We don’t always know what we want our careers to look like 10, 20, or 50 years down the line. Often we need to experience several roles before we know what we want to pursue. But this isn’t so easy—it requires a supportive work environment, willing mentors and allies, or even additional training and education. These supports and resources are built in at Audible, the world’s leading provider of audio storytelling. The leadership team actively encourages any employee who wants to follow their interests and make a career change within the company. And with Audible’s vast array of opportunities—including tech and engineering, data science, customer care, content, marketing, and community—employees have plenty of areas to explore.
To learn more about Audible’s supportive approach to career changes, we sat down with two employees who started in one role at the company and transitioned to another: Alteen Campbell, who started in Customer Care and now works in a tech role as a Quality Assurance Engineer, and Niral Patel, who went from being a Software Development Engineer to a Conversational Designer in UX.
How did you first come to work at Audible?
Alteen: I moved here from London in 2017 and visited the employment office in Newark, looking for work. I didn’t know what I wanted to do because it was a new culture, a new country—it was overwhelming. I was invited to come to the Audible office, where I met a lot of people from the Customer Care team, including the vice president. It was very welcoming, and they explained that they wanted to hire people who will help their customers feel like they’re family to Audible. That stood out for me.
Niral: In college, I pursued computer science, but I didn’t know what I wanted to do long term. I first joined Audible as a software engineering intern in 2018. During my internship I was encouraged to reach out to people in different roles and learn about their work.
I was aware that a lot of people were finding opportunities to create a career that blended their interests and skills instead of just accepting the few careers we’re exposed to early on in life, when we have to make these decisions, and I wanted to find what that was for me. So after I was hired as a full-time Software Development Engineer in 2019, I spoke to my manager, who was very supportive of my interest in exploring other areas of the company.
How did you decide to pivot to your current role, and what was that like?
Niral: As I talked with people about other roles in the company, UX stood out to me—the job, responsibilities, and day-to-day aligned with what I was looking for. Then while I was still an engineer, I was on a team that worked at the intersection of Audible, Alexa, and Amazon. I worked with a UX partner to define how they wanted Alexa to respond to users in different situations, and I got to see a lot of that process. I expressed my interest in shifting to the UX side and signed up for a class with Amazon’s Alexa Voice Academy to gain experience in conversational design. When a need for a conversational designer opened up on my team, I was able to make that transition.
Alteen: During the pandemic, I started to assess which things I would like to do that I’d always put on the backburner. I remembered that, in high school, I’d really liked computer programming but I’d never pursued it. I reached out to one of Audible’s impact groups, [email protected], and was paired with a mentor. She guided me on what I needed to learn and made sure I knew about free LinkedIn learning courses, as well as the tuition reimbursement available here for pursuing programming courses and certifications.
The Quality Assurance and Customer Care teams started a rotation program enabling agents to transition into tech without having experience or education in the field. My mentor encouraged me to apply and we practiced interview questions and answers together.
“Having a culture where everyone is excited about the growth of everybody else—having that community—is really great. We want to see each other grow and help each other every day.”
When did you first realize Audible would support you in your career journey?
Alteen: When I first took the job, I was apprehensive about learning the customer care role and how to troubleshoot on different devices for customers. My trainer told me, “Don’t worry, we’ll give you the skills, and as long as you’re passionate and willing to learn, you will be fine.” Help was always somewhere. The confidence Audible has in its talent pushes people to realize, “They believe in me; there’s no failure here. I might as well give myself a chance.”
Niral: During my internship, a lot of people on my team actually encouraged me to reach out to people in different roles, to cold message them and set up one-on-ones to learn about their career paths. It was a supportive process from the get-go, in terms of learning the types of experiences that I wanted and then matching that with an opportunity.
When I made the transition to UX, so many people were reaching out to me to congratulate me and ask more about it. Having a culture where everyone is excited about the growth of everybody else—having that community—is really great. We want to see each other grow and help each other every day.