Career Change By Calculated Risk: Math And Engineering MBA Turned Shoe Designer Tiannia Barnes
Many people harbor a passion very different from their day job but not everyone acts on it. As a coach to both executives and entrepreneurs, common justifications I hear include lack of time, too much risk or the work/family conflict. “My current job is too busy to do something on the side!” “I have a steady thing, and my idea is too risky!” “I already have a second job – as a parent!”
Tiannia Barnes could have hid behind all three excuses instead of launching into her career change aspirations. An IT program manager with undergraduate degrees in mathematics and industrial engineering, as well as an MBA, Barnes is also a single mother of a 10 year old. Yet, amidst the parenting and IT responsibilities, she is launching a fall 2015 collection of her own luxury shoe designs, manufactured in Italy. When I interviewed Barnes about her big career change from IT to fashion, it’s clear she’s taking calculated risks – maintaining her IT career while the business is in launch phase:
Caroline Ceniza-Levine: Why did you change careers? Did you always want to be an entrepreneur?
Tiannia Barnes: I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit. I’m a very independent thinker and love autonomy. I think my natural inclinations along with my passion drove me to starting my own business. In addition, I get to incorporate all of my corporate and IT experience as a Program Manager into building my new business and my e-Commerce (technology) site.