Join Lori Mackenzie for an in-depth discussion in this video Be strategic about your first project, part of Women Transforming Tech: Breaking Bias.
- Often when we start a job, we're just so excited we'll take whatever assignment is given to us, but what we've studied over time is the first assignments you take are critical for setting you up for success and how you'll be perceived as an expert, and as someone who can do that kind of work in the future. So when I think about that first project, I think about taking on something that's maybe technically challenging, something highly visible, something that requires you to work cross-functionally. You might be tempted to take one for the team. No one else wants this project so I'll go ahead and do it. Maybe later do that. For your first project take on the one that's the hardest, that will give you the most experience, that will position you the best, and that will help set you up to have more choices for the kinds of work you'll do and the kinds of teams you'll be able to be on. The recent LeanIn McKinsey report looks at first promotions, and it turns out women are less likely to get that first promotion than we thought. So those early assignments turn out to be more important than we originally thought. Being positioned for long-term success from the very beginning is critical. And even if your manager doesn't know how important these first assignments are, you can talk to them about how important it is that everyone who enters the organization has access and to make sure that you're included in that group that gets one of those really great, thorny technical problems, so that you're positioned to do more and more interesting work as you progress through your career. (light music)