Sharing growth stories
Learning from others experience, personal observations
A while back, I had an interesting call with my software engineer friend who was going to be a panelist at her company's Women in Engineering event.
She wanted to brainstorm ideas on a particular question-
Describe an instance when having a career plan has served you well.
A career plan mainly focuses on growth and involves strong ownership from you as well as a good partnership with your manager and peers.
Here’s a loose gist of our conversation that I find useful to share-
We first discussed who the audience was to best craft her response to unlock more value, insights, and ideas for the attendees.
Through our discussion and her example of working with her manager toward getting promoted, she ended up crafting a response that covered these areas:
goal setting to gain more clarity (everyone's career goals are different)
analysis on focus and growth areas
identifying the right opportunities to contribute
communicating progress and receiving written feedback
leveraging 1:1s with manager to assess progress
She ended up being an awesome panelist as the attendees found her response both relatable and actionable. She received a lot of positive feedback around her part. What a win!
Networking at Conferences or Meetups
A couple weeks ago, I had a complimentary ticket for the LeadDev San Francisco conference. It was my first in person conference in a long time. Oh my! I was a bundle of nerves to start with.
To my own surprise, I had a great time at the conference and networked with some interesting folks. So I figured it would be nice to share some ideas on what worked for me (in case you feel the same about an upcoming conference or a meetup).
Pre-event reflections: It helps to understand your goal is when it comes to attending the event and what you are looking to get out of it. For example, it could be a handful to talks you are excited about, to catch up on what the community is talking about, observe the talks and understand what elements make a good talk, etc.
Conversation starters: Networking (exchanging information, ideas, discussing shared interests in an informal setting) is one of the things folks find more valuable when it comes to attending any event. Talking to new people is fun and sometimes nerve-wracking. I find having a few conversation starters help with networking. A seemingly decent recipe for conversation starter:
A little bit of enthusiasm, a smile perhaps, a question to assess if the other person is open to having a conversation, a brief introduction and from there, a series of good questions to identify shared interests.
Approaching social interactions: Social interactions can sometimes feel intimidating. I suggest assessing your personal appetite for it to interact with others with your best ability, being comfortable with exploring around the event solo and not forcing yourself to network.
Have fun networking.
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