5 Skilled Profession Ideas from a Minority Girl Government in Tech
From Angel Ishmael
Great strides have been made towards equality for women in the workplace, but there are still industries where much more needs to be done. Data from the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) reports that women make up 57% of all professional occupations but only hold 25% of jobs in technology. Black women only hold 3% of that number, which shows the apparent lack of diversity in the tech industry.
In a particularly difficult year for job security and recruitment, women – especially women of skin color – need to tackle inequality and underrepresentation in the technology industry. I’m a black woman and a divorced working mother of three who faced my hurdles in climbing the career ladder in the tech industry. From trying to balance motherhood and work to trying to make a name for yourself in a world where getting ahead was challenging, I’ve surrounded myself with women in similar avenues to help me do this have to advance my career.
Although seen or simply overlooked as an outsider, I’ve learned to implement the following career tips into my daily life in order to be the best version of myself both professionally and personally.
Career tip # 1: find a mentor (or two)
When you find someone who has achieved what you are working towards in your career, they can be given the guidance you need to get your next promotion or raise. Having a group of people you can count on and seek advice is essential for the job market, especially in these turbulent times. You never know what connections or experiences someone else has that could help you down the line or in your next career move.
In my case, my mentor is a cousin who has inspired me in so many ways. She lost her husband, who was a Representative for the state of Colorado, and then decided to run for office, won and occupied his seat where she later became one of the leaders behind the state’s CROWN Act. In my cousin I see a woman who paved the way for others, which has inspired me in so many ways in my own career.
Career tip # 2: keep learning
Never stop learning about topics that interest you or that may be useful in your career. Read something every day – whether it’s an online article, a blurb in a magazine, or something on social media – that will help you in some aspects of your life. Always keep your curiosity alive no matter what part of your career you are in and never lose the drive to learn new things all the time.
For me in digital marketing, SaaS was something I had to learn more about the more I got involved in the industry. I have never stopped learning and continuing to develop, which has helped me get to the position I am in today.
Career tip # 3: delegate, delegate, delegate
I can’t stress this enough as I struggled with it earlier in my career. We cannot work on everything for everyone at the same time as much as we want. Rely on your employees and delegate various tasks to them so that you can concentrate on your tasks. This includes good communication and confidence in the work of your teammates. When you know who and when to delegate which tasks, you are in control and understand the pros and cons of your job.
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Career tip # 4: create an everyday life
A routine is critical to success. I’ve learned over the years that many people who are successful have a daily routine that they rarely, if ever, distract from. This could mean going for a jog every morning before work or eating a specific cereal every morning. Whatever it is, your routine can have a positive effect on your life, both professionally and personally.
For me, I’ve learned that it’s a routine for me to eat well, exercise every day, and choose three things a day to do. Implementing a simple routine will help create normalcy in your day. Even if you are busy with work or stressed out, at least you have simple tasks that you enjoy doing.
Career tip # 5: Set goals with a 12 week plan
With this system, you will create 12 week worth of achievable goals that will describe what needs to be achieved to get where you want to be. This is perfect if you’re looking to take the next step in your career and aren’t sure where to start. By setting small, achievable goals each week, you can achieve an overall goal over time without getting too overwhelmed. If you achieve small goals over three months, you can have a better sense of achievement and constantly remember your achievements.
As a communications major, it was always natural for me to be one step ahead of the game. With this goal setting program, you’ll prepare for success and clearly outline the steps you need to take to achieve your goal. When you’re one step ahead, you’ll know which direction to go next.
We have to believe it in order to achieve it
As a working woman, a minority woman, a single woman, whatever you choose to call it, I have learned that women can achieve whatever we want regardless of our circumstances. We can break through the glass ceiling, we can become vice presidents, CEOs, company presidents, and more. We have to believe in it to achieve it, and we have to coordinate our thoughts and actions to respond to opportunities that present themselves.
If you follow these simple career tips that are easy to incorporate into your daily life, it will become a little easier to climb the corporate ladder in an industry that seems too slow to diversify.
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About the author
Contribution by: Angel Ishmael
Angel Ishmael is vice president of sales and marketing for NetBlaze, a Chicago-based SaaS digital marketing solution for small businesses across the country. Angel has been with NetBlaze since its conception in June 2018, starting as Marketing Director. In her current role, she is responsible, among other things, for supporting customers in implementing and expanding their online presence through social media strategies, CRM tools, reputation management and customer ratings. Angel has experience in the digital marketing industry. She previously worked as a social media strategist and manager for digital marketing company Blueprint Information Products before joining NetBlaze. She has a BA in Communication from Purdue University.
Connect with me on LinkedIn.