How These Companies Are Celebrating Pride (Virtually!) in 2020
By April, most of us knew that Pride month would look and feel different this year. And by May, not only did we know it would look and feel different, we knew that it should. It wouldn't be right to celebrate Pride without acknowledging the contributions of the Black trans women who led the Stonewall Riots 51 years ago and made Pride as we know it today possible — Pride began with a protest, and although Pride parades have been cancelled this year, many LGBTQ+ individuals are celebrating by supporting the Black Lives Matter movement in the fight against racism and police brutality.
In a year that has been marked by so much change, uncertainty, and devastation, it's never been more important to celebrate everything that Pride stands for: self-affirmation, dignity, and equality.
Here's how 22 of our partner companies are keeping the spirit of Pride alive in their workplaces, reminiscing about Pride celebrations and parades from years past, and most importantly, advocating for equality for LGBTQ+ individuals this month and all year round:
"At PwC, we are committed to a culture of belonging where diverse individuals can form a genuine community. Pride Month is an opportunity for the firm and our people to demonstrate that purpose and inclusion. Throughout June, external articles, #PwCPride social media, and a video will feature PwCers courageously sharing their coming-out stories, highlighting supportive benefits and explaining why they can bring their whole selves to work.
We also look forward to virtually celebrating with various activities focused on advocating, educating, and entertaining during Pride Month.The PwC US National Shine Committee will be hosting a Pride trivia night, fundraising for AIDS/LifeCycle, and streaming a national Pride Month webcast."
Learn more about PwC here.
Flatiron Health, Inc.
"Though we can't be together in-person this Pride, we can still strengthen our community and bring it together. While we are hosting virtual events, including a cooking class and a panel, we are placing an emphasis on recognizing our history, remembering the BIPOC (Black Indigenous People of Color) and TGNC (Trans/Gender Non-Conforming) folx who led uprisings against police brutality and violence. We are educating ourselves and our allies on systemic racism and appropriation within our LGBTQ+ community, and determining actions we can take to ensure long-lasting change."
Learn more about Flatiron Health, Inc here.
Bristol Myers Squibb
"Our team has developed a set of virtual activities that promise to be engaging, informative, and fun, all aligned with our four priorities for the year: Addressing Covering and Inclusion in the workplace through our Keynote storytelling event, supporting colleagues' professional development, advancing external recruiting through social media, and educating our workforce on the work BMS is supporting to positively impact LGBTQ+ health disparities. We'll also create a virtual mosaic pride flag from pictures our members submit that we'll reveal at the end of June!"
Learn more about Bristol Myers Squibb here.
"PagerDuty has long celebrated Pride, and our colleagues look forward to Pride Week each year. Our challenge: how can we give them the same great experience when everyone is working from home? Our RainbowDuty employee resource group looked at the past events and found some that are Zoom-friendly: our always-popular panel discussion and our screening of selected TED talks. We also adapted some of our other activities - our "wear a Pride color" events changed to "color your Zoom background", for example. And we replaced some events, such as our happy hours, with more virtual-friendly activities like a trivia night."
Learn more about PagerDuty here.
"Freddie Mac - Celebrating Pride Month Virtually at Freddie Mac - Our Pride employee resource group (ERG) is hosting virtual activities and programs throughout Pride Month to celebrate and honor the diversity of our community. In lieu of the 2020 Pride Parade, Pride ERG members will showcase what Pride means to them in a virtual parade of Tik Tok videos and other talents streamed via Microsoft Teams. Mid-month, Pride is teaming up with our Working Parents ERG to host an LGBTQ+ parenting panel that covers everything from advice around children coming out to their family to understanding Freddie Mac's adoption benefits — and more. Later in the month, we're bringing in bi+ activist and speaker Robin Ochs to lead a training on the bisexual, pansexual and fluid employee experience in the workplace based on data from her studies."
Learn more about Freddie Mac here.
Teachers Pay Teachers (TpT)
"TpT is celebrating Pride Month with a number of events and experiences led by Flora, ourLGBTQ Employee Resource Group. This year, like the rest of the world, we're going virtual! The group will organize everything from Pride events to a panel discussion featuring a few LGBTQ members from our 150k+ seller community.
Additionally, our marketing team is assembling branded blog posts and features with our greater community of 6M+ educators."
Learn more about TpT here.
- Trivia through Kahoot and topics include
- Pop culture references - 80s/90s
- LGBTQ Celebrities
- Rupaul's Drag Race
- Wearing rainbow the entire day
- Sharing a Pride playlist for people to enjoy
- Host a Quip LGBTQ panel with volunteers and moderator."
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
Watch the video above to learn more about support for LGTBQ+ employees and past pride celebrations at National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.
Learn more about National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency here.
Kin + Carta
"Kin + Carta is celebrating Pride with a theme of #YouUsMeWe which calls on each of us to reach out and understand one another, demanding us to be better allies within our communities. Themes of intersectionality have been incorporated into every piece of our celebrations — educating our Kin on the existing intersections within the LGBTQIA+ community (race, gender, socioeconomic class, age, disability, etc.) Kin + Carta has planned an allyship workshop, a panel discussion, a pub quiz, and educational materials for employees. These Pride events and materials are intended to strengthen the ways we support and advocate for one another at Kin + Carta."
Learn more about Kin + Carta here.
"Historically, Pride is celebrated with large outdoor events around the world. Due to the current pandemic, we're doing things a little differently this year. Elastic's Source Code invites employees to come "As YOU Are" to Elastic, so we've created Pride-themed Zoom backgrounds for folks to download to celebrate our LGBTQA+ employees virtually throughout the month of June. Elastic is also matching our employee donations to LGBTQIA + organizations throughout the month of June. To learn more about about our Pride celebrations read this blog post → https://go.es.io/2XzwgPB"
Learn more about Elastic here.
"At Spotify, our Pride theme this year is "Unlike Any Other." Now more than ever this theme rings true. On our platform, we welcome back the Pride Hub for playlists and podcasts that amplify LGBTQAI + creators and, in particular, Queer Black voices via our "The House of…" playlists. In addition our Kids App will be featuring a Pride playlist this year called, Love is Love, aimed to inspire self acceptance. For our employees we're doing a day long virtual celebration and have rolled out special Pride email signatures, Zoom backgrounds and pronoun stickers. We will continue to celebrate Pride all year in our different markets around the world. Follow @spotifyjobs on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram."
Learn more about Spotify here.
"MongoDB is hosting a session to amplify intersectional voices within the LGBTQ+ community. This is part of "Decoding Inclusion," an internal series aimed at building community and sharing foundational knowledge about D&I topics to further our understanding of differences. There are two affinity groups that aim to maintain a safe space for the community; Queeries, for those identifying as LGBTQ+ or questioning, and Underrepresented Genders in Tech (UGT) for people of underrepresented genders in technical roles. This June, MongoDB will also host events for employees around the globe, including "The ABCs of LGBT+," drag bingo, and more."
Learn more about MongoDB here.
T. Rowe Price
"T. Rowe Price is offering virtual Pride experiences globally. We are connecting our associates to Global Pride 2020, a virtual celebration of Pride featuring musical performances, speeches, and key messages from human rights activists across the globe. Associates are also participating in the Denver Virtual Pride Parade, through a video montage. For the first time ever, the T. Rowe Price headquarters will display rainbow lights in support of our associates, friends, and family members in the LGBTQ+ starting June 15th. The firm continues to match associates' donations to nonprofits that address key issues important to the LBGT community."
Learn more about T. Rowe Price here.
"In celebration of Pride Month, Spectrum, S&P Global's LGBTQ+ & Friends Employee Resource Group, is hosting several virtual events to mark the occasion. Spectrum's Mexico City chapter will lead a discussion for employees across North America and Latin America on building a more inclusive world. Spectrum's Singapore chapter will host a virtual lunch for their members the day prior to the Singapore Pink Dot celebration. In addition, S&P Global will share profiles of our LGBTQ+ colleagues internally and on social media. All of our actions and messages to mark Pride Month are in solidarity with the members of our Black community at this critical time."
Learn more about S&P Global here.
"Last year, employees from Priceline, as well as our parent and sister companies, marched together in the Pride Parade in New York.
This year, Priceline will be honoring Pride Month by incorporating it in Project QuaranTEAM (Quarantine Engagement Program). Next week, we are asking employees to include rainbow colors in their Zoom backgrounds as well as dress up in tie-dye and/or rainbow colors on Wednesday (Wednesday is Priceline Pride Day). We wish everyone a healthy, safe and happy Pride Month!"
Learn more about Priceline here.
"Last month, Karat unveiled a new candidate feature that asks candidates their preferred pronouns. Below are a couple of quotes from the team addressing why this was an important project to prioritize this year, and how we went about making the changes to be as inclusive and sensitive as possible: "We've all been on the candidate side at least once if not many many times. We apply, interview, and all the while hope that not only are we communicating ourselves in our most authentic versions but that we're being accepted and celebrated too. Karat plays such a fundamental role in that process. We have the opportunity to lean into our candidates' stories and lift them up. The pronoun selector is just one of many ways we try to recognize and celebrate our candidates to ensure they're recognized and celebrated at work." - Irena Lam (she/her), Karat Senior Product Manager
"All interviews are at heart a conversation, the hopeful start of a long working relationship. Accurately recording a candidate's name and pronouns is a small part of building a healthy work relationship, one that not only sets up coworkers to gracefully meet and refer to a new hire without hesitation or confusion or embarrassment but also sets up new hires to shine and contribute their full potential." - Lusen Mendel (they/them), Karat Director of Developer Relations
"Our design team researched extensively to ensure we approached this feature with intention and care. We learned it's key not just to know exactly why we're asking for it but to communicate that transparently with the candidate. English as a second language was another important perspective our product designer considered, to ensure our language was clear for folks more familiar with English pronouns or less." - Irena Lam (she/her), Karat Senior Product Manager
Learn more about Karat, Inc. here.
"Across the country, Deloitte's Inclusion Councils are celebrating Pride with virtual events, including a Pride-themed Zoom background contest, Pride trivia, and hosting important discussions on advancing inclusion. Our people are also supporting the LGBTQ+ community through giving and virtual volunteering."
Learn more about Deloitte LLP here.
"Moody's strongly supports our LGBT employees and are proud to be named a top employer by the Human Rights Campaign and Stonewall UK. For Pride Month 2020, we have created a global Pride Calendar, encouraging our employers to research and learn about LGBT history each day in June. This year, as we cannot celebrate in person, we are hosting several virtual activities around the world, such as trivia nights, fireside chats and documentary screenings, as well as participating in the virtual AIDS Walk in New York City. Additionally, we are proudly displaying our rainbow Moody's logo across all online platforms."
Learn more about Moody's Corporation here.
"Although bummed we can't celebrate Pride with in-person events, we are excited to try it virtually. Latticians have put together the following events for Lattice:
- MasterClass: "RuPaul Teaches Self-Expression and Authenticity"
- Pride Happy Hour
- Movie Night: "How to Survive a Plague" with a discussion, and a fundraiser."
Learn more about Lattice here.
"At Relativity, our LGBTQ+ focused Community Resource Group, Relativity Pride, has planned for a month full of programming to celebrate and recognize Pride Month. From social media posts in our Pride gear, a trivia night, and special Zoom backgrounds, to a panel about Allies and how they can contribute to experiences within the LGBTQ+ community, it will be a month of learning, supporting, and sharing stories, with celebration mixed in. In addition to our internal plans, Relativity is a sponsor of the Lesbians Who Tech Global Pride Summit on June 22-26."
Learn more about Relativity LLC here.
Raytheon Intelligence & Space
"During Pride month, we commemorate the positive impact that the LGBTQ community has had on society. We are proud to see Raytheon Intelligence & Space create a culture of inclusion so everyone can bring their whole self to work,"- David Broadbent and Eric Ditmars, Raytheon Intelligence & Space executive diversity champions
Learn more about Raytheon Intelligence & Space here.
"This Pride Month, we're celebrating the people that made LGBTQ+ history, those who took on the fight for equal rights that we continue today. These groundbreaking heroes made art, policy, and culture that changed this country for the better. As part of Guru's ongoing commitment to fight racism, we are specifically celebrating the Black heroes who are often overlooked in LGBTQ+ history. We've created several Zoom backgrounds to help celebrate."
You can view the Zoom backgrounds and learn more about some of the heroes Guru is celebrating here.
Learn more about Guru Technologies here.
We asked 30+ women how you can make 2021 your best year yet.
Resolutions are one thing. Goals are another.
How do you move from vaguely hopeful statements about what 2021 will mean for you personally and professionally to thoughtful plans that are likely to come to fruition?
1. Make goal setting a ritual.<p>Sure, a new year is just a change of date, an arbitrary way to mark time. But if we create meaning around it, it can become something else entirely. Carmen Kelly, Training & Development Team Leader at <a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/quicken-loans" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Quicken Loans</a>, likes to see it as a real beginning. "I enjoy embracing the fresh, new year with hope of what could be, and a huge part of that is goal setting," she says. "Having goals in life is essential. Even creating goals for different areas of your life is key. This can help with making sure you are balancing out all critical aspects of your life that are most important to you."</p> <p>Starting with reflection can help make sure that your goals are well-connected to where you are mentally, personally, and professionally. "I always start with reflecting on my past to gain better understanding of myself," says Ankita Patel, Principal Software Engineer at <a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/clarus-commerce" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Clarus</a>. "What my capabilities are versus what I really foresee myself doing in next quarter or so. It allows me to see where I stand, what difficulties I have faced, and to shift my perspective from doubting myself to believing in myself. It forms the baseline of starting fresh and helping me plan for my future."</p><p>For Jess Tsai, VP of Business Operations at <a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/vts" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">VTS</a>, the ritual of goal setting begins with a long journaling session. "I reflect on the last year and rate myself on a scale of 1-10 for how happy I am in these ten areas: health, emotional/mental, relationships (friends/family), love/romance, service, learning/personal growth, experiences, spirituality, career, and finances," she says. "In the areas where I scored lower, I reflect on why. Then I go through each area and write out in detail what my life would look like if I scored 10 in each area, and try to visualize that life and feel like I'm already there. Depending on my scores and what's most important to me right now, I set some intentions for where I want to focus for the year."</p>
2. Build around your values.<p>Disparate goals scattered across different aspects of life aren't as likely to motivate you as one set of goals that coalesce around a theme, says Jac Le, a Senior Territory Sales Representative at <a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/autodesk-inc" target="_blank">Autodesk</a>. "Whether or not you're conscious of it, values are the foundation of goals, dreams, character, and decision making," she says. "Instead of creating New Year Resolutions, I create a Theme that I want to focus on for the year, which is based on my values. It can be a word or phrase. From there, every goal set throughout the year is measured in alignment with that Theme to ensure that my goals are an expression and enhancement to my values instead of a stressor to check off."</p> <p>If you're having trouble thinking of a good place to start from, or naming the values that drive your everyday life, Dipabali Chowdhury, a Learning & Development Specialist at <a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/mongodb" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">MongoDB</a>, has advice that can help. "The more self-awareness you can build, the more specific your goals will be and the more motivated you will be. Sometimes, we set goals without understanding what's important to us. We follow someone else's compass instead of our own," she says. She suggests asking yourself reflection questions: "When I was happy at work, what contributed to that joy? When and why was I frustrated at work? What mindsets held me back from achieving my goals this year? What challenges did I overcome? What are my natural strengths? What skills, knowledge, or behaviors do I want to build in the new year?"</p> <p>Claire Lucas, Senior Manager, Services Operations at <a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/elastic" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Elastic</a>, suggests beginning with an end vision in mind. "I work backwards," she says. "I journal about my vision for the end of the year, trying to think about it uninhibited from any constraints. I then focus on creating a declaration for myself that will help me break through to reach my goals. The declaration ties together who I am today, and who I need to be in the future to fulfill this goal."</p>
3. Consider making personal and professional goals in harmony.<p>You might have personal goals that are completely unrelated to what you do at work. That's okay! Great, even. But you do need to make sure that they are complimentary at least so far as how they'll be achieved, says Lee Ann Mangels, Senior Director of Program Management at <a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/clyde" target="_blank">Clyde</a>. "Your personal and professional goals have to be somewhat aligned. If you decide to improve your time management in the new year, it will only work if the practice or process you start applies to your home and work life," she says. She gives an example: "Several years ago, I started taking 30 minutes on Sunday afternoon to review the week ahead. What meetings do I need to prepare for? What are we having for dinner? Do I have to coordinate any personal appointments for our family? Investing 30 minutes on Sunday has been a game changer for me."</p>
4. Start big, then whittle down as needed.<p>Being aspirational when you make your goals is key—but so is creating a practical plan to achieve them. "I always try to look at the bigger picture [when goal setting]," says Beatriz Alvarez, Talent Acquisition Sr. Analyst - Recruitment Events Lead at <a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/lockheed-martin" target="_blank">Lockheed Martin</a>. "I try to set a long term goal that seems impossible, making sure it is measurable, down-to-earth, and real—and most importantly, that it is motivating. Once I have my eyes on the prize, I strategize by setting up a group of smaller goals that will help me achieve it."</p><p>That being said, it's important to not lose sight of those aspirations, either. Amanda Fennell, Chief Security Officer at <a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/relativity" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Relativity</a>, has advice for finding the Goldilocks moment between too-easy and too-hard goals, finding the just-right pace where you're pushing yourself: "You never know how far you can go unless you set stretch goals. If I only set goals that I knew I could ace, it would be stacking the deck. I want to know how far I can push myself and in taking this approach, I have achieved some pretty amazing things. As Captain Marvel says: 'Higher, further, faster.'"</p><p>Yasameen Raissinia, APAC Commercial New Business Manager at <a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/smartsheet" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Smartsheet</a>, is a fan of the stretch goal, too. "I always like to push myself either personally or professionally to hit smaller attainable goals that add up to a big audacious goal. For example, I always try to set the goal of getting to the Presidents Club which typically has a goal post of 130%, which is massively difficult to achieve. In order to get there, I try and break down my weeks and my quota to overachieve, and try to give myself smaller goals around numbers of accounts, or contracts I close per week, helping me get to the major and impressive goal!" she says.</p><p>Bridget Barrot, <a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/chainalysis" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Chainalysis</a>'s VP of Customer Success, has a three-step framework for getting that balance right. "The best lesson I've learned about setting goals is they need to be simplistic, realistic, and strategic," she says. "Simplistic: It's important to find things that are easy to measure, so that you can regularly assess them. Anything that requires too much work to analyze will set you up for failure. Realistic: Stretch goals are important, but it's also important to be practical about what you can complete in any quarter or year. When they get too lofty or too numerous, it's easy to just give up on them all together. Strategic: It's important to differentiate between goals and a 'to do' list. Goals can be a mix of big and small things, but they must be grounded in results rather than just a list of tasks to check off."</p>
5. Write goals down.<p>"We're all familiar with the numerous studies that underscore the correlation between writing down our goals and our ability to achieve them," says Shavit Bar-Nahum, Senior Vice President of Leadership Development at <a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/moody-s-corporation" target="_blank">Moody's Corporation</a>. "The bottom line is, if it's not documented, it's less likely to happen, you are less likely to hold yourself accountable, and it's much easier to slip back into old habits and behaviors. So whether you are embarking on a new opportunity, learning a new skill, or increasing your sales objective, write it down. And not just for yourself. From documenting it in a system of record to creating a visual reminder for yourself, capture your goals in a way that you and others can see your intentions and can support you on your journey."</p> <p>Going beyond writing down goals can help, too. Mary Kay Evans, <a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/pymetrics">pymetrics'</a> Chief Marketing Officer, recognizes the power of writing down her own story: "One of the most challenging and rewarding exercises for me was actually writing out my story. Not goals in a bullet point list, but rather in a story format as though it's already happened. I began the year 2018 by writing the story I wanted to tell by January 2019. It was a narrative looking back on my accomplishments and challenges faced and how exactly I overcame them. By being vivid and specific, like a good narrative requires, I really had to bring my vision of the year ahead to life. It went beyond simply listing my goals to describing outcomes and how I would experience them. This preparation made all the difference as 2018 was a year of tremendous growth and accomplishment for me. It works!"</p>
6. Find a way to track your goals over time.<p>The many women we talked to had different ways of tracking, but the unifying thread is that each had found a way that worked for them. Alisa Cash, Director of IT Solution Delivery at <a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/blue-cross-and-blue-shield-of-north-carolina" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">BCBSNC</a>, sums up the key approach: "Do not set a goal that cannot be measured. This does not have to be an emphatic measurement (such as achieving 100% on time delivery = x; 90% on time delivery =y), although the more you can do this, the clearer resources tend to be."</p><p>For Sarah Morningstar, Ph.D., Data Researcher at <a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/primer" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Primer</a>, breaking her goals into timely metrics helps. "I have found that I am more likely to achieve my goals if they include specific and actionable metrics; otherwise, it is hard to determine if I am successful," she says. "For example, one of my goals for 2021 is to practice more yoga. However, the term 'more' is vague and difficult to know when I have achieved it. Instead of more yoga, I decided I wanted that to mean that I will practice yoga at least two times per week. Over the year, I need to practice 104 times or 26 times per quarter to be successful. Each quarter I work backward from 26, I do more some weeks, and others it's less. I allow this flexibility because I know that being a mom and a working professional, I can't always control my schedule."</p><p>Amanda Sternklar, Marketing Director at <a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/state-listings-inc" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">State Listings</a>, agrees, and notes that she checks in on her progress every week: "The most important thing for me is ensuring my goals are measurable, through metrics directly related to my own activities. That means that if I want to increase our blog following in the new year, my goals would look something like 'Create 3 original blog posts each week' and 'Be a guest contributor on 10 blogs in 2021.' That way, I can create a tracker—mine is a physical page in my planner, but there are also various apps that help with this—to see my progress at a glance. I review my tracker on the first Monday of each month to make sure I'm on track and figure out any steps I need to take if I'm not."</p><p>Amy Luo, Senior Product Designer at <a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/lattice" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Lattice</a>, likes identifying specific behaviors that she can easily keep in mind. "Be specific and focus on actions or behavior when defining your goals," she says. "Try setting a number you want to achieve or a completion date. It'll help keep you on track and you can clearly measure your progress toward the goal over time. For example, if you want to work on your writing skills, a general goal like 'Become a better writer' would be too vague and difficult to measure. A specific and actionable version could be 'Write for 30 minutes every day' or 'Publish an article every month.'"</p><p>For Stacey Chase, Senior Manager Internal Audit at <a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/siemens" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Siemens</a>, adding a visual element to her goal metrics is what keeps her on track. "I use a Kanban board on Trello to plan and organize my activity," she says. "In my first column I list my goals for the year and assign them a color. As I work on things throughout the year and add tasks I tie them back by color to the goal the effort is in service to. This helps me multiple ways. First, it is a visible reminder I see daily or weekly of the goals I have set. Second, I am constantly tying back my efforts and time spent back to my goals. Third, it gives me early warning that my goals or my efforts may need to be reevaluated if I find most of my energy is spent on things other than my goals."</p>
7. Don’t keep your goals to yourself!<p>Many of the women we spoke to highlighted how important it is for your goals, personal and professional, to exist outside of your own head. "Be sure to share your aspirations with others and ask for feedback along the way—don't assume your supervisor knows your near and longer-term plans," says Wyetta Morrow, Executive Director, Human Resources at <a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/raytheon-technologies" target="_blank">Raytheon Technologies</a>. That's particularly true for goals that can be advanced at work, she notes, adding, "Our career journey includes a village and it helps to have others that can advocate for you when you may not be present."</p><p>And there's no need to limit that sharing to just your manager—what about all of the other people that care about you and want to see you succeed? Janet Higgins, Vice President of Regional Sales at <a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/ciena" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Ciena</a>, suggests broadening your circle. "Build a support group around you. Share your goals and your thinking with your trusted mentors and friends. Actively think about who you can leverage in this way. Chances are they would be more than happy to reciprocate. Seeking the perspective of people outside your industry who only have your best interests at heart and are willing to give you straight honesty is pure gold," she says. </p>
8. Considering making your goals three-dimensional.<p>Writing down your goals is a classic approach, but if you have a creative bent or are a more visual learner, maybe going a step farther and making a concrete representation of your goals will help you focus on them. "Try creating a vision board that includes pictures and words of the mini goals and milestones you want to focus on to help you achieve your bigger picture goal," says Gursharn Dhami, Senior Global HR Business Partner at <a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/stack-overflow" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Stack Overflow</a>. "If you make it visible, you may just feel more accountable to accomplish what you've envisioned for yourself!"</p><p>Brooke Kaylie, Program Manager, National Security Group at <a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/primer" target="_blank">Primer</a>, agrees with the power of seeing your goals around you. "Visualize it. Decide what it is you want to do and make it so real you can touch it, see it, taste it. When I decided to change my career completely, I put things into my workspace that reminded me of where I wanted to go. Articles, photographs — anything that kept my focus on my goal," she says.</p>
9. Tackle the hardest things first—if that’s possible (ribbit).<p>There's an argument to be made for starting with easy wins, but Laura Ripans, <a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/datadog" target="_blank">Datadog</a>'s Director of Channels & Alliances, won't be making it. "Get the important things done first," she says. "For me, this is early in the morning when I have no distractions. Stay focused and concentrate on the things that matter most." She suggests reading <em>Eat That Frog </em>by Brian Tracy. "There's an old saying that if the first thing you do each morning is eat a live frog, you'll have the satisfaction of knowing you're done with the worst thing you'll have to do all day. For Tracy, eating a frog is a metaphor for tackling your most challenging task—but also the one that can have the greatest positive impact on your life," she says.</p> <p>As it turns out, Claudia Petrocchi, Executive Director of HR Operations for <a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/csl" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">CSL</a>, is a big fan of the frog approach, too. "Years ago, someone shared a Mark Twain quote with me: 'If it's your job to eat a frog, it's best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it's your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest one first.' This quote clicked with me—it's so visual that it really helps me. Normally I would wait the whole day and think how awful this frog will be. But now, I'll eat the frog right away. For years I had a sticker of a frog on my laptop. So, if I had that crazy email or that crazy project, that would be my frog."</p> <p>Sasi Murthy, VP, Product and Solutions Marketing at <a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/netskope" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Netskope</a>, has a visual trick to help you remember to keep that big, hard goal front and center: "Invest time in thinking about what you want to achieve, not how you will do it. Then find a jar and place a big rock or a few that represent these goals inside, and fill the rest with smaller rocks. This will be a reminder that we are most effective at anything we set out to do, when we give it the space in our 'mental jar' first, and follow it with the smaller goals."</p> <p>That being said, make sure the hard thing you're going after is even possible. For Shelly Anderson Bodine, a Chief of Staff at <a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/software-one-inc" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">SoftwareONE</a>, remembering that she's operating in an environment where she can't control everything is key. "I once had a leader tell me you needed two things to get promoted," she says. "First, a position had to be available, and second, you had to be ready for the role when it was available. That feedback has always stuck with me throughout my career. I realized I really only had control over the latter. So each time I would move into a new role, I gave myself 6 months to acclimate. At that point, I evaluated what I could do to be better than the next person in the role I have and where do I want to go next. From there, I would create a list of things that would bring me closer to my end game, narrow down to the 2-3 most impactful, and those became my goals."</p>
10. Goals aren’t set-it-and-forget-it.<p>If you set goals in January and ignore them from then on out, your chance of marking them "achieved" at the end of the year is low. "Try not to think of goal setting as a yearly activity," says Sarah Burke, Senior Director of Software Engineering at <a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/ciena" target="_blank">Ciena</a>. "Achieving goals requires continual review and reassessment of priorities. Book some personal time in your calendar once a month to remind yourself to check in on how you're progressing and hold yourself accountable for re-adjusting. You are responsible for your success!"</p>
11. Go beyond a 12-month horizon.<p>Many of the things you're most interested in—be it <a href="https://blog.powertofly.com/how-to-become-a-vp-2644977654.html" target="_self">becoming a VP</a>, launching your own company, writing a book, finishing an advanced degree moving to a different country, or any other number of goals—might not happen in just one year. Tami Early, VP and General Manager Sales—Major Accounts at <a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/ciena" target="_blank">Ciena</a>, suggests breaking down your goals into "digestible and achievable bites." She uses the VSEM method: setting a 5+ year vision, a 2-4 year strategy, a 12-18 execution plan, and 12-month rolling metrics. "This method of goal setting allows me to think about my long- and short-term objectives, while holding myself accountable to measurable outcomes inside of a year," she says.</p>
12. Treat yourself with grace.<p>You won't achieve all of your goals, and that's okay. As Megan Sykes, Contracts Manager at <a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/elastic" target="_blank">Elastic</a> reminds us, "Don't set overbearing expectations on yourself. Afford yourself grace. While it's important to progress personally and professionally, we have to be adaptable to the circumstances around us (which can change over time) and live with integrity."</p> <p>That's never been more important than after the year 2020. "I'm very goal orientated both personally and professionally," shares Amanda Eleuteri, a Sr. HR Business Partner at <a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/cargurus" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">CarGurus</a>. "Early on in my career, I would feel defeated if I didn't achieve my goals for the year. I try to be mindful that sometimes a goal is not achieved because priorities change. That was certainly the case in 2020 as needs in the business evolved and what I was focusing on shifted in response."</p><p><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/national-security-agency-nsa" target="_blank">NSA's</a> Meredith D., PhD, echoes the importance of revisiting, and revising, your goals: "Your goals are not meant to be set in stone! There are several factors that can require them to change, even dramatically at times. Be flexible and willing to change your SMART goals. Sometimes we can foresee that the goal is not going to be achieved in our original timeframe. Or we change our mind completely! This is not a failure. It is an opportunity to reflect and revise the goal given the new information at hand."</p> <p>After all, it's about the journey, not the destination. "The process of working toward a goal is often more important than achieving the goal itself," says Stephanie Cheng, Product Engineer at <a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/folsom-labs" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Folsom Labs</a>. "The shape or timeline of your goal can change as long as you check in with yourself and continue to consistently work toward them. It's okay if you don't achieve your goal on the first try. Working toward goals is really about building the muscle memory to form slightly better habits each year. With consistency, patience, and positivity you can build the tools you need to succeed."</p>
One of Jennifer Martin's first jobs was working the front desk of the Renaissance Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC, where she got very good at asking one question: "How can I help you?"
Nina Unger, Talent Acquisition Specialist at SoftwareONE gave us a behind-the-scenes look at SoftwareONE's Application process, culture, and values.
Learn about the company and how you can make your application stand out!
To learn more about SoftwareONE and their open roles, click here.
Interested in pivoting to tech?
Lisa Tagliaferri, Senior Manager, Developer Education at DigitalOcean, shared her top tips for breaking into the industry, from the best open source tools to key transferable skills.
Have more questions about launching a tech career? Let us know in the comments! And learn more about DigitalOcean's open roles here