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Ready for a Career Transition? Parker Contractor Eamonn Byrne is an Example of Success!

Eamonn Byrne found Parker in late 2016; but it didn’t take long for us to realize he was a total rockstar. Shortly after interviewing, we were able to align his current interests in data science with an opportunity at Tableau Software. Now that Eamonn has been in his position for a couple of months, we wanted to check in. Here’s what he had to say about his position and advice for those making a career transition in Seattle.

// You are currently learning about Computer Science and working as a receptionist at a technology company. How has the exposure there helped you with your education?

So, specifically, I have begun studying Data Science. In this aspect, working for Tableau has been a huge positive influence on my education. I am currently learning in detail how to utilize their software, which is a more sophisticated version of what I have already been learning how to use. I feel like my abilities in the fields I want to pursue are not only greatly improving, but are being strongly encouraged by my coworkers. It fills me with confidence to know how much support these people have for me to build a technical background in a field that I greatly enjoy and they see as a potentially positive addition to their company in other areas down the road.

// We love that this was such a match for you, and that your coworkers have been so encouraging! It really speaks to Tableau’s company culture. Can you talk a little bit more about your career transition – from kitchen to student to where you are now? What are your career goals and how does working in a temporary position help you achieve your goals?

Honestly, it has been a very jarring experience for me. Throughout my initial education, I always had a very clear-cut, extensive plan about what I wanted to pursue after graduation. Then, once I completed my internship, I moved from an unbelievably amazing kitchen experience to a food service company that was very subpar. Following that, I was offered what appeared to be an excellent opportunity in a corporate kitchen, only to find out it was a far worse situation than the last. It was at this point that I began studying Data Science to further my personal knowledge bank and potentially put myself into a position in a company that I could see myself making a long term career out of, because I was beginning to feel trapped in a seemingly hopeless cycle of restaurant work that one might see on Gordon Ramsey’s “Kitchen Nightmares”.

Now, working at Tableau has made me feel extremely vindicated in my feelings and actions. I am now working for a company that specializes in the field that I am studying and the individuals I get to work with are incredible people with amazing personalities. I am constantly happy throughout my work day and becoming increasingly zealous in doing what I can to potentially be useful in other aspects of the company down the road. Although I have lost my original, well defined focus for what my career path was going to be, I am confident that starting my new path at such an amazing company will help me find the direction that will make my decisions well worth it.

//We’re glad that your career transition is going from “Kitchen Nightmares” to “Data Science Dreamland”. It’s much easier to focus on something you’re really excited about! It seems that you are quite the busy bee. Between your work and your studies, what do you like to do in your free time?

Because of the hours I work now, I am thrilled to say I actually do have free time. Working regular, consistent hours allows me to get back into the activities I used to love and enjoy so much. I have been able to start working my way through a pile of books that has been building up on my dresser. I still cook regularly, possibly even more so now that I handle my own lunch and dinner. On the weekends, I get to enjoy the company of friends whom I missed many opportunities with because of my irregular hours. My Netflix queue is finally beginning to decrease in volume. It has been an incredibly enjoyable experience being able to do more with my time than simply sleep and go to work.

// It’s awesome that you’ve found the time to catch up on some of your favorite hobbies! That work / life balance is valuable. So, do you have any advice you can share with other people in a career transition?

Just because it’s scary doesn’t mean it won’t be incredible at the end of the day. Although I do strongly suggest spending a great deal of time considering your options, as changing my life from what was always a deep passion of mine to unknown areas was no small feat. But after months of contemplation and consistent examples through my previous jobs about why I was unhappy with what I was doing, the decision to re-enroll in classes and direct my life to a very different field became increasingly clearer as the right decision to make. And subsequently, getting to know people here has reinforced the decision even more.

Many of the employees at Tableau own and operate their own businesses outside of the company. This makes me feel hopeful that, if this temporary position evolves into something more, I would have the ability to open a restaurant of my own if that’s something I still want down the road.

// Great advice, Eamonn. Thank you so much. Before we let you go, we have one last question. You’ve worked in a variety of different roles – what kind of approach do you take when starting a new role?

I just keep my head up, bring my notebook with me, and ask questions about everything that I am not completely certain about. I find it is much better to ask what you might think is a silly question than to do something wrong and have to have someone else fix it or explain how to fix it after the fact. Many people are extremely understanding when it comes to a new worker and it makes sense to them that a new person wouldn’t be well versed in the company’s procedures or needs. It is better for everyone involved to thoroughly train about every minute detail that pertains to the position than to delve in without understanding and wind up spending twice the manpower necessary to perform a single function.

Great approach. It just proves why you continue to be successful. Thank you again for taking the time to answer a few questions. Best of luck with your assignment at Tableau, and thanks for being a valuable member of Team Parker!


If you’re looking for an opportunity administrative, customer service, or human resources we may be able to help you! Whether its permanent placement, contract, or contract-to-hire, we’ve got a variety of positions for great candidates that are ready to take the plunge into something new.

View a list of our open roles in the greater Seattle area »

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