Monday, October 21, 2013

MINK WIC Highlight: Keynote by Nora Denzel

This weekend I drove out to Kansas City with my friend Megan to attend the Missouri Iowa Nebraska Kansas Women in Computing conference.Of course, the day that we have to drive for three hours Kansas decides that it is the perfect time to start dumping snow on us. We drove through two hours of snow to get there! But, nevertheless, it was a great experience! There were multiple presenters, two keynote speakers, and a few panels. Overall, a lot of good information from accomplished professional women in technology.
Photo from the MINK WIC Facebook page.
All the presenters were amazing, but the one that stuck out to me was the first Keynote Speaker right when we got there on Friday evening. Nora Denzel is a recently retired Technical Executive, and gave a talk on "The Most Popular Ways Technical Women Shoot Themselves in the Foot in their Careers"
Here is her list of ways to improve your career:
  1.  Tell the truth, but not so much of it. Essentially, you don't have to tell everyone everything.
  2. Set a goal. Or, if you don't have one, make something up. It makes it much easier for other people to help you to reach a goal, or to give you their suggestions if you at least have a goal to tell them up front.
  3.  Ask. How is anyone supposed to know what you want if you don't ask for it?  Don't sit back and wait for things to fall into your lap, go after them.
  4. Be comfortable with being uncomfortable. You learn the most when you're in over your head. Also, if you feel like you know the least in the crowd you're in, that means your learning curve will be even greater!
  5. Act as if you're confident. Even if you're not. What would someone confident do? She shared this quote by Pascal: "It's easier to act yourself into a new way of thinking than to think yourself into a new way of acting."
  6. Kill Miss Congeniality. You can say no. People will feed off of your niceness.
  7. All about your attitude. Your career isn't a path, it's an obstacle course. Stop being a little victim.
  8. Learn how to compartmentalize.
  9. Learn to accept criticism. If you're too defensive, people will get tired of giving you feedback.
  10. Always remember what you're judged on: results. 
I found these to be incredibly helpful, particularly for me. I'm the girl that has always said "Oh, I have no idea what I want to with my life". I suppose it's about time that I come up with a goal.
Which one of these tips struck you the most? Do you disagree with any of them? Have you had any personal experience with any of them?
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Alex said...

Super helpful tips! Thanks for sharing :)
Whimsy Darling

Lisa said...

These are great points! I've been looking for some good conferences in my area too. Thanks for sharing!

xo Lisa | Making Life's Lemons

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