Successful Career Changers
by Yvonne Owen-Newns|23rd July 2020|Career Change|Employment
In the next story of successful career changers, I found out about the career path of Dan Minto, from South Wales. Here is his story of completing a full circle, starting his working life in engineering and currently working back again in the same discipline, albeit in a different role. It wasn’t a straightforward route, however. Read on to find the circular path he took.
Step 1 – engineering and computers
Dan explained that when he left school, further studying didn’t appeal to him. Instead he took up the opportunity to follow an apprenticeship in mechanical engineering. At the time, the company he was working for invested heavily into computers which piqued his interest.
Up until the age of 21, Dan followed his engineering career but started to branch out more into the computing side. At this point, Dan started another career focused on computing and held jobs which paid well, with generous bonuses. This job had good prospects, but the work was often short-term contracts, so Dan was keen to find more secure work. On one job, where he was installing computers in a pub, he realized that the trade was vulnerable to financial fraud and he could see how computers were used for criminal purposes. Dan began thinking that this maybe an area of work he could follow.
Step 2 – the police service
Someone suggested the police to him and aged 29 he applied. Dan joined the police service when he was 32 and so began a 22-year career with the police. While working with the police he found himself working back with computers to fight crime. His original interest in tackling financial crime didn’t entirely materialise. Instead, much of the police work concentrated on how computers were used in violent crime.
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Once he reached 55, Dan retired from the police but felt he still wanted to work and had plenty to offer society. He saw an advert for a technician working in the engineering department of his local further education college. He applied and started working there in June 2019.
Step 3 – back to engineering, computers with cyber crime prevention
The college recognised that Dan has significant expertise in cyber security and have since offered him the opportunity to study for a Post Graduate Certificate of Education (PGCE). This means that now Dan will be giving lectures to students focused on cyber security, bringing together all of Dan’s experiences from his previous roles. In this new role, Dan will be using his knowledge and expertise in the way he had hoped for.
I asked Dan what he felt was the most important skills set that he has needed across his varied career path. Without much hesitation, Dan highlighted the need to be able to talk to people, who ever they are, at all levels. Demonstrating empathy over sympathy, not talking down to people, leads to successful outcomes in some of the most difficult situations he has faced, certainly as a police officer.
Dan has undoubtedly had successful and satisfying careers across engineering, computing, and the police. He is now pleased to be back where he started, helping young people to launch their career. Dan has the advantage of understanding the wide range of backgrounds that students come from and is making use of his knowledge and expertise gained from across engineering and computing.
Dan’s career path shows that there is no one route or destination to the career of your choice. It’s your journey to take forward.