Growing up in India, Aparna Khurjekar pursued her passion for technology from a young age. Today, she is Vice President of Network, South Area for Verizon Wireless. Given her professional success in an ever-changing industry, Aparna speaks to WomenWorking.com, offering 5 simple tips on how to adapt to change.
1. Accept Discomfort
If you wait for the “perfect” moment to try something new, it will never come. I started off in software development and moved into management very quickly. I was in my twenties, pregnant with our first son and trying to decide if I needed more education. Management was very different from what I’d been doing as a technologist, and I wasn’t sure I could pull it off. It was uncomfortable at first, but I persevered and did well.
2. Embrace a Collage of Ideas.
Earlier in my career, we were trying to determine how home appliances could become connected to the Internet. I realized that my experiences as an amateur interior designer and engaged mom were invaluable in building the business case. With my knowledge of what families wanted, it was easier for us to help create compelling products. Be inspired by innovative ideas from fields other than your own.
3. Actively Educate Yourself.
You can’t expect that what you’re good at now will always be valuable. Consciously set aside time to read blogs and industry publications or pursue continuing education. Years ago, when I was managing smaller teams, I didn’t realize how important industry news was to my day-to-day work. There were times when I met with vendors and they’d mention a recent acquisition in the industry and I’d just scratch my head. Now, I make reading and learning a part of my schedule every day. We also take time in our staff meetings to talk about what’s happening industry-wide.
4. Be Savvy—Find the Best Resources.
It’s becoming increasingly complex, given the massive amounts of information online, to know which sources are the most relevant. At the same time, online media outlets make staying informed easier than ever. I recommend news aggregators like Instapaper and Feedly. I’ll scan several articles I find interesting and choose one or two topics to read about in more depth – it’s important to not just skim the surface.
5. Find Trusted Sounding Boards.
If you want your career decisions to keep up with the changes in the industry, you need to have a reliable network of people to turn to. I still remember how my first manager at Motorola, Jack Gallagher, believed in me when I was asked to lead a global development team. I still reach out to him. For my current position, I moved from New Jersey to North Carolina. It was going to a new environment, a new role and a big move for the family. My network helped me in making the transition.
Source: Women Working