to do this. But if you have passion for what you do that will be the driving force to over come all the hurdles.
Digital marketing and Healthcare are a big leap apart. Were there any transferable skill-sets that you have benefited from in your new career?
Yes, As a digital marketer I still work for clients from healthcare industry. The skill set I gained working in healthcare industry has given me better understanding on the type of search terms people search online for information.
My work experience with website development project management has given me better understanding on the mechanics of how things work beyond the search engines. This helps me to reverse engineer the type of content to make available for audience in the website projects that I am involved as SEO Executive. As my job involves working very closely to content writer it helps us.
Though Digital marketing tools and technology may be different, but the skill set I gained from my previous job is very useful.
What is your number one tip for Girls in Tech members looking to make a career change?
Don’t be shy, try something out of your comfort zone, learn and upgrade your skill set and most importantly participate in networking events. Whether you are a fresher or mid-career switch person. During the initial phase it could be difficult for some but don’t stop there, push yourself through that phase so your future-self will thank you for that extra effort.
Remember “No pain, No gain!”