Flashback Story: I received my degree in business with an emphasis on Information Technology from the University of Texas.
My first job was as a programmer for a 30-person software development firm. Every morning as I drove the 40 minutes to work, I could feel my energy drain. I believed, with evidence to back me up, that I was not appreciated or considered a valued member of the team I had recently joined.
There was no onboarding. There was no training. I did not have someone assigned to help me figure out the lay of the land much less help to understand the code in their product. No one even took me to lunch!
I felt alone. Going to work with a positive attitude every morning was hard.
I had to armor up.
When I look back at the courage it took for me to be one of 3 women in a software firm of 30, walking into those doors every morning, I am impressed with myself.
I know that things have improved for women in tech and young women seem to be braver these days, but I also know that women are still armoring up to face their workday while hoping that this day will be different. This day someone will extend themselves, include them in the conversation or encourage their voice.
Armor Removal Techniques
If you find yourself in a job or at a company where you are putting on the heavy armor this is a sign that something needs to change. Here are some possible problems and solutions to help you put down your armor for good.
Problem: I have no idea how my boss is in the role of managing people. My career development does not matter one iota. The words “thanks for that great work” will never pass those lips!
Solution: Can you look within your company and find a new role with a boss people admire? Is it time to think about leaving your company?
Problem: The commute is driving me crazy. I hate it. Every morning I armor up just to get myself into the office.
Solution: Consider asking for a day or two to work from home or flextime to allow you to miss the worst of the traffic. Take a drive over the weekend and write down the names of all the companies within a 5-mile radius of your house. Go home and check out their websites. Do you like what they do? Do they have any openings? Maybe it is time for you to get that resume in order…just in case!
Problem: I am soooo bored! 10% fun at work, 90% stab a fork in my eye. What’s a gal to do?
Solution: Do Strength Finders and/or The Passion Test to get clear on what you are good at doing and connect that with what you are passionate about then begin to talk with people who are in careers that fit your strengths AND your passions. Being good at something does not mean that is what you should be doing day in and day out.
P.S. We are planning on doing a FREE Passion Test webinar. Stay tuned for more info on our Facebook page.