“We have the ability to do such good in the world in what we do — I love it!” said Tracy Pound, CompTIA Member of the Year. That quote got me thinking—what do I do that does such good to the world? I'm just the marketing manager at a technology company that helps MSPs, but then I realized that is exactly how I do good in the world.
As a channel vendor we can get caught up thinking about how we compare to our competitors, how we're going to close the next deal, what sets us apart. Yes, these things are important and help keep our company going (and help keep me employeed), but in the end it's really all about our customers and how we can help them. Our products keep our partners businesses alive and thriving in their communities, and adding new technologies and integrations can help build a career path for an IT professional. These are just a few of the things I thought about while attending my first CompTIA Annual Member Meeting last week.
It's okay to fail
Aanikh Kler, the creator of the app UndrTheRadr, shared with the Future Leaders Community how he got to where he is today and that it's okay to fail. He said we should look at when we “fail” as a time to pivot and use that knowledge toward something else and maybe even something better. Aanikh is a 19-year-old freshman at Stanford University who is taking entrepreneurship to a whole new level. When someone asked why he was getting his college degree after being so successful with his app, his response was very interesting. “By having my degree I am more likely to take a chance and not be afraid of failing because I will have my degree to fall back on,” he explained.
Hearing Aanikh talk about failure in such an open forum to such a variety of attendees was refreshing. I know I'm afraid of failing—and I feel many others are, too. I know I don’t take as many chances as I would like in the business world due to the fear of not only failing but letting my boss and my team down. “When you fall down, get back up” is something I need to incorporate more into my business goals and tasks. Just because something might fail doesn’t mean you were wrong. It just means we need to reevaluate the situation and see what we can do differently the next time to make it successful.
What's your career path?
“You are never going to feel you are ready; that feeling comes after you’ve done it,” said Karen Drewitt about advancing your career. During the Advancing Women in Technology community meeting, we worked our way through the career path many face throughout their business careers. At first, you're not really sure where to start or how to get involved. Then you work your way through one career path only to realize there may be a different one waiting for you. Eventually you move on to manage teams and help other find their paths, and then it’s time to step aside and enjoy your lifelong dreams.
The Advancing Woman in Technology community meeting also showed us how we can help others advance in the workplace. Here are a few tips that came up in every stage we talked about:
- Look for role models/mentors and become a mentee to others
- Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want/need to better you career
- Continuously network
- Don’t be afraid to challenge others in the company
I realized through the discussions we had during the meeting that I'm truly lucky to work for a company that has continuously pushed me and helped me grow my career. There are times I feel I've hit a plateau in what I'm doing but that's when I realize I need to push myself more. Hearing all these woman talk about where they started and where they are today underlined the idea that your career is what you make it. I'm going to find ways I can contribute more to the team beyond my everyday tasks and see where I can challenge myself to become not only a better employee but a better team member. I'm lucky that I get to work with and learn from so many different and amazing woman on our team.
Bringing dreams to life
Attending my first CompTIA Annual Member Meeting showed me how unique our industry really is. We get to take chances that others could only dream of doing, all while helping others make their dreams come to life. We, as vendors, need to realize how much we have to offer our clients and how we can help shape where this industry is going.
As Aanikh pointed out, 30 percent of the jobs his friends and classmates will be applying for after graduation have yet to be created, and that's because the IT industry is not afraid of failure and is here to help inspire everyone to purse their dreams and goals.