A pivotal mindset shift occurred in my first year of working at TechChange. It was ignited during a check-in with my manager, TechChange Chief Technology Officer, Will Chester, who became one of my mentors.
During our check-in, Will and I discussed opportunities for additional responsibilities in the company. In his kind, patient manner, he talked about the importance of fully executing my current responsibilities and demonstrating capabilities that showed beyond doubt that more responsibility could be added to my plate.
I was initially surprised by our discussion because I felt like I had been checking all the items on my responsibility list:
- Responding to clients on time
- Learning about the online learning platform and troubleshoot issues
- Passing along feedback from partners to software engineers.
I went back home that day still reflecting on our conversation. Then, it dawned on me! I was doing the exact things listed in my job description; nothing more; nothing less. In a culture, where everyone’s impact can be felt, there was definitely a lot more that I could do. I was barely working at my full potential in my first year. Now, I knew it, what was I going to do about it?
My reflection resulted in a mindset shift. This led me to talk to people to gain ideas about how I could contribute further and leverage my influence to start taking more initiative on tasks. I started testing out ideas, learnt the value of creating processes, and built upon existing systems.
My reformed checklist looked like this:
- Proactively anticipating our partners needs by scheduling regular check-ins.
- Implementing internal processes and systems that were scalable across teams.
- Finding my voice and becoming more assertive in our tech team meetings as well as being an advocate for our partners.
I believed in and loved our learning platform. It pushed me to creatively think beyond the platform features in the courses that I designed. I became even more passionate about working to shape the platform. Working alongside dedicated co-workers pushed me to be a better version of myself.
In summary, I learnt the value of going the extra mile and this started bearing fruit. I got promoted to Senior Platform Manager in my second year and that was even more of an opportunity to collaborate with the technical team, conduct user tests, inform platform features and deploy platform documentation on GitLab. My promotion was also a chance for me to engage on an even deeper level with the twenty plus partners I managed.
Working at the intersection of our creative design, instructional design and technical teams to deliver accessible courses in healthcare and education across the world has taught me the value of education with technology as a vehicle. This influenced the choice of my next steps and my Master’s program, “Learning, Design and Technology”.
I’m leaving my role at TechChange with meaningful experiences and I’m grateful for the opportunities. As I transition from work to graduate school at Stanford University, I’m grateful. I’m thankful for meaningful relationships with partners, thankful for coworkers that became friends outside of work, and thankful for managers who became mentors. I’ll miss my TechChange family but I know the relationships we’ve built will last a lifetime.