I was recently interviewed as a feature member of Women in Digital, a networking group for women working in the digital industry. I think networking groups are a great way to meet other people, learn new skills, and discover areas of growth you might not have considered before. Here’s the interview below and my thoughts on working in the “digital” field (aka, pretty much everywhere), career advice, and common challenges working women face.
Q: Why did you join Women in Digital?
A: I felt like I worked in a bubble and wanted to meet other women working in the industry outside my bubble!
Q: What’s your specialty? What makes you tick?
A: I am a full-fledged multimedia producer – I can shoot, edit, write, manage and just added content strategy to my toolkit! (completed a comprehensive course through the UW). I live and breathe stories – I come from a long line of Irish storytellers and even worked as a teen playing the celtic fiddle in a cabaret for an Irish storytelling performer!
Q: What was your first job out of college?
A: I worked for a crazy filmmaker in Portland Oregon who lived in his van – we travelled to India together to film a documentary, I almost died from an intestinal parasite, and it took him 10 years to edit the doc…..yeesh 🙂
Q: What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?
A: You can be your own best advocate or your own worst enemy…and I see a little of both in you depending on the day (keep yourself in check).
Q: What can you give your fellow members of Women in Digital?
A: The courage to take a leap of faith. I stayed in my past job for 5 years – 2 years longer than I should have because of fear – fear of failing, not finding another job, financial insecurity….getting laid off in January was seriously the best thing that could have happened to me. I am now free of the fear that was keeping me in my place and have no choice but to make it on my own.
Q: What will be your first ask?
A: Support – women need to have each other’s back and reach out more just to say “Hi, I support your courage.” We are asked to carry the emotional weight of the world upon our shoulders at times, and it’s during those times you just need a smile and hear “you got this.”
Q: What does digital mean to you?
A: It’s our life – Digital ceases to be “the other” nowadays. It’s integrated into everything we do – think about what would happen if everything connected to the word “digital” ceased to stop working for even 1 day 🙂 Women in Digital have adapted to this mindset and are the first generation of digital leaders.
Q: What do you think is the greatest challenge facing women today?
A: Actually…..I think it’s ourselves. I hear so many women “stuck” in their career, marriage, and life due to fear. It’s a scary proposition to shoulder more than we currently do – we are caregivers, emotional sponges, household managers, and many of us are also the primary breadwinners. We need to stand up for ourselves more, define our priorities, outline our goals, and practice saying the word “NO” when it comes to the mountain of non-priority obligations we agree to out of guilt.
Q: What do you think we can do to overcome that challenge?
A: Lean into the sharp edges (aka confront and accept the uncomfortable, awkward outcomes that saying NO could result in).
Q: Why do you love digital?
A: I LOVE the storytelling process – everything about it – uncovering the story, creating a connection with the subject, shooting, shaping it through editing, and seeing the result. Digital content has the power to move us, inspire us and change people’s mindsets – it’s an amazing gift.