Meet Stephanie: From Stocktaker to Web Developer at 40-Years-Old

Sometimes the road to career success and fulfilment is unpredictable and atypical.

That’s the case for Stephanie Houssin, a French OpenClassrooms alumna who changed careers at 40-years-old. Here is her story… 

Early career

Stephanie’s early studies and job experience had little to do with web development. 

I studied literature in undergrad and then went on to study psychology, graduating with a masters.

After graduation, she needed to make income quickly and decided to take a job as a stocktaker. That job that might have been only a temporary gig became a long-term career. 

Mid-career redirection

She stayed in that original company for over a decade until it was bought out by a competitor. At that point, the writing was on the wall. She noticed herself being less detail-oriented day-to-day and tired of constantly traveling extensively for work. 

In her mid-30’s, she needed a refresh, to figure out what to do with the rest of her career. She felt lost. And then a new adventure presented itself.

It happened completely by chance. I had the opportunity to go abroad, to spend two years in Israel. It was a really profound time for me.

But as her adventures in Israel came to an end, she once again had some decisions to make. 

I was approaching 40-years-old and I realized it was time to do something that I really enjoyed…I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go into web development or work in the restaurant industry. While I was in Israel, I was able to gain some fantastic experience in the kitchen, notably at an embassy. It was incredibly interesting, but I soon realized that it had its limitations.

Finding the right training

Stephanie was warming to the idea of web development and coding: 

It’s strange because I was really curious about the development but had no idea about how to do it. I barely even knew what coding was. I just understood that I wanted to create websites and I wanted to do it fast..I’ve always loved math and I thought that maybe there were similarities with coding which could help me.

Stephanie saw OpenClassrooms advertised online along with a French government-funded scholarship program. She applied and was accepted right away.

I did the web development program and received my diploma. I learned a lot and I’m really happy that I now have knowledge in coding, as well as in project management.

A simple and efficient job hunt

Stephanie hadn’t even finished her program with OpenClassrooms when recruiters began to take an interest in her profile.

I didn’t even get to the end of the program because I found a job a few months before the end of the course.

It all happened rather serendipitously.

I hadn’t even really begun to search properly. One day I had decided to update my LinkedIn profile by putting up my CV just to see what would happen. I wasn’t expecting anything. Before long, I received a call from a recruiter who had two job postings that he wanted me to consider. I was really relaxed when I went for the interviews because I treated them like practice for the real thing, thinking I’d never either job.

Much to her surprise, Stephanie was offered one of the positions to work as a web developer at a popular online commerce site. She took the job and has been working their since September 2018.

Changing career paths can be daunting but Stephanie is convinced that employers can be attracted to the career-changer profile :

Companies really liked the fact that I had converted, it’s exactly what they were looking for in this type of role…Changing your career path after you get to 40 years old, I think it shows that you know exactly what you want, that you’ve worked hard already and that you want to continue working hard.

We would add, it show a level of maturity and self-understanding. It shows that you have experience and you are motivated to create an even better life for yourself.

Stephanie’s story shows that after a program with OpenClassrooms everything is possible, no matter how old you are or what your career background is.

If you’d like to learn more about our programs, come on over to our program page.

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