It’s your first day, you’re sitting at a new desk, trying to log into your newly minted company email, wondering if your claim of being proficient in Excel will come back to haunt you. Suddenly, you’ve leveled up and you’re doing work you never dreamt of taking on when you were just starting out. From speaking at events to professional decision making, you look back, and you’ve come so far from that nervous green employee. Maybe you’re not even bluffing anymore when you say you’re good with spreadsheets. What have you learned, and what do you wish you knew back then?
Failure is a given in any career, at any level. But did you know it can actually lead you to greater success after the fact? A study conducted by Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management found that failure could be a catalyst for future success. The study analyzed data from scientists who had applied for grants early in their careers, categorizing them based on those who were granted funding for their research (the “success group”) and those who were denied (the “failure group”). Then, they kept track of how many papers those scientists published over the next decade and how many times their studies were cited in other articles as a measure of their professional success.
If you can believe it, those in the failure group were 6.1 per cent more likely to publish a high value paper than those in the success group.
There’s no fast-track to perspective, and we have to learn by succeeding and failing in our careers, over and over again. That said, being candid about the lessons we’ve picked up over the years can help support learning and growth for others in the office with us. In the spirit of sharing what we’ve learned since we started, we asked the PartnerStack team the following question: What tech career advice would you share with your junior self? From imposter syndrome to reality TV, the answers were relatable.
Tech career advice the PartnerStack team would give to their junior selves
While they can’t share these lessons with their junior selves, the team can share them with you.
Get stuff done, always.
“Don't take yourself too seriously. Everyone just wants to have fun and be successful, there's no point in being serious all the time. Get stuff done, always. This is my biggest piece of advice, never stop doing. Ask questions, learn how to do things yourself, and then find a way to make them better. Continuing to do is the fastest way to grow your career.”
- Olivia Folick, Team Lead, Partner Marketing
Find as many situations as possible to make yourself uncomfortable.
“I would for sure tell my younger self, or any female in tech/partnerships to not let a fear of imposter syndrome prevent you from executing on things that you are capable of. I often see younger women in this space who are hesitant to raise their voice or push back on a strategy stunt their success because of the fact that they haven’t done it before or that others in the room have, but that fresh perspective is so valuable, and it needs to shine through. I would also tell my younger self to find as many situations as possible to make yourself uncomfortable and push beyond my current experience."
"Don’t be afraid to lead that panel, get on stage if given the opportunity, lead a new project or GTM strategy. Everyone around you got to where they are by grabbing the opportunities in front of them, so don’t be afraid to do the same.”
- Nicolette Lopes, Manager of Channel Partnerships
Work with others to do great work.
“Working well with people means meeting them halfway. It’s not enough to just toss over a mock-up, plan, or deliverable over Slack and expect people to ‘get it,’ work with others to do great work. Basically, the old adage is true: if you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together. Always be professional, don’t be an asshole. The world is smaller than you think. Depending on the network you create over the years, you’ll find a lot of commonalities between groups of people, whether it’s because of work, location, or just random ‘Hey, I know that guy!’ Early in my career it felt coincidental, but now I’ve kind of just accepted that there’s only a couple degrees of separation between us.”
- Charles Lim, Head of Brand and Communications
Don’t be embarrassed to tell people that your hobby is watching reality TV.
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Be authentic, and don’t be ashamed of it.
- Blaize Pink, Manager of SMB Customer Success
Take on the things that scare you.
“Have fun and take on the things/projects/roles that scare you. If you wanna go somewhere you've never gone, you gotta do something you've never done.”
- Matt Merrifield, Customer Success Manager
Passion and purpose are inevitable when you find yourself in the right places.
“I would sit my younger self down and tell her that doing the good work, being able to articulate the work being done and relationship building would be key to her success. I would encourage critical thinking, learning every daily process (and finding the gaps and opportunities to strengthen them) and engaging with folx across the business because that's the best way to get insight into the big and small pictures of the overall company. I would tell her a lot of sweet professional opportunities and some of her best friendships will come from this. Success is more than accomplishments and accolades, it's doing good work that feels right — and making sure you're being considerate of the people along the way. I would tell her that passion and purpose are inevitable when you find yourself in the right places — and if things feel wrong, always have an exit strategy in place. But in the wonderful world of content, there are more good people than bad — find them.”
- Chloe Tse, Senior Manager of Content Marketing
Learn to tell great puns!
“Learn to tell great puns! People love those.”
- Matt Mascioni, Software Engineer
Wherever you’re at in your career, we hope you’re continuing to learn and grow.