The annual CRN Women of the Channel list is the official guide to the top female leaders of the IT channel, so we are thrilled to see our own Eileen Tan, Nintex Director, Field Marketing, Americas & Asia-Pacific recognized.
The CRN Women of the Channel list honors exceptional women for their strategic vision, thought leadership and channel advocacy that impacts growth and innovation in the channel.
We sat down for a quick chat with Australia-based Eileen to learn more about how she started out in her career and what golden nuggets she has to share with us, based on her experience in tech.
- What drew you to working in the tech industry?
It wasn’t a deliberate plan on my part, but I’m glad it worked out the way it did! I applied for a few different graduate programs after completing my master’s degree and Hewlett-Packard was the first organization that accepted me. That said, I have always been a bit of geek and working for a technology company was very appealing to me. I was really excited that I got to start my working career at a renowned organization and I have been in the world of tech ever since!
- What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
Give everything a go! I think when newly entering the workforce, there can be a reluctance to take ownership of projects out of fear of messing something up. The best ways I’ve learned and developed my skills have been pushing myself out of my comfort zone and having a crack at trying different things, even if they don’t turn out the way I had envisioned. Having supportive relationships with colleagues has also been tremendous for my growth; I don’t think I would have gotten to this point in my career without the mentors I’ve had along the way.
- What top 3 qualities do you think contribute to exceptional performance in the workplace?
Accountability, ability to adapt, and strong communication skills. One of the key qualities that I highly value is taking accountability, and I think is a big driver towards delivering a strong performance. When someone has ownership and is willing to take accountability of what they’re working on, I feel this naturally drives them to want to do better and deliver great results. The ability to adapt to changing requirements and adjust accordingly, as well as being able to communicate effectively and collaborate with various stakeholders are two other qualities that play an important part in ensuring successful outcomes.
- How do you achieve work-life balance?
I’m trying to get better with this, but I make sure I’m available for the little things like daycare pick-ups, dinnertime together, bedtime etc. Quality time with the family is important! I also love to get into Lego building, so those weekend Lego projects help to make sure I’m not just glued to the laptop all the time!
- What lesson/s have you learned professionally that you’ve applied in your personal life? (or vice versa)
This is something that I’ve learned in both my professional and personal lives: failures and setbacks are okay, and it’s not the end of the world. Keeping this in mind has helped me get through instances where I haven’t achieved the desired outcomes, to pick myself up from the disappointment, and to learn from those mistakes. Personally, it has helped me to build resilience and to have the courage to try again.