Top Tips for Women in Tech.

A series intended to explore the insights and lessons learned from successful V Team women in technical roles.

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No matter where you are in your career journey, you can benefit from the insights of someone who has gone before you, especially those who have thrived in a competitive and ever-changing industry. Whether new to technology, making a career change or have been in the industry for years and aspire to learn something new, we can all benefit from sound advice.

Who better to lead off this series than Meghna Sinha, VP of Artificial Intelligence and Data.

“When you think about designing the heart of the technology, designing the brain of the technology, getting it to help humanity, imagine how great it would be if we had more girls also doing this...It's not just about writing lines and lines of code but it's also about building new technology that supports a society.” - Meghna Sinha, VP of Artificial Intelligence and Data - From Choose to break barriers article

To all the women who are early in their career and just getting started: Experiment with a range of problems until you find the domain you cannot stop thinking about in your job search, prioritize roles where you will get hands-on experience. Practice the skill of asking thoughtful questions in job interviews and on the job.

To women who are mid-career: This is where you will start feeling like a minority and often the only female in the room and on project teams. Work on being seen and heard. Have work buddies, sponsors and allies who are looking out for you. You will do many amazing things in this phase of your career. However, with success, it is also common to experience imposter syndrome. In fact, it's twice as common among women vs. men. Work on telling your story and celebrate all your achievements, big and small.

To women who are aspiring for senior-level roles: Think about how you will influence above and across. If you have the resources, hire an executive coach and develop a plan to practice your influencing skills. Recruit people who are in your inner circle of colleagues, friends and family to get brutally honest feedback on a regular basis.

Across all roles and levels: Have a development plan in writing and review it every 90 days. Proactively share your development plan with your manager and mentors and enlist their support in your career growth. Take calculated risks to build a career that uniquely reflects your purpose and your values. It’s hard to move forward if you are too afraid to take a step towards the unknown.

And finally, for everyone reading this article: Just get comfortable with negotiating. Find opportunities to practice negotiating whether it is for your own compensation, your progression, your resources or for your team. If you have kids you can learn a lot from them, they are expert negotiators in my opinion. I read somewhere, "You don't get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate.”

This is just the first in a series of articles focused on inspiring and uplifting women in technology.  Stay tuned for more and share your thoughts.  What resonated with you the most from this advice? Let us know at good@verizon.com.

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