#WomenInTech, 3 Tips To Boost Your Career To The Next Level
You’re living your dream as a woman in IT and have equipped yourself with all the technical certifications you need to be a master in your profession. But is that enough? As the IT industry becomes more competitive, it also becomes more demanding.
These days, companies are shifting their focus from customer service to customer delight and to be able to do that requires more than just technical skills.
So, if you’re a working woman in IT and are looking to excel at your job, start by equipping yourself with the soft skills that weren’t taught in your engineering college. From client interfacing to project management and public speaking, these three soft skills will help your personal and professional growth so you can carve your way to success!
Acing it with clients
Clients, today, to a large extent, look at us not just as service providers but also as partners. They not only want us to deliver timely and accurate services, but also look to us to give them solutions to their problems and ideas that can make work easier.
Follow these golden rules for keeping your clients happy:
It is important to stay in touch with your client so that you’re clear about your client’s requirements and can deliver exactly what they want. This ensures there are no discrepancies in expectations involved.
Another important tip: Avoid the use of technical jargons. Your client might have a different terminology for the same process or applications which might lead to miscommunication or misunderstandings.
Don’t forget to have confidence in yourself. The reason you have a project and have been assigned with the responsibility is because your boss thinks you can handle it. People won't have confidence in you if you don't believe in yourself. Be friendly, speak with them, build a rapport. People respond when they know you're genuine.
Don't overpromise and underdeliver. It's important to be realistic when providing your client with timelines. If you have dependencies at work and they say two weeks, tell your client five. They will be happy if you deliver 'early'.
Communication is key
More often than not we end up saying what we don't mean. But by the time we realize this, it's too late. This is why it’s important to have good communication skills.
While process and product knowledge are important, the key to building a rapport with your clients is communication. Be it on the telephone, face to face or via email, your communication must be clear and effective.
If you're not a native English speaker, no problem. With some effort you can improve your written and spoken English, through various apps in the market.
If you have to speak in front of a group of people to explain your project, rehearse your lines a couple of times before you address the crowd. Stand in front of a mirror or ask your colleagues to act as clients and practice the drill, right from the way you walk , talk and behave.
And over email:
- Cover the main point in the first few lines
- Use paragraphs!
- Provide complete and specific details when answering e-mails
- Provide an alternative if response is not received within the given timeframe
- Clarify what you can do and provide a time frame for completing the work
- Discuss the capability or inability, if any, to complete the work
- Again, avoid using any jargon!
Power dress for success
If you show up for a client meeting with messy hair and unkempt clothes, chances are that you won't be invited by your boss to an important meeting again. I know we’re often in our comfort zone and forget to look after ourselves but to be able to feel confident you must look it. It is particularly hard for working moms (who barely get a minute to spare) to worry about all these little details. But first impressions go far. No one expects you to look like a supermodel, but if you’re well dressed and presentable, you make an overall better impression (this goes for men as well by the way)!
However, it’s not always about how you dress. What’s more important is how you present yourself. Very often your body posture can assure your clients that you’re confident even if you’re really feeling a little nervous on the inside. One of the most powerful tools of body language is a smile - so show them your pearly whites! People respond most positively to a pleasant smile.
Moreover, to a client, a smile can mean confidence and can be reassuring. In addition to that, make sure that your clothes are neat and ironed. Being a working mom can be a messy job at times so always be prepared for the worst! Keep an extra pair at work just in case.
Wearing what looks good on you and what you feel confident and comfortable in can help you feel in control and ready to seize the day. So, rock that power dress and don’t forget to wear a positive attitude with it.
Stay poised, stay powerful!
Go out there and rule the world ladies. Good Luck!
R*****Well Written.. I think a little insight on what will be the main agenda of the call and some study about that agenda is like a rehersal... Presence of mind in any call helps a lot
D*****Anu Radha : Could you elaborate a bit more on the rehearsal part? Do you mean that there's no time to rehearse because calls are decided impromptu? If so, it's very important to keep calm. You can also tell a client that you will need a few minutes before the next call as you have some pending work and most clients are very understanding.
B*****Nice well written article..
A*****Nice article. When it comes to rehearsal often the calls are back to back or decided in a short notice. Any tips to handle this?