Career change from restaurant to payroll – Sari's jump to the unknown was worth it
Who: Sari Karjalainen, Payroll Specialist
I joined Staria as a career changer in 2018. My previous degree was Bachelor of Hospitality Management and I worked in restaurants for more than 10 years. In 2017, I decided to change my career, but I didn't leave the field completely as I still do gigs for a restaurant every now and then.
The decision to change career emerged as I realized I didn’t want to do shift work anymore. Two small children and my spouse's shift work made everyday life sometimes challenging, so I wanted to have a day job. I had been thinking about financial administration for a while and the idea of payroll was in my subconscious as well, so I started studying Business Administration. I ended up doing my training at Staria due to my manager's recommendation; the restaurant that I was then working in was Staria’s customer, so the manager knew the company well. So, I decided to apply.
"Staria supports flexible remote work which suits my life perfectly. Basically, you can work wherever you want, which is a wonderful advantage."
Colleagues supported the start of Sari's new career
When I started my training, I quickly realized how challenging but also versatile the job of a payroll specialist is. During the training I got to work for many different companies, so I got a good glimpse of what payroll specialist’s job actually includes. After the training I was supposed to continue at Staria for a fixed-term, but the fixed-term contract eventually turned into a permanent job. At first, I was little bit nervous, but luckily my team was there for me all the time – I got help and support whenever I needed it.
After I got my own customers, I started to gain experience and new skills fast. With increased expertise, I was able to move on to bigger and more demanding customerships. My supervisor probably saw my potential better than I did, because in the summer of 2018 as I was substituting vacations, I got a lot of work that I first thought I couldn’t handle. However, I took the challenge and got through the summer just fine while gaining more confidence.
"In my work, I'm allowed to grow at my own pace. Staria is a flexible employer, but if wanted, challenges and development opportunities are provided. Staria provides various training possibilities as well."
Payroll specialist does more than calculating salaries
In addition to payroll, I have gotten to develop customer processes as well. By cooperating with our RPA and system teams, we have achieved smoother and more customer-friendly processes. Since the beginning of my career, I have been interested in modernizing processes and starting this fall I'll switch to a new team to work more with service development. I’m really looking forward to it!
I'm proud of myself and how I've grown in my role during these years. I am no longer the one that needs help, instead I can now help others as well. It is a wonderful feeling to realize that you can advise more experienced colleagues on something. I could not have reached this point without being open, proactive and courageous. Also, perseverance, pressure tolerance and ability to constantly learn and search for information have helped me to make my way from an unsure beginner to a confident professional that I am today. And of course, I’m not forgetting the support that colleagues and supervisors have given me.
"I've enjoyed my time at Staria and the colleagues here are the best! Their support has been invaluable to my career development."
Sari's tips for career growth
Career growth does not always mean that your title has to change. Career growth occurs whenever you’re developing in your work and that can happen without changing positions or workplace. In my opinion title change isn’t an absolute value.
At Staria career development possibilities are fantastic. If you have an open mind, here you don't have to be in stuck on one specific job. At first, I saw myself as a payroll specialist "only", but later I have noticed that I can do other interesting things as well, such as developing processes.
My last tip to everyone is to be curious! You must know how to proactively search for information yourself, as no one is going to bring it to you on a silver platter. It's an important talent to have especially as a payroll specialist.