In a recent poll, 49% of BC workers who worked from home at some point during the pandemic said they would be willing to look elsewhere for a job that allowed them to continue working remotely after the pandemic ends.
Called the “great resignation” by some, these workers are among the 1 in 4 globally that are now seriously considering a career change thanks to the COVID-19 crisis.
Before COVID-19, only 5.3% of Canadian workers worked from home full-time and 29% had the option of working remotely part-time. Job market analysts are estimating that half of the workforce is currently working from home. This figure is expected to rise to 70% of employees working from home at least 5 days a month by 2025.
While many employers are still struggling to wrap their head around the work from home model, BC’s tech players have jumped into remote work with both feet. Amazon announced it will allow employees to work remotely two days a week post-pandemic, and Facebook and Microsoft have given all employees the option of remote work.
Tech employers also offer a fertile field of opportunity for all kinds of skilled job-seekers. While one normally equates tech with engineering and software development-type careers, the number of sales jobs in tech actually outstrips the number of R&D roles. According to sales academy Uvaro’s job board, there are currently more than 14,000 open tech sales jobs in Vancouver, with a vast number of these jobs remote, and employers are struggling to find and retain talent on the sales side of the house.
“The pandemic gave many individuals who were unhappy In their careers the kick in the pants they needed to change. And upon closer examination the barriers to working in tech are not nearly as high as they might have believed,” says Joseph Fung, CEO and co-founder of Uvaro.
Fung points out that while only 2% of traditional colleges and universities today offer sales-related education, the gap in the market is being filled with new types of private training programs that combine training and coaching with job placement.
“Everyone wins. Job seekers land lucrative five-figure salaries without having to invest time and money in costly retraining. And employers are delighted to have a strong pipeline of purpose-trained talent,” says Fung.
Vancouverite Gabriela Love found their way into the tech industry after receiving specialized sales training online via Uvaro. Gabriela, a former Air Canada flight attendant and podcaster, landed a role as a sales development representative at Vancouver-based Fable after training with Uvaro.
“The pandemic created huge uncertainty for those of us working in the airline industry. I was laid off and underwent months of uncertainty with respect to my career,” Gabriela explains.
While they were attracted to the idea of breaking into the tech sector, they were uncertain if a leap into a tech role was even possible.
“Like most, I associated a tech career with being a software developer. Now, while I enjoy coding, I knew I would fare better in a role that was more people facing and that would allow me to leverage my years of training as a flight attendant.”
A google search led them to the idea of tech sales and to Uvaro. “It almost seemed to be too good to be true,” says Gabriela. “Uvaro only charges tuition if a person completes the training and lands a job. That really lowers the barrier to entry, especially for people who have been laid off and who are struggling financially. And it says a lot about the business that they are willing to make that investment in those training with them.”
Gabriela is loving their new career in tech sales. They’ve gone from wearing a uniform and working shifts to the flexibility of working from home, and they are making very good money through the combination of a base salary plus commission.
“Thanks to Uvaro’s training, I was able to hit the ground running from day one. There’s a lot of opportunity for upskilling to further refine my selling skills and I can now clearly picture my career path in tech. It’s been a really amazing experience and I’ve landed with a really amazing employer. I’ve totally lucked out.”