Meet Yann. A product management student reinventing himself against the odds

With nowhere to live and a job that was pushing him to the brink of a burnout, Yann Clément, father of two, decided to take back control of his life. 

The first step: broadening his professional horizons. 

Yann decided to enroll in a Digital Project Management program with OpenClassrooms. Patiently and methodically, Yann began to put the wheels in motion towards building a better future for himself.

Here is his story pursuing his new career against the odds. 

When did you know it was time to change?

I worked as a product specialist in a call center. I helped people who call in with their issues, but I was involved with statistics and processes. It’s a lot of work. I was very stressed. 

I had to stop working for a month and a half due to a burnout. That’s when I decided it was time to look into training programing. It would help me find direction again and help me in moving forward with my life.

Tell us about how it all began.

I was initially looking for training courses that took place in a non-virtual classroom. That seemed very important to me at the time. 

The problem was I don’t live in a big city, and where I am there’s nothing around me. Everything I could find was miles away and just too far for me to travel to. 

I wasn’t prepared to move away, leaving my wife to look after our children by herself. And after I found a way to fund my studies, I decided to properly start looking for a program to become a Digital Project Manager. 

I’d given myself exactly 12 months to accomplish what I wanted to do. I didn’t know at the time, but things were about to get difficult.

What happened?

I already felt burnt out from work. On top of that, we had embarked on a new project: building a house. Unfortunately, it ended up taking longer than expected. And at the time, our eldest had just turned seven and our youngest was barely one year-old. We had to stay at our friends’ home –   a couple who also had two kids.

I had to get back to work and take care of my family, while also taking care of the building work and doing my training.

At the beginning of the program, it was really difficult to find time for everything, but fortunately all of the videos were online so I was able to watch them whenever I needed. I studied between 9pm and 1am.

My mentor really helped me through the program too. He helped me grasp the concepts I was studying and he really became someone I could rely on for motivation.

Did you manage to complete your program on time?

Yep. Despite the difficult circumstances, I managed to complete my program within the 12 months I’d given myself.

When you’re working in a situation like this, setting deadlines can be really helpful. It keeps you focused and motivated, even when you’re working or there are other responsibilities in your life that occupy your time. 

Once I’d finished, I gave myself a three month break. And then I decided I’d do another program that would complement the first one, so I enrolled on the Product Management Program. I’m currently still in the process of completing that one.

How have you been able to balance your second program with the rest of your life?

The house was finished, but I still have a family to look after and a job. This program is also higher level than the previous one so it requires more work.

My days are organized to an almost military-level degree, beginning at 6am!

That’s what helps me to keep going at the same rhythm as before. Because it worked so well, I’ve continued to work at home after 9pm.

What’s next for you?

I’m still working at the call center, but I know that a change is just around the corner for me. I’m going to start looking for something that’s more in line with my new skills. And I’ll take my time finding something. 

Actually, I’m thinking I might even do a third program. All of the OpenClassrooms programs offer something new to discover; new doors are opened each time. I want to make sure I find the right industry for me, to make sure I choose the right door.”

At first you weren’t sure about learning online, now it seems you’re a fan?

More than a fan, I’m addicted! They’ve given me my confidence back, made me want to learn again and realize that you can love what you do, things that you lose sight of when you suffer a burnout.

I’ve managed to convert five other people who are now doing the same thing, all of them from different professional backgrounds. 

I help them out a bit, give them tips. I also have people who are there to support me if I need it. That’s what’s really great about OpenClassrooms.

You join a real community who are all there to support each other. It’s a network where you can really create connections and one that you can really build upon.

When it comes to a career change, everyone has to do it at their own pace. At just over 40 years old, Yann has decided that he is taking his time. He doesn’t need to rush into something new. 

It’s a decision that has paid off, even though he had a lot stacked against him. His secret: Stay optimistic and be very organized. In his own words:

Whatever program you choose, however old you are, there are no limits with this type of training. Only the ones you place on yourself.

To discover all the exciting careers at your fingertips with OpenClassrooms, come to our program page.


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