Gaber left his front-desk job in pursuit of a career in which he could be more passionate and expressive. With the help of Google Career Certificates, he rediscovered his own personal goals on an exciting journey into IT.
Accessible first-class schooling, a renowned and fully funded public higher education system, over 560 different study programs available, a stable job market in support of completed education. Slovenia provides a wealth of happy opportunities to be sure.
Yet, as for many the world over, beginning a career-deciding path happens at a young and oftentimes still evolving age. This may mean that when the decision later aligns with a more mature and self-aware individual, it can offer up quite the mismatch.
As Gaber would find out, a professional education does not always provide us with everything that’s needed for a fulfilling career.
Graduating law school, Gaber Polajnar was no longer convinced law was the right fit for him. Born and raised in Dovje, a village at the foot of Triglav — the highest mountain in his native Slovenia — Gaber’s desire for shared knowledge led him to instead begin work at the mountain’s visitor museum.
Going into tourism was a safe choice and allowed Gaber to remain in his hometown. Working at the museum’s front desk, part of his job involved encouraging school groups to overcome their fears and try mountain climbing. But as hard working and accomplished as Gaber had already been in his professional preparation, he found he was facing his own personal challenges.
“I remember this moment as a time when I was really facing my own self-doubt, I was wondering if I would ever align my own interests with my working life,” Gaber recalls.
Finding his role was not challenging enough for him, Gaber voiced his interest in improving the museum’s website. “It was — I guess a subconscious thing, but I suppose this is what reignited a passion for the creative side of IT in me,” he explains.
Gaber knew he loved working with computers, but was unsure how to go beyond the museum's website to grow his career in that direction. The idea was there, but as within any country of trained and educated professionals, the thought of entering a field without background can be a more daunting idea even than a mountain.
So when his own digging online for a solution led him to discover the Grow Slovenia with Google programme, he signed up that same day.
Completing a course in IT Support in June 2021, Gaber then expanded his repertoire with qualifications in UX Design and at the end of the year followed up with Data Analytics, collecting his third certificate in April 2022.
“It was a lot of work, but I knew I was on the right path and the excitement of having a career in something I was passionate about gave me energy. Before the course I didn’t see this as an opportunity! To retrain, I mean, having just finished university after so many years.”
The programme, coupled with an increase in demand for IT professionals, helped Gaber to find a job as a development engineer with a Slovenian gaming startup that has grown into a global company. On top of that, the skills gained definitely make it easier to help his friends out with their tech queries.
But most importantly he has learnt to believe in himself, building the self-confidence needed to apply for a job he truly enjoys.
“The Grow with Google Career Certificate courses helped me go forward with what I really wanted.”
Due to a lack of formal IT training, Gaber had lacked self-belief in his abilities, but seeing others in GwG’s courses with a similar mindset helped him to realise he wasn’t alone.
“One of the best things about the courses is that they don’t just teach you the matter at hand, the practical skills, but also ask questions about your motivations and your strengths. The courses helped me to trust myself. There are incredibly successful people at Google, talking about their experiences with imposter syndrome and their struggle to overcome it. They too didn’t really know if they were skilled enough, and I was like - I know this feeling.”
Completing the three courses taught Gaber to identify his strengths and follow them. Learning there were still options available for him to refocus his goals, rather than constantly moving in unease from one idea to another, allowed Gaber to find a more fulfilling career and a happier outlook.
Google Career Certificates helped Gaber to find his professional calling, while his tangible achievements allowed him to adopt a more confident approach to his work and personal life.
Now having discovered the path that feels right for him, Gaber is excited about using the skills he’s obtained, learning even more and going after upcoming opportunities with confidence. Looking towards Triglav he now sings to himself ‘’Ain't No Mountain High Enough.’’