Episode 209 – Know What You Want and Periodically Review Your Career Direction with Cassidy Williams

 In Podcasts

Phil’s guest on this episode of the IT Career Energizer podcast is Cassidy Williams. She is a software engineer at CodePen and the director of outreach at cKeys. Previously, she has worked for Amazon, L4 Digital, Clarifai and Venmo.

She also runs a weekly newsletter and loves teaching and helping people become better coders.

In this episode, Phil and Cassidy Williams discuss the benefits of getting involved with the wider community and teaching them tech skills. They talk about the need to constantly evaluate the work you are doing to make sure that it is still right for you. Phil and Cassidy also review how the frontend is changing and what the websites of the future will look like.

 

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

(4.18) TOP CAREER TIP

Know what you don’t want just as much as what you do. If you do not want to work in a certain kind of environment or use a specific tech knowing that is the case is essential.

You have to avoid that kind of work even if it looks like it will take you closer to your dream job. Putting yourself in an uncomfortable place to reach your ultimate goal rarely works out. Usually, you just end up feeling miserable. At which point, it is all too easy to give up on your dream.

 

(6.08) WORST CAREER MOMENT

A few years ago, Cassidy was offered a well-paid job with a good title at Amazon. Despite the fact that it was going to be practically impossible to maintain the level of life-work balance she had been enjoying at her previous firm, she took the job.

For Cassidy, this turned out to be a huge mistake. She no longer had the time to work on side projects and got very little job satisfaction out of her new role. It was a tough way to learn what really mattered to her.

 

(9.04) CAREER HIGHLIGHT

In the podcast, Cassidy shares four great highlights from her career. Including her work at Clarifai which gave her the chance to build a programme from the ground up and share it with the world.

 

(13.28) THE FUTURE OF CAREERS IN I.T

Cassidy is really excited by the direction that frontend development is going in. React, Angular and Vue have really mixed things up and the possibilities are now endless. These more advanced front ends will make websites a lot faster, more functional and accessible.

 

(15.42) THE REVEAL

What first attracted you to a career in I.T.? – Creating her first website is what got Cassidy hooked on IT.

What’s the best career advice you received? – Ask yourself, what’s the worst that could possibly happen? Cassidy finds that thinking this way stops her from worrying too much and unnecessarily holding herself back.

What’s the worst career advice you received? – Sign up for absolutely everything. It will make you better at time management. Following that advice will lead to burn out and leave you working on things you don’t really care about.

What would you do if you started your career now? – Cassidy would start out by working for a large company. Then move onto working with smaller firms and start-ups. In the podcast, she explains how this can benefit your career.

What are your current career objectives? – Cassidy is figuring out how she can earn enough relatively passive income, so she can spend more time working on side projects that interest her.

What’s your number one non-technical skill? – Communication, both speaking and writing. In the podcast, Cassidy explains how she went about developing these skills.

How do you keep your own career energized? – Working on interesting side projects is what keeps Cassidy’s career energized. It is the main way she learns about new tech.

What do you do away from technology? – Cassidy and her husband are musicians, so they both spend a lot of time playing music. She also loves making funny videos and coming up with new jokes.

 

(22.12) FINAL CAREER TIP

Periodically, sit down and have a meeting with yourself about where your career is going. Every quarter or so, review your goals, objectives and what you are working on. Make sure that you are happy with what you are doing and where you are going.

At this stage of the podcast, she shares the questions you should be asking to ensure that you stay on track and enjoying the work that you are doing.

 

BEST MOMENTS

(4.34) – Cassidy – “Know what you don’t want just as much as what you do want.”

(13.06) – Cassidy – “Technical workers should take full advantage of the freedom being able to work from anywhere offers them.”

(18.06) – Cassidy – “Start your career working for a large firm, later you can switch to smaller firms.”

(20.01) – Cassidy – “Learn to effectively communicate what you are thinking and don’t be afraid to ask questions.”

(22.23) – Cassidy – “Periodically, take time out to honestly evaluate your career and ensure the work you are doing will keep you happy.”

 

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 – CASSIDY WILLIAMS

Cassidy Williams is a software engineer at CodePen and the director of outreach at cKeys. Previously she has worked for Amazon, L4 Digital, Clarifai and Venmo.

She also runs a weekly newsletter and loves teaching and helping people become better coders.

 

CONTACT THE GUEST – CASSIDY WILLIAMS

Cassidy Williams can be contacted through the following Social Media platforms:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/cassidoo

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

Website: https://cassidoo.co/

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