After four years in the sales industry, Heemal Bakshi felt it was time for a change. When the position she was considering growing into was eliminated, Bakshi jumped at the opportunity to learn new skills in a growing industry. Combined with her curiosity for IT development, Bakshi was able to switch career paths, all within the same company.
“Don’t worry about being perfect or even completely qualified” said Bakshi, who moved from a Sales role at BNSF Logistics to becoming an IT Business Analyst. “There are tons of opportunities out there, but you have to be open to seeing them and exposing yourself to rejection plenty of times before something works out.”
Acting as the liaison between the IT development projects and the rest of the business, Bakshi shares with Fairygodboss that she finds it exciting to be closer to the front lines of development and to be able to understand first-hand how changes are made.
BNSF Logistics is a subsidiary of Burlington Northern Santa Fe, LLC, a Berkshire Hathaway company, which gives the company financial stability, yet it is small enough to give its employees enough room to grow. It’s no surprise that BNSF Logistics was voted “Best Leadership Teams 2020”.
“Stay the course! Sounds simple, but it is effective” said Bakshi on the most memorable piece of advice she’d ever received. This goal-oriented attitude has helped Bakshi become an expert in her field and steadily increase productivity company-wide. “When things seem difficult or unmanageable, just keep doing the best you can every day and move in the direction you think is best.” she added.
True to the old adage “just trust your gut,” Bakshi offers some more advice around the power of human intuition, “if you have a strong instinct about something, chances are you are right, but you may have to put in some work to back up your idea.” Bakshi says she’s had many great ideas in the past but lacked the resources and confidence to execute them, thus underestimating the power of common sense and critical thinking.
Her advice to other women interested in making a major career change is to take the risk. Bakshi’s career change has allowed her to explore different interests while expanding her knowledge base in a new industry. “Rejection should not affect your self-confidence, it should only affect the way you make your next attempt!”.
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