Danielle Guy discusses her career with us and offers advice to those looking to get into the industry.
Danielle is the current head of IT operations within Malvern Group. She is responsible for executing the service and infrastructure strategy in line with the objectives for companies in the Malvern Group. She collaborates with international teams and external suppliers to ensure a strategic fit that meets the requirements of the business.
Despite her depth of experience within the industry, it was actually never the role she envisaged herself being in! Having never entertaining IT as a career option, she went into an administrative role at first within an IT company. After a redundancy, not wanting to leave her colleagues and company, she moved into a service desk role, having always been comfortable using computers. From there she took all the opportunities offered to her, completed training alongside her work and worked in a range of sectors, from NHS to financial, allowing her to truly understand the industry.
So, from someone who has come through her career with consistent development and growth, what advice would she give to those hoping to pursue a career in this industry now?
University isn’t the only way to do it
Starting at the bottom of the ladder and working up, learning as she went, worked for Danielle as it allowed her to get such a range of experience, which she has benefited from later in her career. So, don’t feel as though you have to have formal qualifications in order to have the career that you want. Having been on both sides of an interview scenario, she knows that there is an importance on experience as well education and those without a formal degree aren’t immediately disregarded. Therefore, don’t let it discourage you. Of course, there are different routes for everyone. If studying in what you prefer, that’s great, but it isn’t the only way in!
Don’t believe the hype
If IT is something you are interested in, you don’t have to be completely tech minded and trained to be able to get into it. Don’t let people tell you that you aren’t ‘techy’ enough to get into the industry. Danielle never thought she would get to where she is, but the technical aspects are the entirety of the job!
Don’t wait until you’re bored to move on
There is always a right time to move on and to progress or stretch yourself, don’t wait until you’re ready! There is always a danger that when you are ready to move, the role isn’t there, so take the opportunity when it comes up and push yourself to improve!
Hold your own!
Whether you are a woman working in a male-dominated environment or vice versa, hold your own! Have the confidence to believe you know your stuff and stand behind that. Don’t back down when you know that what you’re saying is right. If you don’t stand up for what you know and what your experience tells you, there is a risk that you will not be heard.
Learn from your mistakes
Career choices are rarely perfect, however, every part of Danielle’s journey has provided a different learning curve that she was able to take on board and build on. They are often minor details, but if you change them then you wouldn’t have learnt from it and may not get to where you eventually end up.
There will always be change and competition
Technology and therefore the IT industry is always changing. Within this you will always have competitors to the business you are in, so, inevitably there will be changes where you work. Whether that is due to adaptive changes to develop or because the company has been bought by another. What you have to decide is whether you want to adapt to those changes or move on. Some advice given to Danielle was that you will either be part of the new or part of the old. In Danielle's experience, it has always paid off to embrace change, if it doesn’t work for you then that is an indicator that it’s time to move on.
Want to offer your insight into the industry? Get in touch today! [email protected]