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Advice from the Women of Code42 to their Younger Selves

Inspired by these five lessons for a younger – and older – self, the wise women of enterprise endpoint backup provider Code42 share sage advice for their younger selves.

Amie Broetzman, Sales
No matter how hard you try, no matter how hard you work, you sometimes just can’t control the circumstances that surround you. Keep grounded and focused on what is really important, and you will succeed regardless of the noise.

Kari Seas, Marketing
Don’t rush through college—take your time, take a variety of classes, learn everything you can, leap outside your comfort zone and get engaged in topics and conversations outside your normal circle. Most of all—enjoy those summer and winter breaks lounging on your parent’s couch with free rent and free food! Once out of college and starting a career—if you’re fortunate enough to land a job you love, relish every crazy moment. Lucky people experience 2-3 of those in a lifetime—but some don’t even get one. So be overly grateful when you do have a job you love, one where you’re respected and trusted, working with brilliant people who challenge and inspire you to do your best work because of their own immense abilities. Try to learn from every situation—what works, what doesn’t, how can I improve this type of project next time. And HAVE FUN! You’ll spend a hefty chunk of your life at work—make it enjoyable for yourself and those around you!

Kelly Starsmore, Customer Champions
Always strive for success, and never let anyone tell you that you can’t achieve your goals or your dreams. If you have someone like that in your life, they are not your friend and not worth your time. You have the ability to do anything you want.

Marya Lundquist, Finance
The world will not end if you disconnect from the office while you’re not in it! There are too many moments I look back and know things could have waited, but at the time everything seems so pressing and important. Being loyal, wanting the business to succeed at all costs, and having a good work ethic are all positive traits in an employee. I just wish I had disconnected a little more and provided my family with more attention while I could. As the company grew and there were more people to share the workload and burdens, the more time I felt able to step away. I still feel the need to check in continuously but have learned the sky will not fall before I get to work the next day. And most importantly, don’t forget to ask for help before it gets to this point! But feeling valued, important and appreciated makes the hard moments better.

Meghan Marostica, Marketing
If you are inherently determined, feisty, focused and ready to take on any opportunity, you will be fine. Just don’t let the fire inside fizzle out! Who knew that you’d be working for a fast-growing company, running a budget, managing a team, working with executives and making an impact! Your focus and drive is much more important than your college grades or missed classes (when you were stuck at the UW terrace with friends). Tom Petty sums it up, You have four years to be irresponsible here. Relax. Work is for people with jobs. You’ll never remember class time, but you’ll remember time you wasted hanging out with your friends. So, stay out late. Go out on a Tuesday with your friends when you have a paper due Wednesday. Spend money you don’t have. Drink ’til sunrise. The work never ends, but college does…”

Melissa Driscoll, Sales
Don’t be in a hurry to grow up. Take time and enjoy your youth. All I ever wanted was to be a grown up. But, looking back now, I wish I wouldn’t have spent so much time acting like one.

Millie Walsh, Engineering
These are things I remind myself daily, but wish I knew when I was younger:

  • Step out of your context as often as possible–it gives you a great perspective of yourself.
  • Play more and stress less–no matter the obligations or pressure you feel from others.
  • Freedom for failure–if others don’t give you the freedom to fail, create that space for yourself.
  • Read for pleasure–if you suck at reading, download audio books (that’s what I do).
  • Life is a balance between things that make you happy and things that challenge you–Find a combination where the things that challenge you ARE the things that make you happy.

Rebecca Martin, Marketing
Look and act the part (you’ll grow into it). And remember that most of what life hands you is out of your control, but how you respond to it is in your control.

Tamara Dennison, Professional Services
Mentorship relationships are invaluable! Especially as a female working in a male-dominated industry, the camaraderie and collaboration inherent in these partnerships can help you navigate challenging waters. Having a good mentor helps you to see yourself from multiple angles, learn your strengths and how to best utilize them. It’s a real confidence-builder to have that clarity and perspective.

In my experience, women seem to have a harder time communicating confidence (even when they know they can do the job). Don’t let them see you sweat! One of the most valuable lessons I learned while doing executive leadership coaching is that even C-levels doubt themselves or worry they don’t have what it takes from time to time–just like anyone else. A mentor, no matter where you are in your career, can be just the support needed to do what you already KNOW you can do!

 

March is Women’s History Month; what a great reason to reflect! Take a moment to let us know what you’d tell your younger self.

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