Gen Kallos is the Director of Production Solutions and a star member of the Cimpress Tech Ops leadership team, with 14+ years of experience in the software and information technology industry. Her outstanding project planning, organizational design, vendor management and resource balancing skills give Gen the ability to drive initiatives and lead teams.
We caught up with Gen when she spoke at the recent Women in Tech luncheon in our Lexington office and delivered her top recommendations for women in tech:
#1: SIT NEXT TO THE BOSS
It’s all about accessibility. Give your boss a glimpse into what you’re working on, get (otherwise unavailable) insight into what he or she is working on and you’ll soon find yourself the go-to person for bouncing ideas off of. Be visible.
#2: CONTINUALLY PUSH YOURSELF OUTSIDE OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE
Sure, it’s going to feel uncomfortable and daunting to take on responsibility outside of your existing skillset, but recognize it as an opportunity. Why not take it?
#3: ASK FOR AND ACCEPT HELP
The “ask” part is the most difficult for me. I tend to wait too long, get too deep into something and then end up having to accept help anyway. This is true for the office as well as at home. If you can figure out where you will need help from the get-go and enlist it early, everyone wins.
#4: ESTABLISH CREDIBILITY
Asking questions is a great way to establish your credibility, whether to understand the goals of a project or the motivations of a direct report. The reality is that women tend to have a harder time establishing credibility, especially in the technology industry, so while most people’s definition of a “blank slate” starts at zero, I feel like women start at negative five. No matter how what my role or title is, I will never stop asking questions. Establishing credibility is a pre-req for working with people. It’s all about trust.
#5: TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS AND ADVOCATE FOR THEM
When I look back at times when I didn’t follow my instincts, it was because I assumed I had no choice in the matter or that others knew better. I’ve learned that when your instincts are clear and strong, you should listen to them.
All of these tips lead to and are an integral part of one thing – collaboration. The fun comes when you’re working on a team toward the same goal. My intent is not to climb the ladder; it’s to enjoy what I do and make an impact.