Become an Effective Networker and Be Flexible About Your Career with Jennifer Wong

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Jennifer Wong

Jennifer Wong is a former engineer and self-taught software engineer specialising in UI and frontend development.  She has written for Net Magazine and has had projects covered by Mashable, Engadget, Gizmodo and more. She is also an avid conference speaker and a Mozilla Tech speaker.

In this episode, Phil and Jennifer Wong discuss how being flexible about the work you do and pushing yourself to learn completely new skills helps your career. Jennifer also speaks about her experience with sexual harassment in the workplace. Jennifer explains why you need to educate yourself about workplace disciplinary procedures, even if you have not, yet, had any issues. She also discusses how her project “Human Wasteland” helped to make a positive difference to the lives of the homeless in San Francisco.


Jennifer Wong

Resources – Check out Jennifer’s website!

2 Top Career Tips

1) Be flexible about the work you do and how you lead your life. Not being too rigid about your career plans makes it easy to adapt as things change and follow your interests.
2) Become an effective networker. You can never tell which relationship is going to lead the next big thing in your life.

Show Notes

Worst Career Moment

Jennifer experienced sexual harassment in the workplace. She went to HR, yet, the person just got a slap on the wrist. Shockingly, their boss protected them when the issue came to light. Worse, that person continued to abuse others even after Jennifer had left the company. It was an awful experience. One that highlighted to Jennifer the importance of knowing your rights and how workplace disciplinary processes should work. That way, if something goes wrong you do not waste time or end up taking ineffective action.

Career Highlight

Creating Human Wasteland is Jennifer’s career highlight, so far. She took an innovative approach to highlighting the plight of San Francisco’s homeless population. Finding a public toilet is not easy, in the city. So, street defecation is an issue in the city. Jennifer mapped the 311 reports the city receives when this happens. Her innovative project caught the attention of the media. This in turn opened up the chance for Jennifer to talk about solutions for the homeless and play a part in local politics and improving social justice.

The Future

The fact that anyone can now potentially work as a programmer is an exciting prospect. Jennifer can see this new wave of people coming up with lots of truly new and innovative ideas.

The Reveal

What first attracted you to a career in I.T.?

Jennifer was inspired to get involved in IT when a friend of hers learned HTML and CSS and started building her own websites.

What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?

You will always feel you don’t know enough. Don’t worry about this, everyone still has so much to learn.

What is the worst career advice you’ve ever received?

Don’t worry about learning new skills just use the ones you already have. There is a real danger your existing skills will one day become redundant.

If you had to begin your career again in today’s world, what would you do?

Jennifer would have began her IT career earlier.

What career objectives are you currently focusing on?

Identifying and learning some of the skills she currently has zero knowledge of. In the podcast, Jennifer explains how she is using side projects to achieve this goal.

What’s the number one non-technical skill that has helped you in your career so far?


What do you do to keep your own career energized?

Jennifer finds that working on side projects energises her. It pushes her to learn how to use new tools and languages.

What do you do in your spare time away from technology?

Jennifer volunteers for the League of Women Voters and co-leads the Police Commission observer court.

Contact The Guest

Contact Jennifer Wong through the following social media platforms:



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Tips & advice for advancing your career. Get my most powerful tips FOR FREE. No spam, ever.

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