Episode 193 – Set Fulfilling Career and Life Goals and Review Them Regularly with Sarah Guthals

 In Podcasts

Phil’s guest on this episode of the IT Career Energizer podcast is Sarah Guthals. She is currently a Senior Program Manager for Microsoft, focused on education. She received a PhD in Computer Science from UCSD in 2014. During graduate school, she co-founded ThoughtSTEM, a company that teaches children to code through software and courses.

She is also author of a dozen technical books targeted at students and was recently named in Forbes 30 under 30 list and UCSD’s 40 under 40 alumni.

In this episode, Phil and Sarah Guthals discuss why you need to review the direction your life and career is taking, every 6 months, or so. They also talk about imposter syndrome and how it damages everyone, rather than just you.

Sarah explains why you need to tailor the work you do to fit in with your unique skill set, an approach that benefits everyone. She also shares a simple tip that will enable you to become more effective at negotiating pay and benefits packages.

 

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

(5.24) TOP CAREER TIP

Check-in with yourself regularly. You need to remember you are a growing and evolving person. What worked for you six months ago may not be right for you now.

Checking your goals and what you are doing regularly can be life-changing. Do this with all aspects of your life and you will become much happier.

 

(9.30) WORST CAREER MOMENT

Sarah wasted 3 months working on an educational project that she knew, because of her experience, was not viable. Unfortunately, she had not realised that her new colleagues at Microsoft did not know everything she did about K12 education. So, when a solution she believed was not workable was suggested, she went along with it, instead of speaking up.

She had made the classic mistake of feeling that the Microsoft team had to know more than she did. In reality, on this occasion, it was her that was the expert. Her feelings of being an imposter stopped her from speaking up, earlier. In that situation, she really was the expert.

 

(12.08) CAREER HIGHLIGHT

Sarah’s first job was her career highlight. In that role, she realised she was not tied into one career trajectory. If she did not enjoy something she could simply switch direction.

This realisation inspired her to make each job her own. She now tailors each role to fit in with her skillset. As a result, she is always working in a way she enjoys, which means she thrives.

 

(14.01) THE FUTURE OF CAREERS IN I.T

Cloud availability means that all kinds of people can use tech to solve their problems and make their lives much easier. Everything people need to make things happen is far more accessible than ever before.

 

(16.52) THE REVEAL

What first attracted you to a career in I.T.? – The fact that the IT community is a truly collaborative one is what drew her to a tech career.

What’s the best career advice you received? – When negotiating wages, remember you are not asking the person in front of you for the money. You are asking for the company’s money.

What’s the worst career advice you received? – If you get a PhD, you cannot work in the tech industry.

What would you do if you started your career now? – Study other disciplines. Sarah explains why in the podcast.

What are your current career objectives? – Integrating education into everything she works on.

What’s your number one non-technical skill? – Empathy, which is a skill that also enables you to become an effective communicator.

How do you keep your own career energized? – Sarah sets herself goals and reviews them regularly.

What do you do away from technology? – Sarah loves visiting Disneyland. She also enjoys movies and writing.

 

(21.22) FINAL CAREER TIP

Remember that you are a whole person. It is not just about your career. Put yourself first and the rest will follow.

Diverse experiences are critical when it comes to solving problems. So, it is good for everyone when you are yourself and take care of your personal needs.

 

BEST MOMENTS

(9.07) – Sarah – “Regularly, review your goals and ask yourself if they are still worth the level of effort you are putting in.”

(11.13) – Sarah – “Even if you feel like an imposter, speak up. Ask questions, you will learn and may teach others something too.”

(12.48) – Sarah – “Work to make your role fit in better with your skills and strengths to become happier and more productive.”

(17.18) – Sarah – “Wage negotiations are not personal. It is the company’s money you are asking for, not the person’s in front of you.”

(19.43) – Sarah – “Developing empathy automatically leads to you becoming a better communicator.”

(21.22) – Sarah – “Remember, you’re not just your career. You are a whole person.”

 

ABOUT THE HOST – PHIL BURGESS

Phil Burgess is an independent IT consultant who has spent the last 20 years helping organisations to design, develop and implement software solutions. Phil has always had an interest in helping others to develop and advance their careers. And in 2017 Phil started the I.T. Career Energizer podcast to try to help as many people as possible to learn from the career advice and experiences of those that have been, and still are, on that same career journey.

 

CONTACT THE HOST – PHIL BURGESS

Phil can be contacted through the following Social Media platforms:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/philtechcareer

LinkedIn: https://uk.linkedin.com/in/philburgess

Facebook: https://facebook.com/philtechcareer

Instagram: https://instagram.com/philtechcareer

Website: https://itcareerenergizer.com/contact

Phil is also reachable by email at [email protected] and via the podcast’s website, https://itcareerenergizer.com

Join the I.T. Career Energizer Community on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/groups/ITCareerEnergizer

 

ABOUT THE GUEST – SARAH GUTHALS

Sarah Guthals is currently a Senior Program Manager for Microsoft, focused on education. She received a PhD in Computer Science from UCSD in 2014. During graduate school, she co-founded ThoughtSTEM, a company that teaches children to code through software and courses.

She is also author of a dozen technical books targeted at students and was recently named in Forbes 30 under 30 list and UCSD’s 40 under 40 alumni.

 

CONTACT THE GUEST – SARAH GUTHALS

Sarah Guthals can be contacted through the following Social Media platforms:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sarahguthals

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sguthals/

Website: https://guthals.com/

Recommended Posts
Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text.

Start typing and press Enter to search