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IT Career Advice, From Women to Women

In honor of International Women’s Day, 11 women share good advice given to them in the past on starting or changing a career in IT. By Rich Freeman

Today is International Women’s Day, a great occasion both to celebrate the many contributions of women to IT and to reflect on the many potential contributors who never join an industry still dominated by men.

With both motivations in mind, ChannelPro asked a range of women in the channel to share their thoughts on this question:

“What advice were you given during your career that you would pass on to another woman just starting out in IT or looking to make a career change?”

Here are their responses:

Amy Babinchak“I was told to grow some duck feathers and it really helped me not get embroiled in drawn out unproductive arguments and to not take things personally. Today my duck feathers are so thick that it is very difficult to offend me. In interacting in an all-male field, the duck feathers were necessary to just let it roll off so I could continue with my day and not get derailed by negativity. 

“My advice? Men communicate differently than women. What would be offensive to women is just all in good fun to some men. Learn the critical skill of letting it roll off so you can focus on what you need to do.”

Amy Babinchak
President
Harbor Computer Services

 

Jennifer Bodell“Don’t be afraid of change or failure and definitely don’t get in your own way. Change and failure always come with growth and opportunity.”

Jennifer Bodell
Senior Vice President of Global Channel 
Pax8

 

 

 

Theresa Caragol“Always pay it forward, whether it’s going above and beyond for someone even when you don’t have to, sending an unprompted note to someone’s manager about the great work they are doing, or simply grabbing an extra cup of coffee for a colleague. Make it part of your DNA and you will not only contribute to the company culture, but it will come back to you in ways you’d never imagine throughout your career.”

Theresa Caragol 
Founder and CEO
AchieveUnite

 

Beth Drew“Confidence is your greatest quality; don’t let anyone take that away from you. Be confident in your convictions and back it up with data. 

“And ask for help. Women, in my experience, are always willing to lend a hand up if you ask for it. Leverage that network, seek advice, and then pay it forward to other women.”

Beth Drew
Vice President of Channel Sales
Ping Identity

 

Sitima Fowler“My father told me, ‘Get a career in STEM and the world will be at your feet.’ At the time I didn’t know how that is possible but a career in technology has opened so many doors.  Solving technical problems is a key to opening doors in the world. Solving technical problems for others is absolutely noble and energizing.”

Sitima Fowler
Vice President of Marketing
Iconic IT

 

 

Andra Hedden“Dreams are amazing, but dreams without action are just dreams—always pair them with action to make them come to life!”

Andra Hedden
CMO 
Marketopia

 

 

 

Kaitlyn Langer“Technology moves quickly, and companies go through highs and lows. Nothing is stagnant for long. Working in technology is rewarding, but buckle up for the rollercoaster ride.”

Kaitlyn Langer
Senior Marketing Manager 
Axcient

 

 

 

Heather Margolis“Don’t listen to the ‘what the f**k do I think I’m doing’ voice. It’s the voice that holds people back from greatness. Everyone has that voice. It comes from our reptilian brain that helps us sense danger. (I’m out in the open and could get eaten by a tiger!) There are no tigers here and nothing you are doing will kill you. If it doesn’t work, it might hurt emotionally, but it won’t hurt or kill you physically, and so that voice isn’t serving you. Most people let that voice hold them back from success—don’t be that person.”

Heather K. Margolis
Chairperson and Founder, Channel Maven
CEO and Founder, Spark Your Channel

 

Lisa Shorr“The only person holding you back is you. When you come up against a perceived roadblock and someone tries to tell you you can’t, you can and forge ahead. You don’t always need others’ validation, nor do you need to take on other people’s fears and insecurities. A positive mindset is the key to our success.”

Lisa Shorr
Chief Brand Builder, Communication Officer, and Corporate Strategist, Secure Future Tech Solutions 
Founder, Shorr Success

 

Yvette Steele“Learners are earners. Maintain a learning mindset and your career will prosper. Staying current on topics like emerging technologies, workforce trends, and people skills will serve you well.”

Yvette Steele
Director of Member Communities
CompTIA 

 

 

Alysia Vetter“A great piece of advice I received was to try everything. If a particular project or role didn’t necessarily match my skill set, this was a great opportunity to learn from those around me and connect with others who could expand my network.”

Alysia Vetter
Vice President of Marketing
The ASCII Group

About the Author

Rich Freeman's picture

Rich Freeman is ChannelPro's Executive Editor

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