Mentorship, Networking, and Negotiation: Moving Towards Being a Lady who Leads with Dev Bootcamp

Want to move to the next stage in your career and meet ambitious young pros like you? Join us for FindSpark Next, an immersive professional development event, taking place on Saturday, November 12th, 2016 at The Wix Lounge. We’ll connect you digitally and in-person to an exclusive group of kick-ass professionals. Learn more & apply for tickets at findsparknext.com 


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For women who aspire to leadership positions, building a career is not always a straight road. At Dev Bootcamp we focus on creating an inclusive, welcoming environment for women and people from underrepresented groups in the technology industry to learn to code and build their careers.

Nicole Drummond, a Career Developer at Dev Bootcamp, helps students take the first steps in their new careers. She previously worked in Human Resources for nearly a decade. Nicole shared her insight with Eleanor Whitney, Community Marketing Manager at Dev Bootcamp, about how ladies (and everyone) who aspire to lead can take steps in that direction by cultivating relationships with mentors, moving into strategic positions, building their networks, and knowing their value.

For women who aspire to leadership positions who are early-to-mid in their career, what are steps they can take to put them on the leadership path?
Find a mentor. It doesn’t have to be someone that you work with. For me, out of college, I was temping and I never thought of going into HR and I met a woman who had a really inspiring career. She was second in command on an HR team of 30. She was such a great mentor to me.

Having someone to look up to and to be able bounce ideas off of was massively important to me. I asked her to meet up and took responsibility to maintain that relationship, including setting up meetings and following up. We had a recurring, weekly 15-minute meeting to make time to touch base. I took initiative to maintain that relationship and be accountable to it.

Mentors are also important to guide you on subjects you may not want to ask your boss or HR person about, because it could be someone who you can talk to about questions like “I want to ask for a raise, but I don’t know how to go about it.”

What about networking? How important is that?
Networking with people who are in your same field, but not necessarily in the same company, is crucial. Build up your network and compare how others in your field are doing and how it could be applicable to you. If I could give myself advice five years ago it would be to network the heck out of myself. You never know how the people you meet will help you.

As women build their careers, what should they do to ensure they move into leadership positions?
Learn how to be a strategic player in the business that you are working in. Notice what meetings you are invited to and find out how you can be a part of bigger meetings and conversations at the company. Make yourself part of the strategic planning rather than just the execution of ideas in your department and company. And when you get to those meetings speak up and ensure your voice is heard!

How should those who want to move up prepare to negotiate?
Do your research for salaries in the industry and benchmark what you are making versus others in your field. Speak up, ask for raises, and negotiate continuously. Get the data behind what you are doing. Keep a spreadsheet of what you have accomplished and use that to advocate for what you have done over the past time period.

Have the mindset of you know what you are worth and don’t accept any less. People often settle and think, “It will get better, I can ask for more money down the line,” but you never know. Especially as women, it’s really important we speak up, value ourselves, and know our worth.

What is some actionable advice you have for women who aspire towards leadership and would like to help other women in their careers?
Be a mentor and get a mentor. Give back as much as you receive. Pass it on and work to inspire others.

Have any other leadership tips? Let us know in the comments.


Want to move to the next stage in your career and meet ambitious young pros like you? Join us for FindSpark Next, an immersive professional development event, taking place on Saturday, November 12th, 2016 at The Wix Lounge. We’ll connect you digitally and in-person to an exclusive group of kick-ass professionals. Learn more & apply for tickets at findsparknext.com 

About Dev Bootcamp: Dev Bootcamp is the original, short-term, immersive software development program that transforms those new to coding into job-ready, full-stack web developers. In Dev Bootcamp’s rigorous and supportive environment you will gain a thorough knowledge of software development fundamentals, the metacognitive skills to quickly pick up new programming languages, and the emotional intelligence to land your first job and have a successful, evolving career as a web developer. Find out more at devbootcamp.com

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