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Discovering new career pathways at REA

11/08/2021 | 09:13pm EST

At REA Group, we're all about giving things a go. We have the freedom to explore, fail, recover & succeed within a supportive environment. And the exact same concept applies to careers.

I recently reached out to Caitland Brooks (Product Manager), David Gostelow (Product Designer) and Jose Saade (Technical Support Specialist), who have shared their individual career stories and some great advice on how to overcome those "new job" nerves.

1. Tell us about your career pathway experience here at REA?

Caitland: I joined REA as a Business Analyst on the Finance Squad. After a year in the team, I started thinking about what was next. Ultimately, I decided I wanted to focus on Product moving forward. My manager helped me to find an opportunity that leaned into a product role with another team in our tribe.
The year I spent in this role was critical to my development as I gained product experience and completed a General Assembly Product Management course on the side.
In what seemed like divine timing, the perfect opportunity for a Product Manager role on the Consumer Profile squad popped up and I went for it! I've been in the role for three months now, and it feels like I'm learning something new every day.

David: I had an unconventional path into design. I started off as a plumber, then eventually gravitated towards UX design. After a few UX roles both in London and Melbourne I started at REA as a Senior UX Designer. From there, I moved into a people leadership role looking after the Platform design team and then leading DesignOps. Upon some self-reflection, I asked myself if I was still enjoying my role. I was, but something was missing: the craft, the small details, and the creativity. So, I took up an opportunity as a Staff Designer, focusing more on craft leadership. I still have a positive impact on people through mentorship and can lead people without necessarily being a people leader. I get to do what I love: solving meaty problems and… designing!

Josie: I began my journey at REA as a Workplace Receptionist for almost 2 years. I had no idea as to what type of career path I wanted to take as I was happy doing what I enjoyed. However, in March of 2020, lockdown happened. I couldn't perform my role to its full capacity, so I moved to working part time as Receptionist and spent the rest of the time assisting our Enterprise Tech (Etech) team. With no tech background, I started to enjoy the work and found that I was learning something new every day.
I thought "this could be the career pathway for me". I spoke to my managers and was offered a secondment, which then turned into a permanent Technical Support Specialist position.

2. Were there any challenges you encountered along the way? How did you overcome them?

Caitland: The most challenging part has been the feeling of imposter syndrome when you first switch to a new role. I've found it's important to talk about it. I try to take anxious energy I'm feeling and channel it into curiosity.

David: All throughout my career I've been a bit of a chancer. If an opportunity arose, I would say yes, and then figure out how to do it later. This approach threw up all sorts of challenges along the way as you can imagine.

Josie: I don't come from a tech background and went through a lot of training to get up to scratch and work independently. Tech is mostly males as well so being the only female was quite challenging, as I navigated different personalities. Despite this, I found I was accepted with open arms and was able to be myself.

3. Do you have any advice for people who want to pivot their careers?

Caitland: Be curious! Know and trust your strengths. Mentors have been so critical in helping me in my career development. Reach out to people you meet along the way. Making it known that you're interested in a career path might open an opportunity for you to lean in.

David: Go for it. It's better to try and fail then be left wondering what might have been. I've always had this philosophy when it comes to my career. I focus on what I think will make me the happiest, where I can add the most value and have some fun at the same time.

Josie: Be open with your manager and have the conversations about what you want to achieve. Take opportunities that come your way and always remember that you are not stuck if you are not happy. I like to remind myself, "do not fear going forward slowly; fear only to stand still".

Thank you to Caitland, David and Josie for sharing their experiences and insights into the importance of owning your career journey.

When I reflect on the conversations, I have three key take always - Know your strengths, have open conversations, and never stop learning new skills. Excited to see where they take their careers next.

If you are considering your next career move? Check out our open roles across Australia now.


REA Group Limited published this content on 09 November 2021 and is solely responsible for the information contained therein. Distributed by Public, unedited and unaltered, on 09 November 2021 02:12:07 UTC.

ę Publicnow 2021
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