Cate Furniss is a Network Transformation Sales Specialist at Telstra. Here’s what she had to say about her experience so far and why she chose Telstra to further develop her career.

I was stuck in a holding pattern in my previous career and all I could see was much of the same in my future if I stayed with my previous employer. You know those people who spend years in a job and complain and complain yet don’t actually do anything about it? Well that’s not me at all.

I’m also the same person who gives advice to friends when they’re frustrated at work along the lines of, “Don’t quit your job with nothing to go to.” I certainly didn’t heed my own advice in this particular instance. But, after careful consideration I made a massive decision to resign after nearly 11 years.

I received mixed feedback from colleagues at the time. Some said I was silly, others said I was ballsy but the comments that resonated with me most indicated it was a massive decision and in order to succeed, I must really believe in myself.

I did.

Pictured: Cate taking advantage of our Future Ways of Working desk spaces.

So I had turned off the life support and I was learning to breathe on my own in the big bad world. I tried not to think about it too much as it was a little overwhelming. I just knew now that my sole focus was finding the right role, manager and, company to further my career.

During my job hunt, Telstra called me and so I went along to a couple of interviews with the gusto and passion of a regular day in the life of Cate. I had researched Telstra as a potential employer and there were things that really stood out to me.

Firstly, they were a sponsor of the not-for-profit I worked for so I knew they wanted to support and encourage females in IT.

Their approach on diversity wasn’t just hiding in a cubicle, their flexible working was attractive and the CEO Andy Penn was a Male Champion of Change – a massive tick for me with my diversity background.

If there was going to be an organisation that would support my career as one of the less than 30 per cent of women in IT, I was pretty certain this would be it. The final milestone in my decision making process would be the management.

The hiring manager told me about his personal desire of setting up his new team with a 50 per cent gender balance.

I knew then that there was no doubt this would be a great place to support my career. Fourteen months on and lots of growing and learning still to be had, I’m glad with my decision and really haven’t looked back. Telstra is a fantastic place to work.

In my next blog, I will share my advice on necessary qualities for career progression.

Until then, Cate.