San Diegans land new jobs after retraining during pandemic

Posted at 3:25 PM, Jun 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-15 19:31:54-04

San Diegans who lost their jobs in hotels or restaurants during the pandemic and retrained are finding new work at places some believe are reserved for those with highly technical degrees.

The last time Christopher Still was inside Lytx headquarters in the UTC area, he was delivering their pizzas.

Now, he works there in an entry level sales position.

“In the restaurant industry, there's not much room for growth,” he said Tuesday. "In this job there's a ton of room for growth.”

Still lost his job at a North County restaurant when the pandemic hit, and didn't want to go back.

“Restaurants were just hit really hard, they were struggling to get people in,” he said. “I just thought, hey, it's time to move on from that and do something else.”

He wanted a career in San Diego’s growing tech industry, so he applied online for a sales development representative at Lytx, a fleet management tech company.

The position included 30 days of on the job training, and while Still was new to the industry, the company valued his service sector skills.

“We look for folks that have a lot of tenacity and grit and are great with customers, great communication skills, and a lot of those skills transfer nicely out of the hospitality and restaurant industry,” said Jessica Serrano, Vice President of Talent at Lytx.

Still was hired last month and is still working remote

“This is my first office job,” he said on a tour of the headquarters. “I've never seen anything like this, but I like what I'm seeing so far.”

But soon, he'll be back in these halls, perhaps ordering a pizza to celebrate.