I will be speaking at the Woman in ICT event in Canberra at the end of May. This breakfast series brings women together from across the IT industry to inspire and motivate. We are sharing our stories and experiences so women can thrive in our fast-paced and exciting industry. The topic for the series is "Taking Charge" on our career journey.
I have always believed that if you don't make it happen yourself, no one else will. I have always made sure that I have had a clear set of goals for where I want to be in the next 12 to 24 months. I plot the milestones along the way and continually check that I am on track.
But is that what everyone does? I reached out to several of my female colleagues here at Objective to get their opinion. What I learnt was that I work with a group of focused and driven women. Each one is leaning in, speaking up and taking control of the conversation. My favourite quote is 'If you want the change, be the change'.
I have included their comments below and added the departments that they work in for context. I look forward to continuing the conversation in Canberra.
You need to know what you want. Put your hand up for extra challenges, and not be afraid to speak up or to take opportunities that are presented to you.
I constantly strive to be involved in new initiatives and to take on extra opportunities as they arise. I became known for not being afraid to speak up when I saw changes that needed to be made. Be brave and take the leap of faith when needed as it can be incredibly rewarding.
It's not very often people are just handed their dream job, you need to take an active role in making it happen. Keep in mind where you want to be in your career, work hard, be confident, take risks and say yes to challenges that are outside of your comfort zone. If you don't believe you can do it, no-one else will either."
Taking charge of your career for me, means being proactive. If you want the change, be the change. You may land up in a career due to circumstances but you cannot have a great career without persistent focus to be better at what you do - you need to keep on learning and keep on improving.
Networking is very crucial - there are no organisations which can provide validity on your ability, there are no certificates that guarantee your performance, there is no one way of doing things, there are no right or wrongs. Networking helps to share and learn from others - without having to repeat the same mistakes that others did and understand different perspectives.
And finally, not shying away from the opportunities that are presented to you. We all have imposter syndrome, we doubt ourselves time and again. But we should take that leap of faith and believe in ourselves - if you don't, nobody will.
For me, taking control of my career meant that I needed to focus on what I wanted to achieve rather than the direction I was being pushed/pulled.
In a previous organisation, due to both company restructures and the projects that then followed, I found myself working in a technical space where I was feeling lost. It wasn't a technical discipline that I was passionate about and my motivation to succeed slumped.
Recognising that I was the only one in charge of my career, I made the decision to leave what was a fantastic company to chase my passion.
About Andrea Breen, VP Sales & Customer Success, Objective Corporation
Andrea Breen is the Vice President for Sales and Customer Success at Objective Corporation and joined the business in 2018 . Previously Andrea held the role of Account Director at Oracle responsible for commercial clients. Andrea spent over ten years at Pitney Bowes and was responsible for all spatial and location intelligence clients across Australia and New Zealand. Andrea has a long history of working with government clients globally commencing her career in the Local Government sector. Andrea holds a Bachelor of Applied Science (Land Information).