Perficient Colleagues Share How to Build a Successful Career in Technology
We recently asked the Women in Tech group at Perficient what advice they would give for a woman hoping to build a career in the technology industry and their thoughtful advice was both inspirational and actionable.
The biggest theme, having confidence in your skillset, is something we continually work to foster, encourage, and celebrate in our employees. Hiral Shah, lead technical consultant, recently shared her thoughts on advocating for your work with BuiltIn Boston and Laura Kenny, Talent Acquisition Coordinator, wrote about in the article How Perficient Employees Slay Impostor Syndrome, a topic that everyone has the potential to experience.
Find Your Support System
Another takeaway is to spend time developing relationships with mentors or people who can help you succeed. It’s a good reminder that you’re not expected to do it alone, nor is that how our global company is built. Collaboration is even one of our Values and it’s the driver behind the innovation we deliver for our clients.
With different cross-company ways to engage (and more coming all the time!) through things like social events, training, and philanthropic activities, we try to create a culture with a little something for everyone.
But, as you’ll see in the advice below, the fastest way to career success is to pave your own way, a unique opportunity Perficient offers. Our size makes us a formidable force in the industry while still flexible enough to adapt — also a key driver of our successful navigation of COVID-19.
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Perficient WIT Group Shares Advice for Women Taking a Job in Technology
Work With Smart Female Leaders
“A lot of women shy away from technology because they think they don’t have a strong technical background. I believe if you are curious about technology, have good analytical skills and a spark to achieve your goals there is no stopping you. Perficient’s Lafayette Delivery Center is led by a charismatic woman as general manager, MaryBeth Ostasz, and fifty percent of our directors are women. They are strong role models for everyone to look up to. There is no glass ceiling here.” — Surabhi Nigam, senior technical consultant
No Coding Necessary
“You don’t need to have a deep technical background, an interest in learning coding, or math/engineering background. There are plenty of opportunities that need user experience or design thinking, that leverage skills in other careers and backgrounds.” — Amy Meyers, change management program specialist
You Were Hired for a Reason
“Be confident in your abilities. You were hired here (or wherever you are) because of your experience and what you bring to the table. Sometimes it is difficult to remember that.” — Elisha Goldman, project manager
Share Your Ideas
“Trust your instincts and don’t shy away from sharing your ideas.” — Melanie Hoffman, managing director
Set Expectations Appropriately
“Don’t say yes if you can’t deliver. It’s easier to say yes – and especially when we’re starting out and trying to fit in, it can feel like the right thing to do. But if you have too many other obligations, are too unclear about how to proceed, or have other barriers to accomplishing what you promise, set expectations appropriately and make sure your yes means something.” — Lisa Sherwood, senior agency manager
Identify Supportive Cultures
“There’s sometimes a negative stigma about women working in technology, but there are spaces you can work comfortably and be welcomed as a professional and as an equal. Perficient is one of those places. The Lafayette Delivery Center has been warm and welcoming and has recognized my hard work and efforts regardless of my gender.” — Sara Roberts, associate technical consultant
Maintain Your Skills — and Use Them!
“Keep your skills up-to-date and be willing to take on internal projects and assist others. Keep your billable hours up.” — Amy Smith, senior project manager
Words Matter. Speak Up!
“Speak up. If an idea or question is on your mind, it’s important enough to say it out loud. You might be surprised how far it can get you.” — Kate Feltman, solutions architect
Growth and Comfort Do Not Coexist
Juliet Silver, Chief Strategist and general manager, shared a quote from Ginni Rometty, previous chairman, president, and CEO of IBM and the first woman to run the company, “I learned to always take on things I’d never done before. Growth and comfort do not coexist.”
Three Tips for Working with a Mentor
Build Your Network to Find Success
“Put effort into Networking. People in the technology space tend to stay in the technology space even as they move around to different companies, so it is critical to engage with your network often. Technology changes quickly and networking will also open you up to more learning opportunities.” — Liz Stuart, alliance director
“My tip, also related to networking: Actively seek out mentors and sponsors rather than waiting for leaders to reach out to you. Having a woman in that cohort to share experience with you is critical.” — Lisa Hunter, national sales director
Speak Up and Ask for Help
“Seek out mentors and let them know your aspirations. People want to help other people, it’s human nature. Ask for help, guidance, and feedback and you will receive it.” — Liza Sisler, director
At Perficient, we continually look for ways to champion and challenge our talented workforce with interesting projects for high-profile clients, encourage personal and professional growth through training and mentoring, and celebrate our people-oriented culture and the innovative ways they serve Perficient and the community.