How Audrey Changed Careers During a Pandemic

How Audrey Changed Careers During a Pandemic

As a vibrant person with service industry experience and a passion for creating art, a career in tech sales wasn’t something that was initially on Audrey Young’s radar. Now, Audrey, like so many professionals in the tech industry, is on an upward trajectory she never saw coming. 

For years she had gained experience in restaurant management, only to have that path utterly halted by the pandemic in 2020. While navigating the impact of the COVID-19 curveball that left her entire industry facing unemployment, she found herself seeking more stability. 

That search led her to enroll in a 10-week tech sales bootcamp. Here, she learned that she had been building valuable interpersonal skills for years in her prior roles. This rang clear in her strong communication skills, work ethic, coachability, and authenticity in building relationships. 

Today, Audrey is soaring as a Business Development Rep (BDR) at ChartHop. With her personal skills and commitment to training, she was able to break into tech quickly. She graduated from Flockjay during Halloween 2020 and got hired in January 2021!

This Flockjay alumni sat down with us to share more details about her career journey into tech sales, including the challenges she had to overcome to find herself where she is today.

Keep reading to learn how Audrey changed careers during a pandemic. 

Pivoting from College Classes to Restaurant Management 

In college, Audrey was managing a lot of passions while seeking stability. In her own words: 

“I have a lot of passions, including helping others and sugar! The sad part is that I couldn’t make a career out of those things and make the money needed to support me and my family. I felt the only option for stability was to keep pursuing restaurant management because it was convenient and I was good at it. Sometimes we don’t get to have it all, and college doesn’t make it easy to finish and work full time.”

She had already gained experience working as a busser and a server in college, so becoming a Restaurant Manager seemed like a natural next step. 

Audrey eventually got promoted to a position where she was making $55,000 per year, albeit at 65 hours per week and 6 days a week. But things were looking good. This was her career now. 

However, when she returned to work from taking some well-deserved time off, she realized that restaurant management may not be for her. She wasn’t welcomed back with grace, and began to question her opportunities for growth in the industry. 

“When I came back, the restaurant was in complete chaos and I got reamed for it. I saw my manager’s true colors at that moment and realized that she was unethical and selfish. I dealt with it because they offered me a salary and health insurance, which I never had. At that point, I had just convinced myself that the service industry was the only career path for me.” 

For the next year, Audrey went above and beyond at work — doing inventory, payroll, scheduling, hiring, training and running a wine training program — but she still couldn’t get a raise or a transfer. This was especially frustrating since she had been working at the restaurant for six years and her boss wasn’t willing or excited to help with her growth within the company.

This is when she finally hit her breaking point and left the unhealthy work environment she’d been in. Around this time, her partner had got accepted into a music school in San Diego. Soon after, she packed up her bags, moved, and got a restaurant management job in her new city.

Then, COVID-19 shut the entire restaurant industry down.

How were they going to make ends meet and keep a roof over their heads? A question that rose to the forefront for hundreds of thousands of Americans forced to face the impact of an industry-halting pandemic. What now?

Navigating Personal and Professional Growth During COVID-19

Audrey was fresh on the heels of an exciting new journey and felt crushed when the pandemic engulfed her industry in uncertainty. Audrey and her partner had no choice but to get creative, remain flexible, and work together to envision and implement a new plan. One that required putting everything they owned in storage. That takes resilience.

“My partner had to leave music school. I got laid off from my job and no one was hiring. We didn’t have enough money and had nowhere to go, so we moved into his parents’ camper, then to our friend’s spare bedroom with our three cats. It was tough.”

During this arduous process, Audrey leaned on her art as a positive creative outlet and had the gift of time to go inward and intentionally think about what she really wanted out of her next role. 

Her restaurant management experience had armed her with tons of incredible skills, but the unstable nature of the industry led her to experience self-doubt and depression.

Eventually, her and her partner were able to secure a temporary Airbnb in San Diego, allowing him to finish up music school. From there, they relocated back to an apartment in Denver to navigate their next steps as the pandemic continued to unfold. 

Finding Flockjay through a Craigslist Hunt for Opportunities

With an increasing awareness of how previous restaurant environments had negatively impacted her mental health, Audrey was eager to feel better. She knew it was time to break up with the restaurant industry if she wanted to prioritize her mental health and grow professionally. Unsure how to execute on this desired career change, she got curious and began researching. 

Audrey was surfing Craigslist for new job opportunities when an ad stopped her in her tracks. It was for Flockjay, a 10-week tech sales bootcamp, on a mission to provide people from diverse backgrounds with the training, confidence, and community they need to break into tech. No fancy college degree was required, and it mentioned a deferred tuition option that allowed students to join for $0 down and repay tuition after they are hired and earning at least $40k annually. This information resonated with her, but it was the first time she’d heard of career bootcamps as a real option for people with her background. Could this opportunity be for her? 

“I was thinking to myself, ‘This is insane. This makes no sense.’ I even told my family about it and they were like, ‘Okay, this sounds scammy.” 

But Audrey’s interest was piqued. She decided to ask her friends who were working in tech sales about their careers and got positive feedback. After conducting more research and realizing that Flockjay was legit, she decided to chat with one of our Admissions Advisors, Mo.

“Once Mo saw that I had studied Human Development in college and recognized that I was super passionate about it, she told me that Flockjay could help me get a job in EdTech or at a company that collaborates with nonprofits. I could pursue a job at a place that aligned with my personal goals, not just your typical tech company. And that’s what sold me. There were way more opportunities out there than what I originally thought coming from the restaurant industry.”

She decided to join our seventh batch of students and become a Flockjay Tech Fellow.

Overcoming Mental Health Obstacles During Class

Shortly after joining Flockjay, Audrey and her partner’s unemployment benefits in Denver ran out. They were on the brink of eviction and had to turn to the weekly food bank for support. Audrey shared that when the food bank provided them with a big turkey, they were able to make the best of it and eat turkey soup every night. 

To make ends meet, Audrey sold her car and watched her dad’s dog for $40 per night. During some earlier hardships in her life, she also resorted to assembling Ikea furniture for cash. 

While working hard to regain financial stability and pursue a new and unfamiliar opportunity, the state of Audrey’s mental health remained an obstacle. Her depression was becoming unmanageable, so to pursue treatment, she flew out to California to get a brain scan. 

Audrey was in the third week of Flockjay’s program during this time, and she personally still planned on attending class. But when she tried to dial in from her phone, she couldn’t get internet access. Feeling unprepared for a breakout session and overwhelmed by the hiccup, she admits having the urge to quit the program right then and there.

“By then, I was just so stressed out and upset. It felt like the final straw.”

However, Audrey decided to do her homework assignments for the week. And they motivated her to soldier on.

“I was in this hotel room by myself, waiting to fly out the next day, when I remembered that I needed to write a LinkedIn post. It had to be about tech, but I didn’t want to say something fake. But I also didn’t want to tell the world what was really going on with me. No one wants to hear that. At the end of the day, though, I just decided to be honest.”

What that honestly looked like:

Audrey Young LinkedIn feedback

After sharing that first LinkedIn post, Audrey continued to authentically thrive in Flockjay’s program, especially when it came to building a community with her other Flockmates. 

Being this open and vulnerable changed Audrey’s perspective on adversity and helped her turn the corner. She felt validated and encouraged by the responses on her post from people who also suffered from depression. Feeling less alone, she persevered and made it to graduation. 

Practicing Authenticity During the Interview Process

After hitting the 10-week mark and graduating from Flockjay, Audrey began the interview process. At this point, graduates work with dedicated Career Services Managers (CSM) for interactive coaching and tips on how to crush their interviews, make lasting impressions, and get hired by companies who support them. Part of this is knowing how to share your story. 

For Audrey, the idea of sharing the various elements of her story with a potential employer initially felt daunting. So at first, she wasn’t forthcoming with sharing those personal details. 

“I was struggling with how much to share and how to share it. So I just didn’t share at all and was like, ‘I am good at these things. I can do this.’ I didn’t really show them why or how I am good at those things, though,” says Audrey.

“Then I did a mock interview with my CSM and he said, ‘I wouldn’t hire you. You didn’t wow me. What happened to your story about being homeless during COVID and having nowhere to go? Don’t you think if you tell me your story that I’m going to believe you’re going to be a badass SDR and make money for my company?’”  

From then on, Audrey felt empowered by her story. When she started practicing sharing it during her various interviews, she could tell she was impressing her interviewers. She felt like she was on the verge of getting hired, and she was right. 

From Flockjay to Hired Sales Development Rep at ChartHop

After interviewing with ten different companies and landing five different final round interviews, Audrey received an offer to join the sales team at ChartHop. It was a full circle moment. 

“I have a video of me dancing. I don’t know if I can even put it into words because it’s such a validating and relieving feeling, but it’s also so much more than that. It’s honestly unbelievable. After such a hard year in the restaurant industry, I almost couldn’t believe it when I got the offer to join ChartHop’s sales team. I felt a weird blend of shock and pride.”

Today, Audrey is entering her fourth month at ChartHop as an SDR, where she has hit or exceeded her quota for three months. 

The collective flock is proudly rooting her on, because graduating and getting hired is not where the Tech Fellow journey ends. It is only where the Flockjay Alumni journey begins.

From Flockmates to Friends, The Career Support Doesn’t End 

Building community and providing mutual support is such an integral part of Flockjay’s program. The power of the connections students make in the first 10 weeks of the program and beyond is something that cannot be understated during such a pivotal time of transformation and growth.

Audrey’s batch was no exception, exuding Flockjay’s value of flying farther and faster together.

“A group of friends I made in the program nicknamed ourselves ‘The Kingdom’ because we were like birds who came together. We would meet after class every Thursday and we could stay on for two, three hours and sometimes into the middle of the night. We would just support each other and talk about our lives and our biggest fears. These people changed my life.

Now, we’re all placed at different jobs and we still meet and have a group text. We’ll share sales tips from time to time, but what we value the most is our bond with each other.  These people are so important to me. And they were my favorite part of Flockjay. Because without any human connection, you’re just getting information thrown at you, not getting reps in and making deep connections with others, which makes you better at sales anyways.”

Audrey’s Flockjay Alumni Journey and Community Involvement 

Audrey has decided to give back to the Flockjay community by working as a Teaching Assistant (TA) for a recent batch of students going through the program. She has also been involved with Flockjay Identity Groups (FIGs), which are outlets for connection among diverse alumni groups. Audrey says: 

“I loved the program for the connections I made and the empowerment I got from my trainers and peers. I decided to be as involved as I could and joined as a co-leader for the Womxns FIGS group, and also became a TA for Batch 12! I love to contribute to a positive environment that supports diverse and talented individuals to reach their potential and make money doing it. We all have different stories and I live to hear everyone’s stories. My life is greatly enhanced by the people I encounter through Flockjay.”

Wondering How to Change Careers? You Can Do This

Audrey’s journey from the restaurant industry to unemployment to tech sales took turns she never expected, and believing in herself has yielded results she never dreamed possible. 

“I just feel so lucky,” Audrey says. “And blessed.”

Your New Career in Tech Sales Starts Now

Sales is the best kept secret in tech, and Flockjay will show you the way. With online classes and live instructors, Flockjay teaches you everything you need to know to be job ready in just 10 weeks. Ready for a career change?

From Life as a Translator to a Career in Sales

From Life as a Translator to a Career in Sales

After working as an assistant manager at a wine shop in Brooklyn, Oriana De Francesco decided to take a leap of faith and launch her own language services business. Being fluent in both French and Spanish, Oriana started translating for attorneys who worked in the immigration space and were aiding asylum seekers. It was the most rewarding job she’s ever had.

Within four years, Oriana’s business was generating enough revenue to make ends meet. But then suddenly, everything came crashing down.

“The pandemic shut down my entire business,” says Oriana. “Most of my clients canceled their projects, and I was basically left in this void of existential crisis. I needed to find a new path in life.”

Oriana decided to leave New York, a city ravaged by COVID-19, and move back home to San Francisco. While relieved to be in familiar surroundings, the reality of her situation began to kick in: “What was she going to do now?”

Discovering an Opportunity at Flockjay

A few weeks later, Oriana stumbled upon a feature article in the San Francisco Chronicle about Raven Winchester, a former janitor who completed Flockjay’s ten-week tech sales bootcamp and landed a job as a Business Development Representative at LaunchDarkly, a company whose offices she used to clean as a janitor.

“Her story really inspired me,” says Oriana. “If she could make that drastic of a change in her career, maybe I could, too.”

After doing some more digging, Oriana realized that a career in sales had the job security she was looking for, and the tech industry is one of the most stable spaces around. She applied and interviewed for Flockjay’s tech sales program and was enrolled into their ninth batch of students.

“I interviewed with Nagieb, one of Flockjay’s Admissions Advisors, and he was great. He wanted to know about my background and my goals. He’s just so good with people,” says Oriana.

“I was also able to ask him a lot of questions. I wanted to learn more about the program and how I was going to be able to complete it and come out of it with a job. He was very thorough. I really enjoyed my conversation with him.”

Mastering Sales Through Flockjay

As Oriana progressed through Flockjay’s program, there were two components of the program  that blew her away:

  1. The ease of building community with her classmates or “flockmates”
  2. The mentorship and coaching provided by Flockjay’s trainers

Flockjay’s Community: “The first part of the program that I loved was this amazing comradery that was built up between me and my classmates. We were all trying to transform our lives, which is obviously super challenging, but I never felt alone during this process because I had all of these other people around me supporting and lifting each other up. They were these amazing, brave, and courageous people, and we were all in it together,” says Oriana. “We even gave ourselves a team name, ‘The Mighty Ducks’”.

Flockjay’s Coaching and Mentorship: “I would have one‑on‑ones with a very learned and diverse set of instructors, (Lauren Lovelace, Kevin Uong, Justin Solis) and it was so incredible to get all of these different perspectives on how to approach the Sales Development Representative role. They would also just give us a ton of fundamental advice about sales. I’ve never worked in sales or tech, so I’m really a novice. Having these instructors was hugely helpful.”

After graduating from Flockjay with flying colors, Oriana’s dedicated Career Service Manager, Gino Calavitta, made introductions to a number of Flockjay’s hiring partners. In a flash, Oriana was getting interview requests left and right. Eventually, she was getting so many that she had to turn some down. And as someone who was unemployed for the past year, she felt overwhelmed with gratitude.

“Without Flockjay, there was absolutely no way I could get a job in tech sales. I didn’t have a single entry point into the industry, but Flockjay closed that network gap for me, which is part of a larger inequality gap that we have in America,” says Oriana.

“You can be extremely smart, talented, and driven, but if you don’t know the right people, you’re never gonna get your foot in the door. Flockjay really allows those of us who don’t have the right network or experience to not only land a job but also build a career by making introductions to their hiring partners and their network of sales leaders.”

Nine interviews later, Envoy, a workplace experience software, ticked all the boxes for her.

“Envoy is extremely people-focused. They really invest in their employees, and they offer an amazing platform that’s helping reopen the global economy by getting people back to work through the hybrid model,” says Oriana.

When Oriana officially received a job offer to be a Business Development Representative at Envoy, she felt a mix of both pure joy and astonishment. “I almost couldn’t believe what I had accomplished because it was such a rapid transformation. In four months, I went from unemployed to signing a job offer. It’s unreal. Flockjay literally transformed my life.”

Change Your Life Like Oriana Did Today

If Oriana’s story resonates with you and you want to make a life-changing career move today, consider applying for our tech sales training program. In just ten weeks, you’ll learn about everything from sales techniques to sales software and also potentially land a sales job at one of the top tech companies in the world, like Salesforce, Zoom, or Gong!

If you want to read more student success stories, check out our testimonials.

Your New Career in Tech Sales Starts Now

Sales is the best kept secret in tech, and Flockjay will show you the way. With online classes and live instructors, Flockjay teaches you everything you need to know to be job ready in just 10 weeks. Ready for a career change?

Celia’s Journey From Hospitality to Sales

Celia’s Journey From Hospitality to Sales

When COVID-19 first sent the US economy into a deep freeze, Celia Camacho-Chann got laid off from her bartending job and spent the next month unemployed. It was one of the toughest times of her life because she had always been working at least two jobs at once for the past decade.

However, flash forward ten months and you’ll find her carving a tech sales career at Gainsight, a Customer Success and Product Experience software, where she couldn’t be happier.

We sat down with Celia to discuss her journey from hospitality to sales. 

Life in the Hospitality Industry

After graduating from UC Berkeley with a degree in anthropology, Celia wasn’t sure if she wanted to go to graduate school, so she decided to pursue a career in hospitality to make ends meet and then dabble in as many career paths as possible on the side to see what she really wanted to do.

For the next decade, Celia would typically hold down one hospitality job while working in other fields like administrative work, landscaping, and customer experience. By 2020, she was working three jobs. But when COVID-19 hit, Celia found herself unemployed for the first time in her career.

Not wanting to rely on unemployment, Celia got in touch with some contacts from college and landed a job as a Customer Experience Associate at Eko, an electronic stethoscope & telemedicine company. But after a few months of only working one job, Celia got the itch to do something on the side again. And with her newfound passion for helping and talking to customers, she knew exactly what her next move was going to be after she saw an ad for Flockjay on Craigslist.

“At first, I thought it was a scam, but once I got on the website, I saw that they have the whole syllabus laid out and they really emphasize diversity and career services, which had me sold.”

Working Full-Time While Attending Flockjay

Even though Celia had to work a full-time job at Eko and was a little afraid she wouldn’t sound as confident as she should on presentations and calls, she hit the ground running. Especially when she started going to office hours with her trainers every Friday.

Celia’s favorite aspect of the program was how tailored the curriculum was. She always knew exactly what to focus on during the week.

“Every module is built on top of each other. So, for example, I could see how cold calling relates to discovery sessions. There was also always a good balance between seeing a great example of how to do something and then having time to do both individual and group practice,” says Celia.

“Sometimes, I think that educational programs skew too much in one direction. They either give you a little spiel and then you just go off and do it in a group. Or it’s the opposite, where there’s just a PowerPoint and then no activity at all. At Flockjay, I always thought there was a really good balance.”

Celia’s Start in Tech Sales

After graduation, Celia continued to work full-time while she interviewed with over ten companies for a job in tech sales. And since she was jumping around so much from work and interviews, she wasn’t able to book as many mock interviews as she would’ve liked.

Fortunately, her dedicated Career Service Manager (CSM) through Flockjay’s program felt all the more inclined to support her throughout the interview process.

“My CSM would always stay in touch and provide me with tons of resources, like case studies and behavioral questions that they knew my interviewers would look for or ask.”

Celia eventually landed a sales job at Gainsight, a Customer Success and Product Experience software company. And she has more access to upward mobility and, in turn, a career path that she’s actually more passionate about than ever before.

“My trainers at Flockjay would always mention how being an SDR can open up so many doors for you. Gainsight really emphasizes this, and it’s crazy how true it is. I could go into sales enablement after this. Or customer success and then make a lateral move or move up to the VP position or C-suite. They’re all about focusing on sharpening the skills and working on the projects that you want to work on.”

Switching Careers from Hospitality to Sales

If Celia’s story resonates with you and you also want to make a life-changing career move today, consider applying for our tech sales training program. In just ten weeks, you’ll learn about everything from sales techniques to sales software and also potentially land a sales job at one of the top tech companies in the world, like Salesforce, Zoom, or Gong!

Your New Career in Tech Sales Starts Now

Sales is the best kept secret in tech, and Flockjay will show you the way. With online classes and live instructors, Flockjay teaches you everything you need to know to be job ready in just 10 weeks. Ready for a career change?

From Shaking Cocktails to Selling Software: Cameron Macdonald’s Tech Sales Journey

From Shaking Cocktails to Selling Software: Cameron Macdonald’s Tech Sales Journey

Five months ago, Cameron Macdonald was the Bar Manager at Club Deluxe in San Francisco, cooking up new recipes for their cocktail menu, working weekends, and rarely, if ever, taking vacation. Today, he’s one of the top sales development representatives at DispatchTrack, selling delivery optimization software, getting weekends off, and earning paid leave for the first time in his adult life.

As someone who worked as a bartender for the past decade, pivoting to an entirely new career during a pandemic might’ve initially seemed like a pipe dream. But Cameron has proven that it’s more than possible to beat those odds. And now he wants to detail his adventure down the tech sales career path with other bartenders and service industry workers who might not be aware of the opportunity.

We sat down with Cameron to learn about his journey from bartending to tech sales. Read on to learn how he went from shaking cocktails to selling software with the help of Flockjay’s tech sales training program.

Dropping Out of College to Pursue Bartending

Cameron studied sociology at San Francisco State University to chase his dream of working at an NGO. But when his plans to work for an NGO in Papua New Guinea fell through, he realized that the only way he could make a good living with a sociology degree was by getting his master’s.

At the end of the day, Cameron knew he had fallen out of love with sociology and decided college wasn’t for him. Luckily, Cameron had a Plan B. He had already started working as a server during his sophomore year of college and knew he wanted to launch a career as a bartender because he loved experimenting with cocktails. But it wasn’t easy breaking through.

“My boss wasn’t willing to move me up because I didn’t have any experience. So to get some, I’d learn how to make drinks on the side and come in on my off days to help out,” says Cameron. “One day, one of my bar managers finally caved in and let me help out behind the bar. Then I got my shot after a bartender got fired for being drunk on shift during the World Cup. After that, I fell in love with the whole bartending scene, as a whole.”

However, despite his passion for creating new cocktail menus and building relationships with his customers, Cameron realized that, after a few years, bartending definitely has its cons. For instance, Cameron usually wouldn’t get home until 3:00 AM every night. His days off were also Tuesdays and Wednesdays, so if he ever wanted to take a weekend off to see his family or his girlfriend’s family, he would have to get his shift covered and forfeit his pay.

Another aspect of bartending that Cameron wasn’t a fan of was his lack of medical coverage, especially since a bare-bones plan cost him around $500 per month. “If I ever got seriously hurt, I would’ve been screwed,” says Cameron.

By the time Cameron hit his late 20s, he set a goal for himself to pursue a new career by the time he was 30. This decision was catalyzed by two realizations:

  1. There was no upward mobility in bartending, and
  2. He had to start using a Theragun massage device to knead the tendinitis out of his forearms.

“The thing about bartending is that you can either become a bar owner, which is very hard to do, or try to become a general manager, which is even harder to do because you’re just managing people and don’t even get paid for it,” says Cameron.

“There’s not a lot of upward mobility in bartending. It’s very hard to have a successful career, especially since it breaks down your body so badly.”

Breaking into Tech Sales through Flockjay

Cameron had been thinking about leaving the service industry for a long time, but when COVID-19 shut down the restaurant he was working at, he officially started his search for a new career. A mutual friend recommended that he try sales. When Cameron was applying to jobs, though, he had no bachelor’s degree or any tech or sales experience that he could tout on his resume. As a result, he didn’t land a single interview. “I got the middle finger from a lot of people,” says Cameron. Cameron knew he had to add some more experience to his resume, so he decided to enroll in a sales boot camp.

After trading a few texts and calls with some friends, he got in touch with a mutual friend who connected him with Flockjay.

“At first, I thought Flockjay was too good to be true,” says Cameron. “Then lo and behold, I go through the program and boom. I get a job in tech sales”

When Cameron was going through the program, he absolutely adored its community feel and support system. Not only did he appreciate all of the positivity that his fellow students brought to class but he also felt like they all pushed each other to succeed, in a healthy way.

“When you’re in the trenches with a bunch of like-minded individuals who are constantly pushing each other forward, it’s definitely something special. At first, I wasn’t used to how supportive everyone was and then you realize, this is how things should be. This is great,” says Cameron.

“Everyone was very open about how they felt about things and very considerate. That sense of community was great. It made me not want to fail because I didn’t want to let any of my team down. It was good pressure to push forward, knowing that we’re all in this together. That was something I truly loved.”

After graduating from Flockjay, Cameron’s Career Services Manager got him in touch with Flockjay’s hiring partners and guided him through every step of the interview process. This was super helpful since he had never interviewed for a job in tech before. Within a few weeks of graduation, Cameron landed a job as an SDR at DispatchTrack, one of Flockjay’s hiring partners.

How Life as an SDR Compares to Life As a Bartender

During his time at DispatchTrack, Cameron has enjoyed plenty of benefits that he never would’ve gotten access to as a bartender. One of these benefits is working a normal schedule and doing it from home.

“I have freaking weekends off. I can’t stress that enough. It’s amazing. I’m going to Tahoe at the end of this month. And I’m taking this Thursday and Friday off and getting paid for it because I have paid time off.”

“In a nutshell, I get to sit at home and get paid to hang out in my sweats and chill with my cat. It’s great,” says Cameron.

Another benefit that Cameron cherishes is not being exposed to health hazards at the workplace, especially since his parents are in an age group that’s at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19. “I was working in the service industry up until December during COVID”, says Cameron. “And that thing sucks. It’s stressful. I was always worried if I got the virus. I mean, I wasn’t able to see my parents. Because what if I got it somehow and I came home and brought it? But now, that stress is gone. I couldn’t be more thankful for it.”

Out of all these new benefits, though, the one that Cameron relishes the most is having an actual career.

“Overall, this has been life-changing. If I want to bust my ass and make more money, I can do that. I didn’t have that before. That’s something that I’m thankful for,” says Cameron.

“I have an actual career. I have something tangible to achieve. I have a clear path. So once I eventually want to have kids, I’ll be able to support them.”

3 Reasons Why Bartenders Can Be Great Tech Sales Reps

According to Cameron, there are three reasons why bartenders can easily translate their skills to tech sales: They’re used to getting objections, they’re good with people, and they know how to grind.

1. They’re used to getting a lot of objections.

“When you’re an SDR, you’re the tip of the spear. But it’s like you’re also eating a face full of dog crap every day. You’re getting a lot of no’s, a lot of objections, and a lot of rejections. But in terms of bartending, that’s your day-to-day. People are always trying to send drinks back, and you have to adjust the way you talk to people and be on your feet at all times.”

2. They’re good with people.

“If you want repeat business, the only way you’re going to build up regular customers is if you’re a likable person. One of my favorite aspects of bartending was building those relationships with people. Relationships mean more money. And that translates perfectly to sales. People want to buy from people they like. You have to be a likable person. Nobody’s gonna tip you if you’re a jerk. They’re gonna pay you the $8 for their vodka soda and be like, ‘Alright, not dealing with this jerk again,’ you know?”

3. They know how to grind.

“Some days, you’re on your feet for six to eight hours at a time and you just got to push through it. For me, personally, working from home and making calls every day is easy mode compared to working the Warriors playoff game, especially when they’re losing.”

Switching Careers from Bartending to Sales

If you resonate with Cameron’s story, possess the traits above, and want to make a life-changing career move today, consider applying for our tech sales training program! In just ten weeks, you’ll learn about everything from sales techniques to sales software and also potentially land a sales job at one of the top tech companies in the world, like Salesforce, Zoom, or Gong!

Your New Career in Tech Sales Starts Now

Sales is the best kept secret in tech, and Flockjay will show you the way. With online classes and live instructors, Flockjay teaches you everything you need to know to be job ready in just 10 weeks. Ready for a career change?
From Number Crunching to Tech Sales with Pedro Morfin

From Number Crunching to Tech Sales with Pedro Morfin

Pedro Morfin, a former Tech Fellow at Flockjay and a current SDR at Gusto, an HR platform for small businesses, recently sat down with us for an Ask-Me-Anything (AMA) interview. As someone who successfully pivoted from finance to tech sales, we talked about everything from Pedro’s Flockjay experience to his day-to-day at Gusto. Plus, he shared parting words of advice for wherever you are on your journey to tech sales. 

Read on to see what this alumni had to say. (more…)

Flockjay and the American Dream [Alumni Remarks]

Flockjay and the American Dream [Alumni Remarks]

Now that my time as a student at Flockjay is coming to a close, I have been thinking a great deal about the myth of the American Dream.

In its most current incarnation, the American Dream resides in the belief that anyone in our country, regardless of their background, can attain their own version of success in a society in which upward mobility is possible for everyone. It’s a vision grounded in our most sacred ideals as a nation: democracy, freedom, opportunity, and equality.

And yet, it is clear that we do not approach this dream on equal footing. Who, in fact, even has access to this dream? When we look upon American History, we know that our nation’s beautiful and self-professed ideals sit uncomfortably alongside the systemic and institutional oppression that we find in the very foundations of our country.

In light of this, I find that Flockjay is so much more than a tech sales boot camp.

I am grateful for all the hard and soft sales skills I have acquired through this specialized training. But I feel there are even more urgent gifts this program has bestowed upon us. Flockjay is, in fact, a transformative and emancipatory educational project. It has given all of us, from diverse walks of life, the tools to achieve upward mobility, and in turn, to also uplift our families, our friends, and our communities. It has taught us that our success stems from the camaraderie and solidarity we have found together.

As a nation, we are at a fragile crossroads. We can lean into our divisions or come together with the shared goal of prosperity, justice, and dignity for all. Flockjay offers a blueprint for working together to create inclusive and positive change.

The Mighty Ducks of Batch 9 have demonstrated how much we can achieve both individually and together when we cooperate, collaborate, and support one another. This group of students all come from distinct backgrounds, yet our true strength resides in our very differences!

As I look out upon the faces of my fellow students and teachers tonight, I feel pride. This is America. Here is a true representation. This is the America that calls to me. A place where we can all dream. A place where we can all achieve our ancestors’ wildest dreams. 

Oriana De Francesco is a recent Flockjay graduate. She is currently embarking on an exciting job search where she hopes to connect with organizations that provide meaningful solutions to real-world problems. She has a particular interest in the Fintech sector and democratizing finance worldwide, especially in emerging markets.

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