LOVE MONDAY: Featuring Christian Armstrong
At Painted Turtle Partners, we believe that every individual should be able to fully utilize their interests, skills and experience in a work setting that they will enjoy. In our weekly post, “Love Monday”, we will be highlighting individuals that have made a major career change and now love what they do. This week, you will gain insight from Christian Armstrong who went from the healthcare field focusing on geriatrics to Scrum Master with JP Morgan Chase. Learn what career changes he made and how he got there.
What was your past career(s) and what are you doing now?
My past career was in healthcare. I completed medical school and received a Masters of Health Administration in 2008 and ended up working in geriatrics. After a short time, I found that I was more interested in the technology aspects of healthcare and began working with a hospitalist group helping them build out their long-term care program. (Long term care is the part of healthcare that treats elderly patients in nursing homes.)
Wanting to gain the skills to continue building software, I went thru Tech Elevator. That ultimately led to my current role as a Scrum Master with JP Morgan Chase.
Was there a point when you just knew that you wanted and needed to go for this new opportunity? Can you describe that moment? What pushed you to move forward?
I am always looking for new opportunities. I thrive on constant change and continuous learning. Technology gave me the opportunity to do just that. It’s constantly changing, shifting and there is always more to learn.
I knew I wanted to change direction after my last role as the CEO of a long-term care practice. After that role, I wanted to move on to something where I could focus more on technology and software development. Tech Elevator provided the opportunity to continue my career and transition to a great new role.
Pushing me to move forward was really my internal drive for change and a desire to learn something new. With the world changing and becoming so technologically focused, I really see the integration of healthcare and technology becoming the next major economic driver. By combining my healthcare background with technology interest, I wanted to position myself to be in the forefront of that change.
What helped to prepare you for this career change?
My focus has shifted slowly over the last six years from healthcare minded to technology focused. When the opportunity presented itself to attend Tech Elevator, I was already in the mindset that I was ready to learn more about technology and software development and make a shift in my career path.
What have been the biggest struggles and/or hurdles that you have encountered with this change? What are you doing to overcome them?
I have found that the biggest hurdles have been internal. For example, going back to the “school” environment after so many years away was a shift. My family and I just had to recognize that it was only a short time and that balancing family and the program requirements would have to be a change in the short term to obtain a family balance that was more ideal in the long term. Restarting my career in a completely different environment than healthcare has required a shift in thinking. Fortunately, Tech Elevator does a great job of working with you to prepare to answer questions in your shift in career with prospective employers.
If you were to offer one piece of advice to individuals that are contemplating making a major career change, what would it be?
GRIT! Maintain the grit and stick with what you started. For me, the most difficult time was towards the end of the Tech Elevator program. Projects were mounting, I was spending a ton of time job searching, and work life balance was thrown out the window. However, I heard three different people refer to “grit” within a couple of days. Then it clicked, I had to find the “grit” to stick it out. Fortunately, I did. Shortly after that, I received multiple job offers making it all worth it.