4 April 2013

Lean In | A Leap of Faith

This post is long overdue...partly because I have been a little busy with studying for an exam.

One of my very first posts on this blog, I discussed my career goals and some of the Microsoft exams I wanted to do before my two years was up at work. With crazy work schedules and generally being busy I had put off doing the exams. Not because I wasn't studying for them but probably the fear of failing them. As I am now heading towards my two year anniversary(July 2013) I found myself asking 'if not now, then when Bee?' I hate having to re-do exams so in a bid to only do them once it appears I have let a year go by without having done any. Also with the many opportunities the came by it was preferable to gain more experience being on projects within Technical Infrastructure and Application Development. Although this meant I didn't have as much time to allocate to dedicating time to exams, it meant I was gaining valuable experience using the very technology that I was hoping to get certified in.

I am happy to say that after losing out on the four-day bank holiday to studying I completed my first Microsoft exam; 70-410 Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012 on Tuesday. Yay!! 

Having feared failure for such a long time, so many little successes have added up to get me to the point where I thought to myself, whats the worst that could happen? Seriously, was putting off doing the exam, really something that would help with my career, all because I was scared of not passing the exam? Easter was here and it was time to suck it up!!!

Having worked with encouraging co-workers and having recently been told that people at work viewed me as an 'extraordinary woman' during March's month of celebrating the progress women have made (IWD) gave me the little confidence boost I needed to to go for it. 
'We asked colleagues from each of the Areas to tell us colleagues that they would describe as an “extraordinary woman,” and you have been identified!'
Here are some of the answers I gave to the questions sent to me for the IWD celebrations at Avanade.

·         How do you make sure you have time to pursue your passions while delivering at work?  It’s a tough balance to strike sometimes, especially when you are on a busy project. I believe it’s important to try and have some sort of balance because if both sides; professional and personal don’t feel fulfilled then your productivity may suffer and your personal pursuit for happiness may soon follow.  For me it helps that I have varied interests so sometimes when I feel awful about not having a lot of time to go on rock climbing trips with friends I can pick up my Nikon, a hot chocolate, take to the London streets and indulge my photography interests.
·         You’ve been named an extraordinary woman, what’s your secret? Firstly I am honored that someone actually thought of me as an extraordinary woman. I don’t necessarily have a secret. I think having a sense of humour definitely helps. Being able to laugh at what life may throw at you; if good, you laugh and enjoy the moment and if bad you still laugh because you never saw it coming and then get on with things.·         Who do you look to as a role model, why? There are plenty of women I admire from those that I work with to those that have come and gone in my life. If I had to pick, it would be my mother and grandmother; two ridiculously funny women and fiercely independent in their own right. From them I learnt  how important self-belief and having a support network around is in achieving one’s personal or professional goals because we don’t really achieve anything on our own; it’s a result of those people around us.

I worked on the technology, I have practiced and read until I was falling asleep on text books. So it was time. So beginning of March I set a date and said to myself to just have faith and stick it out. I also forgot about the Easter Bank Holiday and booked my exam for the 2nd April. Immediately after the holidays but thought I have to just do it and it paid off. The goal is to do another two of the 411 and 412 for the MCSA certification.

I have also been reading and getting involved in career discussions on LeanIn and LevoLeague, two fantastic resources with great career advice. I also like that Levo League now has a new mentoring feature where you can ask questions. My exam result and many other small/big things all add up and I continue to learn that I(we) are all capable of a lot more than the limitations that we set upon ourselves and allow others to set upon  us. So be a little braver, whether its with an exam, an appraisal, a job interview. Work at it and have faith in yourself. Whats the worst that could happen?! You could actually succeed.

For anyone doing the same exam I did:

I had been on a Technical Infrastructure project for a year using SCCM, MDT, Powershell scripting and Active directory. I also found the Train Signal  70-410 course to be very useful as you have videos and someone showing you how its done. I also worked through the Microsoft training guide. I have Windows 8 on my laptop with HyperV so I installed Server 2012 and practiced working through the training guide. There are plenty of resources online such as Early Expert Challenge and Microsoft's Virtual Academy are all fantastic resources but if you have any questions please feel free to Tweet me, Facebook or email....

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Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, Careers, Career Changes, International Women's Day, IT Consulting, Women In IT, Career goals, 

1 comment:

  1. Finally linking up with my Friday Flash Blog community. Thanks for linking up and sharing in the fun! Have a terrific week and see you on Friday.