So You Want to Work in Tech: One Woman’s Story of Opportunity and Success
Free catered meals, fitness memberships and yoga classes, flexible vacation time, coffee bars and beer bashes, life coaching. These are just a few of the perks tech companies are offering as a way to attract top talent to their ranks. Still, despite the dizzying array of swag designed to turn their heads, most professionals remain focused on growth opportunities as a top priority when accepting a job. That’s particularly true for students and recent college graduates considering that all-important first job… and where it can take them.
That was the case for Zuzana Bukovinová, a project manager at Creatix in Slovakia. As a woman in a male-dominated industry, Zuzana has an interesting story to share about her career path at Creatix as well as advice for others interested in pursuing a career in software development.
Why did you decide to join Creatix?
When I joined Creatix, I was a recent university graduate with no experience in IT. The position I applied for seemed to be rich with potential for self-realization and growth.
What was the learning curve like working for Creatix?
Starting in the role of business analyst/project manager without any previous experience was a challenge, but I got great support from my senior colleagues and from our CEO and CTO. Since then, I’ve grown tremendously. I’ve had the chance to be on exciting projects with different types of clients, teams and technologies that shaped me along the way, so that I became more confident and accountable in my role. I am very thankful that I got this opportunity at the beginning of my career.
What do you think Creatix does particularly well?
You have a voice, and you’re able to make an impact. Creatix gives you the chance to implement your ideas and improve the way things are done. There are some boundaries, of course, but you have the opportunity to change things and play a more active role.
You’ve worked with both Slovak and U.S. clients. Are your expectations different when working with U.S. clients?
Working with U.S. clients is different because it’s done on a remote basis, in a different time zone and in English. The most important thing is to communicate everything clearly to eliminate any confusion and miscommunication. Time is at a premium for many clients, so meetings should be efficient, with a clear agenda and goal provided in advance. You want to propose ideas that demonstrate value. You might have a great idea! Yaaay! But I find that U.S. clients are prone to looking for short-term profit, rather than long-term payout. So to impress them, show them the numbers and speed of return on their investment.
Another thing is to be flexible about time. American companies are well-known for working long hours. When you’re working with U.S. clients in a customer service role, you can expect to work night hours as well as during the daytime. I’ve found it helps if you reorganize your day and start work as late as possible.
Has there been a moment in your career so far that “made it all worth it”?
Rather than a single moment, I have an accumulation of moments where I received kudos from clients who told us we are doing a great job and that I am helping them to succeed. I was also really glad when I was offered the chance to support several divisions for healthtech market leader GoHealth. Now that Creatix is part of GoHealth, the people I work with on a daily basis are senior-level people with tremendous experience who inspire me in my job every day.
As for the process, looking back, I’m really grateful for all the advice I got from my colleagues and senior management. Even if I didn’t always agree with them, it trained me well and helped me to fine-tune my communication skills to provide the best customer service possible.
What has your experience been as a woman in this typically male-dominated field? What advice would you give to other women considering a career in IT?
It’s been great! The company has hired a number of new women in the past couple months, which is very positive and will help team diversity for sure. As for advice, I would say first, if you feel you might love this, start with small steps; e.g., if you would like to do programming, try some free courses online and start with the basics. Or maybe become part of some community that might help you to decide if this is something for you. If it is a go, educate yourself; start with some simple projects and then work on improving. Same goes for non-technical roles. But most of all, make sure you want to do it not because there’s an interesting compensation package or benefits, but because it’s something you’re passionate about.
Finding the right fit
The explosion of innovation in tech is creating more job opportunities than ever, with 700,000 unfilled IT jobs in the U.S. alone. So given the wealth of choices for job seekers, what makes one company more appealing than another — a free Kindle? A rooftop dog park? For Zuzana and thousands of other talented techies, what ultimately attracts them is the chance to learn and grow professionally doing something they love.
At Creatix, our focus is on helping our people achieve their fullest potential. As part of the GoHealth family, team members have enormous opportunities for professional and personal fulfillment building tech that improves the quality of life for millions of people around the world.
Want to work for a company as invested in your growth as you are? Explore our job openings here.