This blog is written by Aleksandra Pudlo, an EMEA Supplier Quality Manager at Rockwell Automation
Several lucky engineers from Rockwell Automation and Hewlett-Packard had a unique opportunity to take part in a workshop in Warsaw at the first-ever SWE event in Poland. I was among those excited women. We all gathered in a conference room of the hosting company, Rockwell Automation. We did not know each other, and we were not sure what to expect, but we were curious and wanted to learn.
SWE and guest speaker Rachael Hanley-Browne planned to share her thoughts with attendees on how to leverage professional relationships for career success. Some people may think it obvious that relationships are crucial for career planning. Some may ask: “Is there really something new we could learn on this topic?”
After this workshop, I can honestly say “yes.” All participants walked out of the session with something new, something that each of us would like to explore more.
The workshop wasn’t focused on clichés, such as “how difficult it is to work in male-dominated areas.” Instead, the discussion revolved around how we could help ourselves and each other become happy and successful in our roles.
Rachael shared research findings with some great stories from her own experience, all focused on the following aspects:
- The leadership of self – social identity and emotional intelligence
The main message to all of us was how important it is to know yourself. Define your limits and your strengths before you map your career path and areas for development. Surprise! We can use a SWOT analysis on ourselves to define the direction of our future development.
- Relationship with others – networking, networks, focus
Defining who your role model is and identifying who can support your professional development can be the most important step in propelling your career. Role models and networks should evolve over time, just like your career.
- Leveraging the network – coaching, mentoring, sponsorship
We hear a lot about coaching, mentoring, and sponsorship, but not many people understand the difference between those. During the workshop, we learned about the differences among each of these, advantages, disadvantages, and what to expect from these different kinds of relationships.
Rachael encouraged all of us to take ownership of our own careers, to create our own action plans and to review and change them frequently.
It was a great opportunity to learn, but more than that it was a wonderful chance to meet smart and courageous women – members of SWE, Rachael, engineers from Hewlett-Packard and engineers from Rockwell Automation.