The typical cliché view of tech-type people is that they are quirky nerdy, smarty-pants males. The tech world tends to be perceived as a man’s world, even though that is not the truth when you go behind the scenes. Yes, males do probably dominate many of the career paths, but it is anything but exclusively male. Here are some tips for women wishing to join and succeed with the “nerdy boys.”
Get Educated: This of course applies to both genders, but getting and staying up-to-date with the latest technology is of the utmost importance in order to have longevity. Always remember, anything the boys can do, the girls can likewise do. MagTek CEO Annmarie Hart says, "My father was the one that taught me how to drive a nail, taught me how to drill, taught me how to shoot a gun. Anything the boys could do, the girls could do too. He was the first one that actually said, 'You don't have a lot of limits.'"
Be Ambitious: According to an article at Wise Careers, the central arguments of Sheryl Sandberg’s book “Lean In” is “that women should embrace their ambitions and not hold back because they are worried about balancing work and life in the future.” That work-life balance always seems more to fall heavily on the women professional who is a parent. Cisco senior VP Sheila Jordan calls such a balance “unrealistic,” and instead she strives “for work-life integration, blending work as part of her life so there isn't a sense that working is depriving a personal life,” reports Chris Murphy about her comments at a recent presentation.
Take Risks – Don’t Wait for Perfection: Cynergy Data CEO Kim Fitzsimmons is quoted as saying, "So many times, I think women feel like we have to be perfect before we can do it. We're not, and neither are they. Nobody's perfect." Take educated risks - don’t just sit around waiting until you are 100% sure of the outcome. Many of the greatest success stories come from taking educated risks.
Be Yourself: Acting like you are someone you are not or pretending you know more than you do is not always the best road to travel. In the end it can often do more harm than good when you do not live up to those false standards. Be honest about where you currently are in your skill set, but always be ambitious to push to learn new things. Have that professional drive to be a team player and learn from others. Then apply new skills to push your own boundaries into stretching and challenging yourself into new areas. Don’t feel you are limited as a women, just get that can-do mentality and apply yourself, and you’ll find you can be involved in solving most any task. Heather Taylor of MyCorporation.com is quoted as saying “Find your edge in life and cultivate it. Don’t round out your edges or hide them away because you’ll seem too “demanding” to someone else. Your edges give you strength and set you apart from the pack. Don’t listen to anyone who says you need to change to fit into a preformed mold — go in and give it your all and make your mark in that field.”
Be Confident: Step up to any task, don’t hesitate, and always display confidence. Ben Yeargin is the Corporate Recruiter for Craig Technologies, and he is quoted as saying “People who carry themselves with confidence, no matter which gender, typically get noticed more.”
If you have a passion and baseline qualifying skills for a technology career, do not hesitate pursuing that path. Step out in confidence, be ambitious, and always continue to stay on the cutting edge with more and more education and training.
Image courtesy of iprostocks at FreeDigitialPhotos.net
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