In previous posts, we defined the term “technologist,” a label that applies to people working in companies of all shapes and sizes across the country along a broad spectrum of industries – not just those that write software and make hardware. We explained that, while technologists have diverse interests and multifaceted personalities, most share five traits:
- A technologist thinks strategy first.
- A technologist has a passion for solving problems and a general sense of curiosity.
- A technologist sees technology in a constructive context.
- A technologist believes tech is about humans, not hardware.
- A technologist values respect, cooperation and collaboration.
Social media is one field evolving quickly where technologists can apply their curiosity to experiment, innovate and make a substantial difference – fast. For example, Kelly Stone ran a social campaign picked up by John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight show that helped a school raise $40,000 for scholarships.
“Because it’s a nimble and emerging technology, you have the ability to alter course quickly, and that’s very empowering in communications and in creativity,” Stone said during her interview for Charles Eaton’s book How to Launch Your Teen’s Career in Technology: A Parent’s Guide to the T in STEM Education.
It’s easy to measure your success in social media. “You can see clearly how you’re helping a company reach their bottom line goals,” she said.
Thanks to her company’s flexible work-from-home option, Kelly is nimble in her work and personal interests. She uses her tech skills to keep up her active lifestyle blog as she trains for triathlons. “On some days, I get up super early, work for a bit, ride my bike, work for a couple more hours and run again in the afternoon. It’s nice to have that freedom and that ability.”
For students looking to get into technology, Stone recommends good communication skills.
“Our studies have shown it’s the soft skills that set you apart. Learn social graces, learn networking with people, but realize that your biggest job in life is to solve problems and make your boss look good,” she said. “The more you can do that, the further you can go.”
What interesting places has your tech path taken you?
Inspiring Success collects stories about technologists, and then shares them with people considering technology careers. Send your story to Contributing Editor R.C. Dirkes at firstname.lastname@example.org and inspire someone.