I’d say success for me would be when I’m content with where I am in my career. I’m happy with where I am right now, but I’m not necessarily content, because there’s a lot more growth and learning I want to achieve.
Tech is such a big part of everyone’s lives nowadays, and is impacting everyone in some way, shape or form. There’s just so much potential for learning and growth in this space, and so many different avenues that one could contribute in. I was just really keen to give it a shot to see what I could learn and how I could contribute.
The biggest hurdle would definitely be my self doubt or lack of belief/confidence in myself. I think as minority/Muslim women, whether its because of our cultures or our upbringing, we somehow always grow up with this sense of self doubt. Of whether we’re good enough. Or if we’re too loud. Or if we should behave or act a certain way. We always keep on second guessing ourselves. Even till now, my biggest weakness is my constant need for validation, for other people to tell me I’m good enough when I should have that belief in myself that I definitely am. That’s something that’s just a constant work in progress.
To be honest, I haven’t faced too many challenges just because I’m a minority woman in tech. I’m extremely fortunate and privileged to have been able to work with exceptional colleagues and friends in the companies I’ve worked with so far.
I’d tell myself two things. Firstly, don’t be scared of how much or how little you might know – have more faith in yourself. Everyone’s on their own learning journey, and everyone is always trying their best. All you have to do is to try your best – ask the questions you want to, ask for help when you need it, and don’t be scared.
Second thing I’d tell myself is to not compare with others, and not worry so much about whether I’m succeeding enough or not. There’s more than enough success to go around for everyone, and all I need to do is to focus on myself.
I would tell her to say yes to most career opportunities; there will be something to learn even in the simplest of tasks especially as a younger person starting her career. I would also tell her to not worry about not knowing everything; there will be too many things anyway. Simply hone your craft. Be good at the form of tech you are pursuing, and no one can take that skill away from you. Most importantly, find a way to use your skill to help others.
Career wise, I hope I’ll be more of an expert in my field, and be more sure of myself. Hopefully in a more senior role, with more responsibilities and perhaps managing people.