A Woman In Tech’s New Year’s Resolutions For 2013
2:15 pm, December 20th | by Beth Devin, Manilla.com
It’s that time again — time for resolutions and commitments for the new year. It’s also time for a fresh perspective full of optimism and excitement about the future and the impact we can have on ourselves, and on those around us. In this article, I share my list of technology career commitments for 2013.
1. Learn a new technology.
There is always something new in the field of technology. It’s probably one of the most dynamic industries in play today. As I reflect on the last couple of years, I am amazed at what I have learned (e.g., Agile software development, open source software, cloud computing, and mobile technology). In 2013, I am committed to researching, gaining exposure to, and perhaps working with several technologies that are new to me. Trends I am following now include the revolutionary changes in online education, how technology is making healthcare more affordable, and big data storage and analytics. In this hyper-paced space, who knows what exciting innovations are around the corner.
2. Be OK with not keeping up.
The flipside of my first resolution is to not beat myself up as I try to absorb all of the changes in the technology industry. It’s exhausting and futile. I plan to give myself a break and be OK with not being aware of every trend and headline. There will be times when I don’t know the latest acronym, or when I am not the first to know that a company has been acquired, a CEO has changed, or the most popular new app. I’ll be just fine and can catch up later!
3. Take more risks.
Generally, I don’t think of myself as a big risk-taker. Research shows that this is more typical for women than men. I prefer to see data, review my analysis, and feel 80 percent confident about something before jumping in. With my many years in technology, at companies large and small, I am at a stage in my career where I can afford to take more risks, and therefore, I plan to do just that in 2013. This resolution applies to my professional and personal life. For example, maybe I’ll start voicing my opinion more loudly, saying no and saying yes, taking on an advisory role, helping a friend with her business, going on a trip without a plan, and taking on a new hobby. I’m sure I’ll have stories to tell.
4. Help a young woman just starting out.
I’m passionate about encouraging more women to pursue science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) and, especially, technology careers. This year, I will seek out one or more young women who could benefit from my experience, network and time. I may get involved in a formal mentoring program, reach out to a new hire at work, or get involved in a women-in-tech community. I know it will be time well spent, and I will grow from the experience.
5. Show appreciation.
You can never give enough thanks. I am a firm believer in “what goes around comes around.” In our busy lives, it’s easy to forget to show appreciation and yet it is so easy to do. This year, I am going to say, “Thank you,” “Nice work,” and “You are the best,” more often. I also plan to listen more attentively, and respond quickly to implicit and explicit requests for help.
6. Be present.
Last, and most important to me, is striving to be more present. I am a planner and often live in the future. I am always thinking ahead and getting prepared for the next week, day or meeting. This approach pays many dividends professionally — I rarely drop a ball. Unfortunately, it also means my life is zooming by and I want to make the most of the experiences I have each day. I plan to pause and reflect more, and be conscious and aware of my surroundings. 2013 is the year of being present!
What’s your outlook for 2013? Do you have resolutions you want to share? Please comment below.
Beth Devin is the chief technology officer of Manilla.com, a free, award-winning and secure service that helps
consumers manage all of their bills and accounts in one place online and via mobile apps. For more career, money,
and organizing tips, visit the Manilla Blog.
[Photo via Shutterstock]