10 career advancement tips for Women in tech.

15th May 2019

The tech industry is a competitive career sector and the opportunities are endless. In order to live through the tough times and come out strong, your plan has to be solid.

These ten top tips have been listed to inspire the true woman in you and help you scale through.

Support other women

In most cases, women often turn out to be “the only one in the room” – joining a new tech company and finding out that you’re the only woman shouldn’t be a surprise anymore.

However, as you move further in your career, you get to realize that just as you feel somewhat isolated, there are countless other women who feel the same way and are probably not getting the needed support. Having this knowledge should make you strong enough to want to reach out to them, offer them support while they do the same for you as well.

To a large extent, understanding you’re not alone and talking to someone who has a similar experience with you will help a lot. An online forum for women in tech, like Systers, can help you get the support you need.

Improve your negotiation skills

Negotiation skills should live beyond salary conversations! You need to know how to get people to listen to you and how to get a seat at the table. It might be for an opportunity or a promotion or anything that relates with your career advancement – whichever one it is, talk about things that are mutually beneficial and focus on why it is in the other party’s best interest to agree with you.

Don’t run from opportunities

“The field is male-dominated” – We’ve heard that a million times already! You have to let that ship sail for good and embrace the countless opportunities that seem unattainable because of the male folk.

Don’t be afraid to share your ideas or speak up when necessary. You can only achieve what you “allow” yourself achieve.

When it’s time to move the organization forward, be proactive and tackle the real problems. By taking action, you can demonstrate accountability and remain relevant in the process.

Find a female mentor who can support you

If you can’t relate to any female in your company, you can find mentors outside your company. As much as possible, you need to find someone who can help you grow in the tech industry by having them share their experience with you.

Along the line, you develop professional relationships, not necessarily for a job, but soon enough, a job might just be one of the numerous benefits.

LinkedIn would be a great platform to start out. Using the filtered search to identify individuals with job roles and companies that relate to your career path will surely get you started.

However, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a one-way street, consider how you can help them as well.

Don’t take it personally

Building a career always come with ups and downs, it’s exactly why you need to learn to allow negative remarks roll off your back. During negotiations, investor meetings, or any gathering that shapes a company’s growth, a few derogatory words might be passed at you, there’s no need to take it in and allow it feed on your self-esteem.  Be prepared to fight through the roadblock and get ahead no matter what.

Diana Lee, CEO, and Cofounder of Constellation Agency, during the Politico’s Women Rule Summit in 2018, made a valid point as regards worrying about being liked. As long as you’re not being kicked out of the system, you can dominate.

Remain persistent

No matter how tough it might get, you have to stay focused, and accept that your dreams would not become reality in a flash.

Request feedback

It’s quite simple – the only way to improve is to know what to improve on. Asking for feedback and acting on it will help you meet expectations, and avoid as many miscommunications at your workplace.

Be someone people want to work with

You shouldn’t overdo anything or try hard to impress, but in a way, make sure your work gets applauded. Sharpen your written and oral communication skills, be the cool kid and ensure that you can be trusted.

Always project confidence

You probably haven’t noticed, but speaking fast sometimes makes you look silly, or might indicate a lack of confidence or authority. If you’re a fast talker or only do so when nervous, try to take control of yourself and appear more confident by speaking slowly. The amount of confidence you emit determines how people see you and how they respect you.

Don’t pursue perfectionism

Our imperfections sometimes make us unique in a positive way. You don’t have to be what other people want you to be, stay authentic and true to yourself.

Don’t forget to keep growing!

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Oluwatobi Ogunrinde

A passionate writer hoping to educate people with her work. Oluwatobi enjoys writing about entrepreneurship and work culture. When not writing, you will find her reading about international politics.

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