I start by saying that it's not just at 30 or 40 year old, but at any point in life when we feel our path should change. Sometimes, we are dominated by the fear of wasting our investment in one area, by the uncertainty of the new path, or simply by the inertia that the daily routine brings. We let these reasonings shape our lives and endure day after day, always imagining what could have been. But is that investment reason enough not to live the rest of our days as we wish? Is that uncertainty so catastrophic? Is it not worth stopping for a moment to think about the direction we want for our life?

Am I saying that changing careers is an easy path? Not at all. It requires a lot of consideration and resilience, whether for the reasons listed above or for all the others that enter the equation. In my case, it was necessary to face many judgments and some financial difficulties. Was it worth it? Yes, very much so.

But how can one find this new path?

I started getting the first clues during a journey that many know: a demotivating professional internship that included some tasks that went beyond those stipulated for a nutritionist. Besides the consultations, I was responsible for creating all the images for the company's social networks. I had no experience in design and, as you can imagine, the content I created was not the best (to say the least). However, to my surprise, I began to realize that I felt happier and more motivated when creating those images than in nutrition consultations. Of course, this was just a hint of what I would later decide in terms of career, but the truth is that these small clues are present in our day-to-day life. We just have to pay attention to them.

From there, my interest in design grew, and a few years later (and with quite a bit of fear mixed in), I decided to enrol in a Short Cycle Programme (TeSP) in Digital Design. TeSPs can be great allies for those who want to follow a new professional path. Although they do not confer an academic degree, they are more technical, quicker, and cheaper than Bachelor's and Integrated Master's degrees. Moreover, they include an apprenticeship that immediately puts us in contact with the job market.

It was during this apprenticeship at xMoney (former Utrust) that I had my first in-depth contact with Product Design. I must say it was challenging times and of great adaptation. Everything was new: the corporate culture (which was magnificent but to which I was not accustomed), the work processes, the terminologies — I remember going to Google to search the difference between Frontend and Backend. I had to work hard and learn quickly, but it was one of the most enriching work experiences I've had. In a few months, I discovered a whole world I didn't know existed and found a job that brings both peace and excitement to my day-to-day.

The hands-on learning approach of apprenticeships is invaluable for acquiring practical skills and industry knowledge. This tradition of continuous learning and mentoring is something we still uphold at my current role at Subvisual. At that time, Subvisual was part of the xMoney team and played a significant role in shaping the company into what it is today. This collaboration allowed me to witness firsthand the impact of a supportive and innovative work environment, which is a core part of the company’s culture.

At Subvisual, we believe that fostering an environment where team members can learn from each other is crucial for both individual and collective success. Our apprenticeship program is designed to support new talents by providing them with real-world experience and guidance from more experienced colleagues.

The tech area is a world of opportunities, not only because it's super interesting and innovative but also because, in terms of recruitment, in most companies, the emphasis is not on educational background but on technical and personal skills (it's common to find people with degrees in other areas working in this sector).

Change can be scary, but the truth is we spend a large part of our days at work. It doesn't make sense to spend those precious life moments wishing everything were different.

This article was originally published in Observador as a contribution to the PWIT Column.