There are things in life you can express in few sentences than writing a detailed blog post. So here goes,
- Never use the promotion as a trigger to get things done.
There was once my manager always says that if you want to get that promotion you have to do this, or remembers your promotion is depend on this every time I fall behind tasks. Was I motivated? I hated my promotion and wish I will never get in to the promotion process. When I get the promotion, I was not very excited about it.
- Sarcasm is not the best to use in an interview
On my first developer role interview, I was ask about a coding principal, which I did not know. I wanted to do well and I learned about it after the interview. When they called me for my second interview, I told the person who interviewed me that I know the answer to that question and I looked it up. He looked at me and told me “ha! YOU got to know THAT now?”… I felt humiliated. I thought he would praise me for my enthusiasm on learning what I don’t know. Something he should have done.
- As a manager, you are responsible to help and motivate the staff. Not to sulk with them.
I really do not like writing performance review documents. I am not good at marketing myself or talk about things that I have done. A manager who I reported always read what I have written and say okay. No positive/negative from his point of view or tell me to improve my input. Because he did not like performance reviews as well. I lost my faith performance review process and saw it as a HR formality. Performance review is to celebrate the good performers and help the others to shine. Managers can make or break good people. Performance review is a crucial point.
- Talk to people outside your team
I was a lone tester for many projects. Sometimes I questioned whether my job is worthwhile doing so. Felt monotonous and low self-esteem. I tried to fight the demons by my own and did not know from whom I should as support from. I started to expand my network. I started to meet people who share the same career as me. Who are proud to be a tester. Now I am co-hosting meetings to help those lone testers and gather the tester’s community. A safe environment to ask questions and learn. It is wonderful to see how others get advantage of it.
- Learn how to read people by their body language
As a tester, I need to talk to different people. Different personalities, different power levels. There were many times I changed my tone, the description and what I say to the person while I am in the conversation according to the body language that I can understand. I am no body language expert but I can tell whether they are in a rush, interested on what I have to say, or totally in another dimension frustrated or upset. This had helped me to know when to go on details and when to retreat in a way. Therefore, I believe it is important to read the body language of the other person/s while in a conversation and change the conversation accordingly.
- Share the success with wider group not only with your manager
There was a time I fully depended on my manager to spread across my success. When I success on something or come up with a new idea I only shared with my manager or a person I trusted. Simply because I was not confident enough to get questions or praise for it. Then I realise no one knew my contribution to the team. Sometimes the people shared my ideas as their own who I shared with, as I am not raising my voice. I started with low confidence but determination. People did not taken me seriously but I am happy with where I am today.