Story by Morgan Zebley, panel moderator
Career Advice for Women
In May, Gartner associates Deb, Eve, Nikki and Monique shared their wisdom and experiences at the Gartner Women of Arlington panel on Growth and Balance, sponsored by Women at Gartner, one of Gartner’s Employee Resource Groups (ERG).
Growth and Balance
These two words are simple on paper, but they provided a plethora of topics for discussion. The questions for the panelists addressed: how to think about and work with mentors; how to identify growth opportunities; how to achieve balance in a state of constant change; how to manage office time; how the weight of importance for different activities (in work and life) changes over time; and other challenges that we face in our daily lives.
Monique and Nikki emphasized the importance of being adaptable during times of change. Monique has experienced three integrations throughout her professional career and Nikki leads an operations team in a department that is constantly dealing with change. Nikki’s advice to managers is to prime your team for change so when a really big change happens, like an integration, they will be more prepared. Monique reminded us that you can try to anticipate every possible outcome, but you will never be able to peek around the corner. They both hit on the idea that communicating long term visions with the team is key and making it clear how the everyday tasks impact the larger goals helps to build trust.
Nikki and Deb touched on the importance of being in tune with what you’re learning and how you’re applying it. Deb shared that she kept getting the same feedback in her reviews and realized that she really needed to be her own advocate to make those changes—no one was going to force her to change for the better. Nikki encouraged the room to have a strong dialogue with our managers about what we want to do in our careers and to ensure that we engage others in that planned path so they know our interests. She emphasized the idea commenting, “You can’t build a career alone. It takes engaging everyone around you.”
Eve had us think about skill-building vs. role-changing. She shared that in a previous role she was able to fine tune her cadence so that she could get her job done in four days. She knew she was good at her job and she liked her job, but she felt that she was getting stale. Eve worked with her manager to find a way to build new skills. She ended up partnering with a different team on her fifth day in the office to work on a special project, through which she learned a new set of skills. She said, “If you can do your job well you don’t need to leave your role, you just need to make sure you’re still growing. There are multiple ways to do it and it is almost always networking.”
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