Sunday, July 6, 2014

Wish me luck!

Hi Listserve friends! I was so shocked that I won the Listserve lottery after only following it for about a month. When I got the email I thought it was some kind of mistake at first!

I thought I'd stay with the company I work for now a lot longer, but recently something sparked my ambitious side and I realized that I'm bored, I'm not being challenged, and I need more. Part of what inspired me is that I keep reading and hearing more and more about how women tend to lack the confidence men have, won't apply for jobs unless they feel 100% qualified, don't negotiate their salaries, are severely underrepresented in the tech industry, etc. etc. I realize that all of that applies to me - I do tend to underestimate my abilities and go with the safest bet in my life decisions.

So I went ahead and started looking, and I got responses right off the bat. It felt great! Now, a few weeks into my search, I'm interviewing for a couple of positions that I'm actually really excited about. One is with a very small, very young start-up. I'd be their first customer support employee. Taking that job would be a real gamble, but in the best-case scenario I'd get to be the one who figures out the best and most efficient ways to do things and build a team eventually. That possibility is very exciting.

The other is with a big, well-established company with a fantastic product. This would be a stable job with a great team and a chance to learn a lot of new skills, which is exactly what I want to be doing. This week, I'll have my first in-person interview with them. They gave me a "homework assignment" last week that involved doing a few functions with their system and writing a little code, which I didn't know. (I know HTML, CSS, and a little Javascript, but not the stuff they've asked me to do.) In the in-person interview, they'll try to break what I've set up and I'll have to troubleshoot it from there. It's scary because I'm having to teach myself how to do it on the fly, but I just keep telling myself "I can do this, I can do this". I keep telling myself that they can teach me the languages they need me know - what they really need is someone smart and motivated to learn, who knows how to communicate. And that's who I am!

So, what I want to say to you all is this: don't be afraid to look for a new challenge if you don't feel like you're reaching your full potential. You have so much to contribute to our world, and you're doing yourself and the rest of us a disservice if you're not making that full contribution. Asking more of yourself and facing the possibility of failure is scary, but it always pays off. Even if you do fail, you learn from it and move on to your next challenge. Just do it!

I hope you all are happy and healthy, and I want you to know I’m cheering you on from my home in the East Bay. I believe in you and I hope you believe in me too! And if you ever need some extra encouragement, look no further than your friend and mine, Andrew WK.

All the best,
Jami
jamiwardlow[AT]gmail.com
Oakland, CA

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