Despite the popularity of the industry, I never imagined myself in a tech field.
Like many people, I assumed that you had to be some sort of tech genius to work in the industry; and tech genius I am not. In fact, until a few years ago I considered myself an analog gal. Imagine my surprise when I started working in tech and turned out to be good at it. So, how did I end up working in tech in the first place? It was surprisingly easy.
It started with a major change.
Literally. I changed my major in college from Education to English. I loved lesson planning, teaching, and the students- but I realized that couldn’t see myself being a teacher long-term. Instead, I thought I’d be better suited for copy writing. So, I spent year I would have spent student teaching taking the final courses I would need to securing a BS in writing studies.The final condition to graduate was an internship, which I completed in the summer of 2018.
That marketing internship was my foot in the door.
I worked for a friend’s company as a technical writer and copywriter. I wrote instruction manuals for camera rentals and SEO rich copy for the website. That was my first taste of SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. Less than a year later, I started working at an SEO company at an entry level position. On the surface my degree was only tangentially related to my field, but the classes I took in technical writing and coding helped me explain things to clients, and my ability to research helped me learn more about strategy. That research got me promoted from customer service to strategy auditor.
Is SEO in Tech? Maybe not, but CRO is.
SEO is a form of digital marketing, that focuses largely on algorithms and content. It can hardly be considered a tech job. But after 18 months on the auditing team, we were offered the opportunity of a lifetime: paid training in a new, high-demand skill called “Conversion Rate Optimization”. CRO is the up and coming digital marketing strategy. It is the application of data science to marketing strategy. In my case, it applied testing data to website design. My new position required skills in test design, data analysis, and coding. It isn’t the glamorous, creative field of copy-writing I thought I’d end up in. It is dry, analytical, and technical. Much to my surprise; I love it!
I always pictured myself in a more creative field.
I lucked my way into a field I never would have imagined for myself. I kept following opportunities as they popped up, like a bird following a trail of crumbs. Slowly but surely, I went from being an analog creative to a tech-cozy data scientist. Maybe it’s a stretch to call it an “accident” but it surely wasn’t my intention when I started my career. I’ve come a long way since I started, but I’m hoping to go a lot farther in my new career as a woman in tech.