Every day I seem to come across some type of post on my Twitter feed asking, “why are there so few women in tech?”. The latest Tweet was a woman looking for more role models and mentors for women in tech. The author of the post claimed she didn’t see enough experienced women in their thirties, forties fifties sixties and above.
A thread soon started on her post of women thirty and up raising their virtual hands that they were indeed still in tech. I think that’s great. It is an inspiring thread. I enjoyed reading the short snippets of women’s careers starting at the time of coding computers the size of rooms to devs beginning their careers.
I wonder though, what the author is looking for in mentorship. Hopefully, she feels less alone although being the only woman in the room never bothered me. I think there’s power being one of the only women in the room. I wonder what makes other women stick around in tech until their sixties. I’m no stranger to the burnout but the pure enjoyment of seeing technology positively influence people’s lives brings me back every time.
I can understand why women may get burned out in tech. It’s a fast-paced world. Clients are demanding. There’s always something new to learn whether it’s a programming language, development methodology, or working in global, fluctuating teams. There are long hours and high expectations.
“Choose to focus on what is good and right in your work and in your life and pursue continuous improvement from that position of strength.” – Wayne M. Sotile, The Medical Family Resilience Challenge
However, we can choose to be resilient in the face of these challenges. We can choose to own what we can control. That’s what I learned in a recent issue of Physician Family Magazine. My husband works in medicine which is another field that is challenged by burnout, not just for the professional but also for families of medical professionals. To help overcome this problem, Wayne M. Sotile, Julia Sotile Orlando, Mary O. Sotile and Rebecca Sotile Fallon issued a resilience challenge. I thought the points were also great takeaways for those experiencing burnout in tech.
6 Resiliency Tactics for Women in Tech
Respect the power of resilience
Resilience is more than overcoming misfortune or change. Resilient people come out of a struggle stronger, wiser, and with renewed energy. The first time I took the CAPM exam, I failed the test. Instead of giving up, I went back to the drawing board. I got help from my mentor and tried a new study method. I had low expectations when I went to re-take the test. But I passed!”Resilience correlates with quality of work, quality of family life and personal health and happiness. Simply put, resilient people tend to be more happy and successful in life.”
Make small, healthy, self-nurturing, and relationship-nurturing choices
Making daily, small choices leads to an overall resilient life. When you notice yourself in a negative coping pattern, try making a choice to do something positive instead. “Resilience comes from small choices about how you think, manage yourself and relate to others.”
Intentionally notice the good
Negative news seems constantly to show up on our social media feeds. Daily hassles can bog us down and those around us. Practice resilience by looking for the positive in these times. It will take work but developing the habit of noticing the silver lining pays off for ourselves, our teams, and our families.
Choose “good work” over the hustle
I don’t know about you but I am constantly bombarded with messages that it takes hustling, hacking, and an “I can sleep when I’m dead” mentality to be successful. However, this mindset compounded with comparing our lives to those on social media can lead to burn out. She developed an app already! My friend completed #100daysofcode. She’s only 25 and already is a CEO at her own startup…the list goes on. If we’re looking to avoid burnout and enjoy what we do we need to recognize that “good work is good for resilience”.
The authors define “good work” as “work that matches your values, that you can do approximately to the best of your abilities, that is done with people you enjoy collaborating with, and that begets support from your loved ones”. We can’t always control our work/life balance but we can focus on doing “good work”.
Don’t let stress define how you communicate
The authors recommend to “pay particular attention if you find yourself thinking in terms of “problem” colleagues or “bad” relationships in your personal life.” There are countless articles and books on communication styles in the workplace. Start with considering your own style in how you address colleagues before writing them off. Oftentimes, overcoming miscommunication relieves stress and tension that leads to burnout.
Deepen your relationships
The woman who reached out on Twitter for other Women in Tech did the right thing. Relationships, like those with a mentor or close peer, are “powerful predictors of resilience” according to the authors. Show appreciation for your teammates’ contributions to foster an environment of recognition and gratitude. If you don’t feel appreciated for your contributions, it might be time to look for a new place to work.
Read the full article at Physicianfamilymedia.org.
Do you use resilience tactics in your life? How do you keep from burnout? Let me know in the comments below and thank you for reading.