WITI Women | Cindy Nelson Dahm
4. Who has been the most influential person in your life? Why?
My parents have been and continue to be the most influential people in my life. My mother is the font of organization and time-management. She is the list-maker and the most action-oriented project manager I've ever known. Job undone? When will it be done? Who will do it? My father is Mr. Analytical Business. Is that career in "the mainstream" Cindy? Why would you move to a company that was not the leader in it's field? Do you have the authority/ability to move it to leadership? If not, stay away! My father also bought me difficult books to read every Christmas. Not reading them was unthinkable--and my life is richer as a result.
5. What lessons have you learned that would be valuable to women beginning their
careers in technology?
a. Take the technical training classes. Now. Yes, even the difficult technical courses! Set a goal: one every six months, whatever!
b. Read the industry publications. You cannot know your market without reading what your customers read.
c. Select your management team carefully. Interview them all and make sure you see eye-to-eye on how you'll perform your role. Make sure they understand both your strengths, and don't try to hide weaknesses. They come back to bite you later.
d. Volunteer regularly for jobs that are not in your job description. This prepares you to see your next career move, and others to see you in a different role.
e. Don't stay too long in a "safe" job, even if your personal circumstances aren't perfect. Your added energy for work in a truly stimulating job will make up for every other disadvantage!
f. Move to the international job market. I've just moved my whole family to Europe and we love it! Adventure is not over when you have children. Indeed, thanks to the kids starting school, we've met more families and friends!
g. Be competitive. Make people uncomfortable if you have to. Women shy away from this, trained by society, but don't get sucked in. "She's very aggressive" is a compliment!
6. What new technology do you believe will have the most positive impact on the
world in the next 20 years? The most negative impact?
I think wireless technology will allow people to balance their lives better than they do now. At the same time, people who do not learn to turn-off technology in their personal time will suffer, as will their families.
Cindy Nelson Dahm answers these questions:
1. What was your first job in technology?
2. Who has been your most significant mentor? Why?
3. What has been your greatest challenge and what strategies
did you use to overcome obstacles?
4. Who has been the most influential person in your life?
5. What lessons have you learned that would be valuable to
women beginning their careers in technology?
6. What new technology do you believe will have the most positive
impact on the world in the next 20 years? The most negative impact?
On the lighter side:
1. If you could have dinner with any 2 people (living or not),
who would they be?
2. What was the last book you read? What books do you love to recommend?
3. If you couldn't do what you are doing now, what profession would you choose?
4. What is your definition of success?
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