A diary of 30-minute connection calls

https://unsplash.com/photos/3ZvHsFiZyME

Last month I held ten 30-minute connection calls with tech professionals who responded to a simple public invitation to book a call with me. Here is what I learned and observed as themes from those calls.

We all have to navigate the blockers.

A person with 10+ years of experience in tech is not so different from a person looking to start their career. We all feel uncertain, stuck, and lost at some point. For some, it’s getting started. For others, it’s in the midst of unexpected change.

Plot the course to make a decision.

When we’re navigating our careers, trajectory, momentum, and launching pads matter. These concepts metaphorically apply to our careers. We want to plot our own course and command where it goes. We want to build stable foundations to launch our initiatives and ideas into the world. Navigating workplace and industry challenges requires some care to the momentum and positioning within a workplace such that it’s aligned with you.

If you don’t know yourself, know yourself.

If you’re having difficulty finding alignment with yourself, ask yourself some questions. What are your strengths, what do you want to do, what are you interested in at this moment? There’s a talk by Erick Ericsson that shares that you’re successful to the degree that who you are and how you live are in alignment. So are you doing the right work with the right people for the right reasons? Answer this for yourself and then for your career.

Reconnecting with your passions and love for this industry takes courage.

Many people will default on what they truly want. Some people will even have all the qualifications and knowledge and still say they need to do more before they start. I have this quote from Susan Scott:

“Authenticity is not something you have it’s what you choose. Your actions represent an authentic expression of who you really are or who you wish to become.”

Take the actions. Make mistakes. Failure is the currency to success.

Communication generates social currency.

In times of unknown and chaos, we have to be brave, open to sharing feedback, asking difficult questions and set up meaningful conversations (even with a skip-level manager). Change is one conversation away. Sometimes it’s one difficult or real conversation away.

If you’re looking for a sign, here it is.

People aren’t always looking for advice. Some of the calls gave extra encouragement to apply for a dream role, explore what’s out there, and branch into a new area of tech. If you’re looking for a sign, this is it.

Summary

These 30-minute connection calls gave me insights into the themes and patterns for tech professionals in all industries and phases of their careers. I’m grateful for this community and hope that writing about these observations gives more clarity or comfort to folks who are feeling less engaged and more stressed in tech.

On a final note, if you’re interested in helping yourself, others, and industries in tech, I’m launching my new group coaching program, called Orbital. And would love to chat with you over a 30-minute call. DM me for details. We start in April 2022.

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Tiffany Jachja

Tiffany Jachja

Software Engineering Manager covering topics on software, personal development, and career.