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25 January 2017 · by Anna Russell 3 Tips For Women in Technology

Networking is a key factor in career development, I attended an event last night hosted by the Upscale Programme at Birkbeck University in London and I’d really like to share some key points that I took away from it. Although this was an event for women in the STEM workforce (science, technology, engineering and maths), I found that the majority of the topics covered were relevant to any person – male or female, big or small, purple or green (you get where I’m going here) who is interested in making a career in technology.

Tip 1: Avoid ‘ankle-grabbers’

These are the people who spend all their time and energy telling you that “You can’t do that” or “You’re not good enough” or “Are you sure that’s what you want to do?”

I’ve heard of a similar concept to this called ‘crab mentality’ - crabs in a bucket can easily escape from the bucket one at a time, but instead of doing that they pull each other down whenever one rises to the top.  It refers to anyone trying to better their circumstances but is prevented to do the same by others who do not want them.

We find that the ‘ankle-grabber’ comes in all shapes and sizes including boyfriends, teachers even your grandma.  The answer? Ignore them. If you truly believe in your capacity to achieve something, that is all that you need. Which brings us nicely to my next point…

Tip 2: Learn to express yourself

A common theme last night was that you could be a whizz in coding but if you can’t tell people why your idea is great or why you are the best person for the job, then you will struggle to succeed. Your confidence and belief in yourself is truly your best marketing tool. Work on your confidence by having a support network of similar thinkers to you. Go to industry meet-ups and seek a mentoring scheme which will not only build confidence but improve networking opportunities.

Tip 3: Fake it ‘til you make it

How many times have we said no to doing something because we don’t know how? The idea here is that you take an opportunity and you learn as you go along. You’ll be surprised at your capacity to learn new things and often it us who limit ourselves so treat fear differently the next time and break the cycle.

Thank you for a great evening Upscale!