July 28, 2020

Built In Seattle: How to Be an Effective Self-Advocate, According to 8 Women in Tech

Sr. Director of Agile Project Management Anne Retterer recently spoke to Built In Seattle to share her experiences and advice for how women in technology can effectively promote their accomplishments and abilities, especially during a performance review.

“Break down key functions that you’re responsible for and write down examples of how you tackled them using your experience on the job and strongest attributes,” Anne said. “This exercise generates talking points for the review and shifts the discussion from subjective to an objective, fact-based conversation.”

More from Anne’s discussion:

I think one of the best ways a person can self-advocate is to let the organization know areas in which you’d like to grow or contribute. Speak to specific areas of interest. If you’re in a company already, build a framework that helps others  see you in that role. 

I remember a time when I learned that my department was exploring the possible creation of a new entity in Latin America. I expressed interest, worked hard and compiled a framework of legal and tax items we’d need to address at formation. I even started taking Spanish classes. I made the ask, kept on my current responsibilities and demonstrated that I had what it takes to advance my career. And it worked. I was eventually tasked with the creation of the entity and I continued to grow that effort. 

Read the rest of Anne’s advice, along with seven other women in tech, from Built in Seattle.

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