Learning is a critical part of building an enduring career in the tech industry. It is important for employees to be open-minded and critical of their own work, so they can learn the lessons they need to succeed. However, the employees that are willing to share what they’ve learned with their colleagues is what truly sets industry leaders apart.
Here at Barracuda MSP, we are proud to have three women be named to CRN’s 2019 Women of the Channel list. Erin Shaw Crowley, Jayne Haggard, and Lindsay Faria were each recognized as female leaders in the IT channel with outstanding leadership, vision, and unique roles in driving channel growth and innovation. We sat down with Erin, Jayne, and Lindsay to find out the most valuable lessons they have learned and pieces of advice that have shaped their careers in tech.
Jayne Haggard: Training Program Manager at Barracuda MSP
A lesson that has directly shaped my current role is about being open to new technologies. I started out on the tech support team when we were still Intronis and we only had one product. My sole focus was becoming comfortable with it. I’ve learned to move out of my comfort zone and begin understanding new technologies as we became Barracuda MSP and started adding additional solutions to our offering. As my knowledge grew, it became easier and easier to understand the new products. It’s also given me insight into how our partners feel, they are constantly bombarded with new technologies and threats to deal with. It’s become my role to help them with that by taking my process of learning new solutions and passing it along.
Some important advice I received is one that I’m sure everyone has heard: Teamwork makes the dream work! Working well with others, whether in collaboration on a task or simply knowing who to turn to when hitting a roadblock, is a key aspect of any job. For our team, this concept emphasizes the idea of what a true partnership should look like and how we can pass it on to our partners.
The most enjoyable part of my journey has been shaping relationships with partners and making them feel like part of our team at Barracuda MSP, rather than just another customer in a standard business relationship. One of my goals is maintaining the human element in every business relationship we enter and practicing one of our values at Barracuda of succeeding together.
Erin Shaw Crowley: Senior Marketing Manager of Events at Barracuda MSP
During my time at the company, I have learned many valuable lessons. One of my biggest takeaways is that you must be willing to take a chance. I took a chance by joining this amazing team, and many of our MSPs take chances every single day. When we were Intronis, we took a chance by becoming part of the Barracuda family, adding new products for MSPs to take advantage of, and trying new marketing tactics and campaigns. Taking a chance is not always easy because it can be scary, but it will push you to the next level. Accepting that there might be a different outcome than you pictured, can help you grow and lead you down an unexpected, but needed path.
Technology is an industry that is continually evolving. I’ve learned to evolve with it by changing the thought process behind our events. We stay on top of the trends, as our messaging tells the story of who we are and how we help partners grow their business. I’ve stepped outside the normal sponsorship box to work with many vendors on developing various ways to be in front of attendees at industry events. We took the idea of creating space for attendees to charge their devices and made it into a full lounge. Now, attendees can relax while staying in contact with their teams and customers, while on the road. As we utilized it in several different layouts and locations, it’s something that attendees now expect to see at shows. This is just one of many examples where we have evolved alongside the industry.
Lindsay Faria: Director of Partner and Content Marketing at Barracuda MSP
One of the most valuable things I have learned is the importance of being resourceful. I started my career in tech as an introverted fledgling marketer with limited knowledge on the industry I was working in. When asked to take on a new task without much instruction, I’d panic. I was so anxious about not coming up with a good draft of a written piece that I would have no draft at all. Meeting deadlines while relying on deliverables from colleagues was stressful and overwhelming due to late submissions from team members. I would face delays while I waited for co-workers to become available to answer a question. I realized very quickly that I needed to overcome my shyness, and get proactive in tapping into resources that could drive real progress.
When I began focusing on what I was able to control – my own actions – success came into focus. Instead of stalling when I didn’t have the knowledge I needed, I hunted for colleagues who might have guidance to share. When a customer called in with a question, but their account manager wasn’t available, I used available documentation or info in our CRM to get the customer a prompt response. I got creative and introduced a new calendar and series of proactive reminders to keep team members on time with their deliverables. I committed to finding a way. That mindset has driven the success I have experienced and is something I am mindful of in both my daily work and selecting candidates to hire to my team.
Photo: Karsten Würth / Unsplash