I never imagined in a million years that I would choose sales as a profession. Without Tech Qualled, my newly found passion for technology sales would never have been realized the same way. For that, I am forever grateful.
In 2015, we welcomed our beautiful daughter into this world. I knew my priorities would no longer be the same. After many late night conversations with my supportive husband, I knew that I needed to transition out of the Army for my family. It was not an easy decision.
Transitioning was nothing like what I had initially expected. I thought I was doing everything right. I went to one of the top business schools to get my MBA and was accepted into two elite military programs with two Fortune 100 companies, but I still felt lost. I had lost a sense of purpose. I was no longer part of a team like the teams in the Army. I focused so much on “winning” in terms of getting into great programs, but I never once asked myself if they were the right fit. In the military, we often have little influence on job choices. Due to our competitive nature, we want to be the “best” even when the “best “might not bring us the most joy. Through my research and my recent corporate experience, I knew I wanted to get into sales, but was faced with the challenge of getting hired into sales with no previous experience.
A year ago, a former Tech Qualled graduate told me about the program that trains transitioning veterans in high technology sales. I thought it was too good to be true. I was afraid that my introverted nature would make me a bad fit. I was also somewhat unsure due to my lack of knowledge and background in technology.
Maybe it was out of desperation, one day I took the courage to reach out to Justin Ossola. I bombarded him with questions. He was so patient, professional, and passionate. I applied to the program as soon as I got off the phone with him. The interview process was very thorough. It delved deeper than standard behavioral interviewing. In the end, I was beyond excited to hear the good news that I was accepted.
During the 7-week training, I was very impressed with the TQ team’s commitment to helping us and I was blown away by the work ethic of my peers. In 7 weeks, I learned more applicable skills than in my MBA program. The training was also more challenging than I had initially anticipated, which also made the whole experience so much more rewarding. Every week I was pushed out of my comfort zone by the instructors and my peers. The lessons learned and the advice I received will be invaluable for the rest of my life. The entire experience was truly life changing.
Today, I work at an IT reseller in Texas and I truly love my job in technology sales. I have an amazing boss who’s a great mentor and I am part of a great team again. The best part is, our job is to help solve problems for our clients. I feel like I am serving again, in a different way, and I have regained a sense of purpose.
If I may offer any advice, ask yourself and your family what success looks like, a 6 (or 7) figure paying job? Good work and life balance? Should you capitalize on your strengths or follow your passion or both? Finding the right fit is so important.
If you enjoy problem-solving, especially in helping businesses solve their most complex problems with technology, then you should absolutely explore Tech Qualled’s technology sales program. You will never find a better team who cares as much and supports you, your family, your transition and your career growth. Tech Qualled truly changed my life.
Leah Naish is an Army veteran and Tech Qualled Cohort 11 graduate. She is now in an Outside Sales Account Executive role at Sigma Solutions and is based out of Houston, TX.