Join Megan Holston-Alexander for an in-depth discussion in this video Knowing what you know now, part of Women Transforming Tech: Voices from the Field.
- As a closing card, I'd love to hear from each of you about what you know now that you wish you'd known earlier in your career. - I think the first and most important lesson I wish I had known that it's okay to fail. I lived so much of my life in fear that I would be judged if I didn't get something right, and it took having perspective and hindsight to realize that my failures were actually my biggest successes. Cause it was only when I failed, I'm like, oh, okay, I learned something from this and I build from it. But the times when I thought I was successful, I was actually being comfortable. And that was my biggest thing. Never get too comfortable. Cause life will hit you and then you won't be prepared. - I think just to add, I think I hit on this before also, own your story. You will have successes and failures, they're part and parcel of the life. How do you use that as a narrative as you are taking your career to a next level or even your personal life? For me is that having that personal brand and own your story and build upon that. - I think for me it would've been define success in your own terms. I was always looking to see, oh that's the path I should do, I have this degree or I have that experience, I should. And I think I've been happiest just doing what I know I want to do and can do and I think makes a difference. - For me, I started my career off as a project manager, so for me, everything was about having project plans built out, and having a template. And I think what I did not realize is that there is some beauty and opportunity in leaving certain things open ended. And let the things flow. Taking those risks, early opportunities in your life, sometimes saying no, sometimes saying yes even when I did not know how to move forward. For example, when I was thinking about Evo and putting it out there, I really did not have the energy at that time or the resources to bootstrap a technology startup, to put the platform together. I really wanted to do it, so I started looking at different ways to do it. PartCust was such an easy way to start it without having to worry about the how and actually focusing on the why of things. For me, I think, if I look back, if I would've gone with the project plan template that I had, I would have probably not been able to achieve what I achieved and probably not been as happy as I am today. - I think what I wish I'd have known is that closed mouths don't get fed. You have to ask for what you want. Nobody's going to read your mind and say, "She really wants to be a manager. I'm going to make her a manager." Or, "She really wants this thing or that thing." You have to speak up for yourself. I used to think, well if I perform in this way or I do this thing, it will just happen. They have to know that this is what I want. And that's just not the case. Learning to speak up for myself and what I wanted to get things done. - This was a wonderful discussion. Thank you all so much. I feel like I've learned so much from it. So thank you. (applause). - Thank you. - Thank you.