What advice would you give to a woman looking to step up their career in tech?

January 19, 2022 | Women in Silicon Valley

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We asked some of our speakers at Women of Silicon Valley and here’s what they had to say!

Cynthia Long, Continuous Improvement Lead & Business Transformation Strategist, Intuit:

If you are looking to step up your tech career – find out about what you love about yourself – what is it in your job that you love to do, what lights you up? Once you know yourself, you can find the right mix of a role that supports your skills and your personality. For instance, perhaps you wanted to be a teacher, and your parents were like, no way, and so you went into tech. Are there ways you can teach and be in tech?  Yes, of course, that is why it is so important to know yourself and what you love to do.  There is always a way to work it into your career.

Priya Sodha, Career Strategist & Founder, Innergem:

Practice the art of self promotion. This is the #1 leadership skill needed for women to advance in their careers. I encourage women to lift each other up, support each other in advocating, but also not to leave ourselves behind. 

Ling Gee, Chief Commercial Officer & Chief of Staff, EdCast:

Face your fears. Any changes or opportunities to step up are expected to be a challenge. Consider the value you are bringing to others when you succeed.

Aji Oliyide, Program Manager, Google:

Be known for excellence. Hone in on at least 1-2 skills that are complementary to the success of the business you support and become excellent at them. Talk to people. It’s never enough to be good at your job. You need to make sure that people know who you are, how you think, and what value you bring. You can only manage this if you actively connect with people in your organisation. Always think ahead. Figure out what excellence looks like in your organisation (not what you think excellence should look like) and figure out how to mirror that profile. Talking to people and staying close to leadership will help you figure this out more quickly and shape how you authentically show up. 

Ellen Twomey, CEO, You are TechY:

I would say - do it! In my work as a coach, I know that when a woman is thinking she wants something or there is a kernel of “maybe”, it is time to act. Trust yourself and don’t ask for a lot of advice. I would also say, journal on why you want to step up your career. The “why” always matters. “Why’s” about other people are not strong enough to carry you through the inevitable hard part of the work. Find a “why” that matters to you deep down and allow that to drive you. Then commit. Commit hard to your step up. Don’t let someone else decide who or what you can be. There will be plenty of people who do not see you in the light you are becoming. That’s okay. Keep going.

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