Starting your career is an incredibly daunting task, whether you are fresh out of school, university, or an apprenticeship – the world of work can seem like a scary place. Feelings of imposter syndrome and uncertainty can kick in, especially for women thinking of a tech career.
To learn about the journey the women in our company have taken to get to where they are now, we have sat down with them to learn about their stories, the challenges they have faced, and the tips they would give those just starting in their career.
This time, we spoke to Megan Fanning, Senior Technical Recruiter (Team Lead), and she shared her insights into the power of networking, hard work, and self-promotion.
How did you get your start in tech?
I’m a people person, and I’ve always loved engaging with people, getting to know them, and understanding what motivates them. This, paired with my passion for helping people, was a big driver in my career. I love knowing I have had a part in helping someone achieve or accomplish something.
When I finished university, I was introduced to a Tech Recruitment agency. I soon learned this meant I could combine my desire to support others and my interest in the tech world and I knew the role was for me. Speaking with people who work in tech is truly like no other industry. As I started working in tech recruitment, I knew it was the role for me. The conversations I had motivated and excited me, and I was learning something every day – it never fails to inspire me.
What was the first step you took to begin your career path in technology?
I knew networking was going to be essential to my success, so I spoke to as many people as I could. Growing connections and having those important conversations to learn was crucial at the beginning of my career. I pushed myself to attend tech events, network with like-minded people, and look for anything that increased my knowledge in Tech.
I quickly found that learning from others is a great tool to enhance your career. Everyone has been on their own journey, has their own experiences and more often than not, they like to share and provide their knowledge with others. The more people you know, the more colorful your own journey becomes.
Did you experience any biases as you were starting your career? If so, how did you overcome them?
Recruitment generally has a bad name on the market, and at the beginning of my journey it was such a struggle to gain respect and trust, particularly as I didn't come from a Tech background. But, I was eager to learn and dispel many misconceptions and assumptions about the tech industry and the people who work in it.
Building my reputation became a strong focus for me, which meant long days and nights of building a solid network. I would often explain who I was and what I was doing, and talk and engage with as many people as possible – I wanted people to remember me and someone dedicated to their role. The tech industry is very male-dominated, especially when I started my career, which added an extra layer of complexity. The office was a really competitive environment and you had to be strong. The only way to overcome biases is to prove people wrong, I worked really hard to prove myself and deliver.
What is your favorite part of your career and why?
I support people daily, helping others is my passion. Whether it's that moment when you help someone find their dream position, or when you support a hiring manager who has faced significant project setbacks and connect them with a candidate they're genuinely excited about, or even when you witness your team's growth and their goal achievements, all of these experiences enable me to support and empower others.
Every day is fulfilling, and having an impact on someone's life in a positive way is wonderful. There aren't too many industries where you can affect someone's future or a company’s ability to succeed on a daily basis – being part of a team that does just this is incredibly rewarding.
What advice do you have for others looking to pursue tech?
Network as much as possible, the more people you know, the better. Make sure you attend Meetups and events to meet other like-minded people. Your career can really be shaped by who you know and communicate with. Learn as much as you can from others, and get yourself a mentor who can support you through your journey. They will have excellent knowledge and advice for you as everyone has been at the tricky early stages of their career at some point – learning from others can really help with imposter syndrome and other challenges! Building a solid network will also allow you to keep up to date with the fast-moving tech market. Staying in the loop is essential to keep up with all the changes and developments in the tech world.
Thanks to Megan for generously sharing your valuable insights on starting a career in tech. Exploring networking, bravery, and learning through your perspective was truly enlightening. If you're eager for more captivating narratives from our exceptional team members, don't hesitate to visit our careers blog.