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Elevate Your Career

By Liisel Jessop.

On March 18, our Women in Big Data (WiBD) Dusseldorf chapter held a virtual event titled “Elevate Your Data Career!”. It was the first chapter event in 2021 and our team was really excited to see the community members and welcome new joiners. During the online event we had a chance to discuss career motivations, options and personal choices with our lovely speakers, Julia Bunzel and Solmaz Karami.

Julia gave her perspective on how to find the right motivation and triggers for the next career move and how to present yourself to land your dream job. Solmaz gave her personal view how to make brave decisions and how to balance the choices and challenges along the career path.

After a brief welcome and introduction by Liisel Jessop, the event was kicked off by Julia. Julia is an experienced recruiter in the tech and data industry. In her talk she asked us to think about our real personal motivations and triggers for changing jobs or career paths. Is it salary, status, company culture or something else entirely? Once we have figured this out, Julia strongly recommends focusing on the things we can do well, and not on things we can’t! She reminded us that most of her clients hire personality over the skills.

Hiring personality, before skills!

In the second half of her presentation, Julia explained the main pillars of professional self-presentation.

Pillars of professional self-presentation

It is not only about the CV and the skills; it all starts on social media, where you can attract the future employers and recruiters, helping you find your dream job, and continues right up to the interview itself. Julia recommended in each step on the journey to stay as authentic and natural as possible, because an experienced HR and recruiter will spot intended or unintended little “brush overs”. The CV writing norms vary from country to country, and it was great to learn the best practices in Germany.

Her talk really resonated well with the audience, who had a number of questions.

You can view Julia’s talk in YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xEN7yfWTmzc and download the slides from our LinkedIn page https://www.linkedin.com/company/wibddus.

Solmaz had a very interesting journey to a leadership role in the Tech industry. Her talk was about her personal experience, challenges and learnings over the course of the time, and which tools have helped (and still help) her at the decision crossroads. “Life is making decisions!” – Solmaz Karami

After a very inspirational opening and introduction, Solmaz explained the anatomy and steps when choosing opportunities and which questions to ask along the way.

Studies have found that, once we are at decision point crossroads, we tend to start reasoning and making decisions with questions that trigger fear, e.g.,  “Do I have what it takes?”. According to Solmaz, the reason is simple— fear has been in our nervous system longer than creative response, and it is our first natural response to change. However, it can discourage us too early.

Does the opportunity outweigh the risk?

She recommends starting the analysis with other questions about self-awareness and perspective, which will be core to the CHOSEN SELF. Then we can move on to fear and learning and persistence, where the GROWTH happens.

The chosen self reflects the person you want to be, and questioning things helps you understand yourself better. Incorporate the feedback from people around you, and reflect on it to gain different perspectives of yourself. This allows you to move along your growth path.

Growth happens when you leave your comfort zone. First you will face fear; only after overcoming fear will you move into the learning and growth zone. Solmaz explained how she had gone through the zones while preparing for her talk, and how that helped her to overcome obstacles, allowing her to grow.  She also explained how the S-curve will help you understand when it is time for a new growth path.

Find Solmaz’s slides on our LinkedIn Page, https://www.linkedin.com/company/wibddus, and a session recording here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQPNZ8sFO3E.

After the talks we had a great closure on wonder.me platform for informal chats and virtual networking. It almost felt like the events we used to have before the pandemic.

We would like to thank all the speakers and everyone who attended. We are looking forward to seeing you all again soon! WiBD Core Team

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