Career Lessons for Women in Tech from the Grace Hopper Conference
Perhaps my most visceral lesson from the recent Grace Hopper conference was “Good lord, Google has a lot of money.”
I attended a Women Techmakers event, sponsored by Google, at Epcot Center on the second night of the conference. They effectively rented out the park after-hours. And they serve damn fine party food.
I was at the conference in large part to give a talk about stock options in privately held companies. While I was there, I also made a point of talking to other attendees. (I am a networking machine at conferences. It’s my super power.)
What could I learn about career success for women in tech, as they move through their careers in the industry, an industry known for sexism and ageism? I don’t have to be a career coach to know that planning for and working on your professional life is essential to professional success.
Retire Early as a Tech Professional
In my engineering days, I loved my job. One of the hardest decisions I ever made was to leave the engineering field, and the only reason I did so was because I loved being a financial advisor even more. (That's a story for another day.) It was hard, and sometimes stressful, but fulfilling, and I know that many of my former colleagues feel the same way. Regardless, I exhort all of you employed tech professionals out there: be prepared to retire before 60.
The Tech Professional's Optimal Path to Wealth
Since tech professionals are by definition knowledge workers, we tend to be smart people. As smart people, we're subject to the Engineer Syllogism—our confidence in our intelligence can lead us into trouble! That said, if we can maintain awareness of our cognitive biases, we can become pretty good DIY investors. Maybe we spend a lot of time researching good long-term stocks. Maybe we design our own low-cost portfolio. Maybe we purchase rental real estate.
Following along with the blogs of financial advisors is a great way to access valuable, educational information about finance — and it doesn’t cost you a thing! Our financial planners love to share their knowledge and help everyone regardless of age or assets.