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From dietary cuisine to Sales Force

At the beginning of May, Caroline Stalder started working at Helvetia as a Sales Force Customer Advisor. She has a special secret: she has changed career and was previously a dietary chef at a private clinic. In this interview, she explains why she would prefer to advise customers than cook.

17 July 2020, text: Senada Kadic, photo: Caroline Stalder

Caroline Stalder is sitting in the kitchen at her laptop.
These days, cooking is just a hobby. Caroline Stalder is now a Customer Advisor in the Sales Force – and it was a good decision, as she tells us herself.

Caroline, you've been working for Helvetia since May. Where did you work before?

I’m a certified chef, and specialized as a dietary chef after my training. I worked in the kitchens of a variety of catering establishments: from Gault-Millau cuisine to a psychiatric clinic. I also worked in the security industry temporarily. I enjoyed all of these jobs, but I was always lacking something crucial.

And what was that?

Customer contact. I love working with people and in a team, but I missed having direct contact with customers. Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to do this while in the kitchen, so I decided to look for a new job – after ironing out a few things in my personal life, too.

What made you decide to become a customer advisor in the Sales Force?

I enquired about jobs suitable for career changers. I went to the vocational information centre and received advice on the subject of changing careers. It turned out that I would be suitable for the Sales Force. My initial thought was: «Me? At an insurance company? There must be some mistake» (laughs). But then I spoke to a colleague who has been doing the job for a while and the idea started to appeal to me.

So, what was your next step?

There were a few vacancies for customer advisors at well-known insurance companies, and plenty in my region, too. And I’m the kind of person who goes all out. I didn't write just one application – I sat down at my computer and sent 60. I was determined to start a new career and I didn't want to miss any opportunities. I also never applied as a chef, but actually mainly as a sales force employee.

Why did you choose Helvetia?

I've known about Helvetia from its advertising since I was young. I always got a positive feeling from the brand. The characteristic sound after the adverts, and the colours – I don't really know. The other insurance companies just seemed less approachable to me. This has been my experience, even after a few job interviews. I listened to my gut feeling and knew that changing careers with Helvetia would be worthwhile for me.

Speaking of the job interview: how did the whole application process go?

After successfully passing the online assessment, I was invited to an interview with my current boss and another potential boss. I have to say, we just clicked – I felt really comfortable right away, and I also noticed that I would be working with very experienced and likeable customer advisors in their team. Afterwards, we came to a mutual agreement about which area would best suit me as a new entry. And I have to say, I’m really happy with the decision.

Then the coronavirus came along: were you still able to work with customers as you’d hoped, despite the restrictions?

Yes, I was able to take on a customer base, and right from the start I received training and was carefully introduced to the work by other Sales Force employees. I’ve already gained experience in sales, and contact with customers works perfectly well even via telephone or meeting while maintaining social distancing.

To finish: do you need a lot of courage to change careers?

Yes and no: I think people are creatures of habit – but we’re also very adaptable. Of course, you have to be able to think outside the box to make the leap from chef to Sales Force employee. I've never regretted my decision to take this job and I can only recommend it to others. I always say: Simply. Take action. Helvetia – or just &Go. (laughs).

Are you interested in changing career to the Sales Force?