Almost 100 days ago, many of you sent your well wishes my way when I announced I was starting a new job (again, thank you). And last Wednesday, I completed my “Capstone presentation” at said job — meaning I’ve completed all of my SEO training and am in this gig for good (or at least for many, many years)!
I cannot tell you just how crazy these 100 days have been — I’ve moved, I’ve traveled, I’ve gotten to know a little about Austin, I’ve joined a dance studio, and I’ve honestly worked my ass off like never before.
There were many times in my old job where I worked long hours or took work home with me. But the work I did wasn’t challenging. I know I haven’t said much about my new job — I’m trying not to mix business and pleasure — but I’ve been learning so, so much over these last three months. I’ve had at least a dozen trainings, and done weeks of research. And it took me a month to pull all of the data I needed for my hour-long capstone presentation (not to mention all the hours I spent practicing).
But after all that work, I can tell you that when my boss said “great job!” at the end of it, I don’t think I’ve ever felt so relieved and happy. I was really stacking the pressure on myself to nail the presentation — I did have to give it to our CEO, after all.
And now that I’ve passed bootcamp, I am finally starting to feel like I’m part of the team. And you know what? My SEO team is pretty fucking cool. For the longest time, our agency’s SEO practice was completed by a single person, who is my boss. In just a few years, it’s now grown to have three analysts (including me) and our boss. And the coolest part? All of us analysts are women.
And, we kick some butt.
I feel really dated when I say how refreshing it feel to show up to work every day and sit between two really smart women as we help our clients climb the ranks in Google, step-by-step. But, there’s still a lot of talk out there regarding “women in tech” — as if it’s still new, rare, and more disturbingly, as if we don’t belong there.
Fortune Magazine published an article earlier this year, “Women in Tech: don’t even try to fit in a man’s world,” stating women face alienation in tech jobs, including suffering through lunch conversations of last night’s football game. Huh?
It’s insulting. Yo, Fortune, we can carry ourselves without your “conversation guide.” Thanks but no thanks.
What’s really happening? Austin, Texas is giving Silicon Valley a run for its money — because of women AND men here kicking some digi-ass.
According to Innovate Austin, there are more than 4,700 hi-tech companies operating in this area, and 162 new tech deals have been completed to date in 2015. More than $1 billion was invested in Austin by tech companies in 2014, including the gigabit-speed service by Google Fiber, and this number is expected to continue climbing. The area is also home to 46 maker and co-working spaces, accelerators and incubators.
It’s really exciting to be a part of something so new and exciting. I’ve survived bootcamp, and I’m anxious to see what’s around the corner — and I’ve got the confidence (and the smarts) to face it head on.