Welcome to another edition of IntelePeer’s Tech Tuesday series. This week Kris Pocaro, Channel Sales Regional Director, talks us through how she got started in telecom, moving around for her career, and some great tech advice.
1. How did you end up in the Tech Industry?
My mother made me do it (really). My first job out of college was as a sales rep for a national carpet company in Texas. While I was good at it, after 11 months in Texas I wanted to be back in New Jersey.
So, when I moved back home and needed a job my mother thought it would be great if I could work for “The Phone Company” (New Jersey Bell). The idea behind this was, it’s a steady job with good pay, great benefits, and no one ever leaves. Her good friend’s daughter worked there and made great money. New Jersey Bell wasn’t hiring, but the newly formed spin off Bell Atlanticom Systems, Inc. was. I started selling Tie systems and never looked back.
2. What technology do you use the most – whether in your personal or professional life?
My phone is never far from me (and no, it’s not an iPhone). I have always been an Android fan. I use it to keep track of emails – personally and professionally. I network on LinkedIn, keep up with friends near and far on Facebook, and search for recipes on Google. It’s my bank, atlas, my stereo, and my fitness pal. The list of things I do from my phone is never ending.
3. What was the most challenging aspect of your career and how did you overcome it?
Making a move away from what I knew well and had done for years and starting a new job at IntelePeer in December 2021 was one of the hardest decisions I have ever made. I made a list of pros and cons of staying where I was vs leaving.
4. Any advice for women who want to join the tech industry?
Don’t let the fact that tech is a male dominated industry scare you away. Know your stuff, be prepared, and never apologize unnecessarily. Stand up for yourself and ask for what you want. Don’t assume someone will just give it to you. Trust in yourself and just take a chance on something.
5. What advice would you give your younger self who is just starting in the workforce?
Do not become complacent. Learn everything you can about what you are passionate about. Go out on a limb and talk to the headhunters that call you. Do not underestimate yourself or your value.
Bonus: Who is your tech role model or what podcast(s) are you currently listening to?
Reshma Saujani is a New York Times Best Selling author and the brains behind the famous TED Talk Teach girls bravery, not perfection. Two years after losing her run for a seat in Congress, she started the nonprofit Girls Who Code, aimed at increasing the number of women in the computer science field.