Launching your career is an exciting milestone, one that can also be nerve-wracking though. Chances are questions like What should I look for in a company? or How do I become a leader? have crossed your mind.
While we can’t answer all your questions, our Women in Security (WISE) employee resource group offered to host a panel discussion to encourage the next generation of women in tech to pursue their passions. Students asked questions about what it’s like to work in the technology industry, the importance of mentorship, overcoming imposter syndrome, achieving success early in career, and about life here at McAfee.
Here’s how they responded:
How did you build success early in your career?
Amanda, Data Scientist: “I quickly found that learning never stops. While a degree helps you build the foundation, real knowledge comes from exposure and experience. Take every challenge and opportunity thrown your way. Early in your career is the best time to take risks and just say yes.”
Flavia, IT Manager: “In everything I do, I keep three principles at the forefront: communication, awareness, and accountability. If you have these skills, you will succeed at any role.”
JoAnne, Cloud Application Engineer: “When it’s early in your career, you can build success by trying new tasks outside of your normal job duties. Do your best and take advantage of each opportunity. And remember, have fun along the way.”
How do you handle imposter syndrome?
Bolade, Sales Engineer: “Everyone faces self-doubt. As a woman, and a woman of a diverse background, I’ve faced imposter syndrome. You must fight through it and recognize that it’s only the voice in your head. To help you silence the doubt, reach out to your network and your mentor. Mentorship is an important part in building your confidence.”
Crystal, Talent Enablement Leader: “First, recognize that any negative thoughts are just that—thoughts. Acknowledge them and then instead of letting them make you feel unqualified, use them to empower you. Take action to fill any areas of improvement. You will face adversity in your career, but take them as lessons learned, gain perspective, and then move forward.”
How do you chart a path to leadership?
Crystal, Talent Enablement Leader: “Take time to research the role you want to be in. What will it take to get there? Know it’s not always a linear path though. It’s okay to take steps backwards or sideways when they help you achieve your long-term plan. Humble yourself for the journey.”
Sonia, Sr. Product Marketing Manager: “Start with a vision board and work towards the small wins to help you reach your goals. Also, keep in mind research tells us men and women approach opportunities differently. As women, we wait until we feel 100 percent qualified for the job, while men apply believing they will learn on the job. My advice to all women seeking any role and leadership is to just go for it—you are capable. Recognizing you can and will learn on the job is an important part of your success.”
Bolade, Sales Engineer: “The people. Not long after I started at McAfee, I took on another important role—motherhood. My leadership was incredibly supportive and when I returned from leave, I was promoted within six months. You can’t get where you want to be without good people to help you get there. I’ve found the supportive team I have at McAfee is critical to my fulfilment both personally and professionally.”
Sonia, Sr. Product Marketing Manager: “Here, I feel like I have family. I love how everyone always exchanges hellos in the elevator. Something small like this makes a big difference in your day. Working with a great team in a great environment is one of the most important things that helps you succeed, and I’ve found that at McAfee.”
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