Welcome to another edition of IntelePeer’s Tech Tuesday series. This week Melissa Thompson, a Senior Technical Writer, describes how her career challenges made her stronger and asking basic questions early on helps create a good foundation.
1. How did you end up in the Tech Industry?
By complete coincidence. When I was about to graduate from college, I had no idea what career or industry I would end up in. Luckily, a great family friend took me under her wing, helped me find my first job in the tech industry, and the rest is history.
2. What technology do you use the most – whether in your personal or professional life?
Probably Google Search. Professionally, I use it all the time to find synonyms and answers to quick questions. In my personal life, I’m one of those people who will watch a new show and look up the actors and facts about the show.
3. What was the most challenging aspect of your career and how did you overcome it?
In the past, I’ve worked with reviewers in management positions. Sometimes, reviewers can’t articulate what they want or don’t want until they have seen several iterations, and that can feel pretty exhausting in the moment.
But I overcame it by not taking it personally and learning to expect that the creation process would involve lots of editing. Looking back now, I actually learned a lot from my most demanding supervisor and have taken a lot of habits from that experience into other jobs.
4. Any advice for women who want to break into the tech industry?
For me, it was great having a family friend/mentor in the industry. I would encourage women (or anyone, really) to connect with folks you respect who are already working in the tech industry. They are a great resource for advice and a sounding board for any challenges you might face.
5. What advice would you give your younger self who is just starting in the workforce?
Don’t be afraid to ask “dumb” questions. When I first started out, I worked with an amazing team and found the experience pretty intimidating. It can be hard to ask really basic questions and why the team does X, Y, and Z. But asking those kinds of questions can give you a really solid foundation when you’re coming into a new situation. It can lead to more in-depth discussions.
Bonus: What podcast are you currently listening to?
I’m listening to the Scam Goddess podcast. Laci, the host, is hysterical, and it’s interesting to hear the mixture of old scams that we think “nowadays no one would fall for that” and new scams that are actually leveraging new technology.
iPhone or Android?
Sitting or standing desk?
Lunch inside or outside the office?
Email or IM?