Business Woman in tech. Stronger together, Happy women or girls standing together , girls, power, strong, strength, feminism Feminine, woman empowerment, vector illustration.Article by Fatima Elleouet, Head of Global Vertical Markets, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise

Finding success in anything in life is about hard work and devotion, for women of my generation starting out in a very male dominated field it was tough. Hard work was part of it, but it was also making sure you are one of the best in everything that you do.

I enjoyed the technology world so much that I spent much of my time learning and improving so it really didn’t feel like hard work. Now, with over 22 years of experience in the industry, I’ve learned a few lessons that have helped me to develop a successful career.

Work hard, be engaged and avoid routine to remain motivated.

Through my career I have always had a hunger for knowledge, the continuous input of knowledge keeps me constantly engaged, motivated, and looking for more.

Keeping on top of the latest news and research in your field, as well as attending conferences and events to consume all the latest information, keeps your mind engaged and focused.  Knowledge is important for motivation, but it’s also important for strategy and planning. Gaining more knowledge should never feel like one of those jobs that you have to do. It’s fun and empowering, so if it’s not for you, time to move on and do something different.

Find something to do each week that you have never done before.

Routine is important as it creates time for you to complete necessary tasks, but there needs to be room in your diary for variety. Keeping focused means you have to keep things interesting even during those really tough weeks. Injecting variety into your week makes sure that life is always interesting.

Acquire additional skills to always stay relevant.

It’s essential to keep learning and upskilling to stay on top of your game. With the necessary skills you will ensure you continue to be an asset to your company. I undertook a Business and Marketing MBA while working to enhance my knowledge and contribution as an employee at ALE.

We’re working for most of our lives, and the world is constantly changing. To make sure you are not left behind, keep training to power your success.

Find the right balance between personal and professional life. 

Hard work doesn’t mean working 24 hours a day. Be smart with your time – use productivity tools and continually review processes to ensure optimised working days.

As a career-driven person, it’s easy to slip into the realms of overworking, and sometimes, you can’t avoid it. A big project comes up; it needs you, you love what you’re doing, so you devote your time out of hours. But  don’t let this become a habit. And if you’ve spent additional hours completing a project one week, allow yourself to not have a stretched week the following week, it’s all about balance and give and take.

Treasuring my personal life motivates me to work harder. For me, time spent with family, cooking, playing tennis, travelling and discovering new cultures are all so important. Finding a balance between work and personal life means I never lose sight of the things that make my life feel so special to me.

That balance may look different for you, but establishing it, will protect your career in the long run. Losing sight of personal life often leads to burnout, ultimately and ironically affecting how you perform at work.

There is a time for everything in nature.

In life, once we accomplish something, it’s so easy to move straight on to the next. We’ll often live the moment we dreamed of just a few years ago without even realising it. So, I’ve always found it helpful to take the time to reflect so I can appreciate how far I’ve come.

Don’t rush  ‘climbing the ladder’, your end goal may take years, perhaps even decades, so it’s important to enjoy the journey. Ensure you celebrate how far you’ve come in the present day and enjoy your current successes.

That being said, I’ve always kept an eye out for new opportunities. Reflection is different to complacency: always strive to do your best and don’t be afraid to push yourself.

Believe in yourself.

Belief is the most important tip I can share. Believe in yourself, your worth, what you can achieve today, and your potential in the future. You will always be your biggest cheerleader, so don’t wait for someone else to believe in you.

Self-belief will help build your credibility as a woman in tech and surpass the challenges you face along your career journey.

About the author

Fatima has 22 years of experience in communications, Cloud and network technologies and now leads the global vertical market strategy for the sales and marketing division of ALE.

Fatima’s interest in technology started back in secondary school in Morocco, when the first technology college opened in her region. Fatima went on to gain a baccalaureate in Electronics and a degree in Computer Engineering in France.

Fatima has moved through the ranks at ALE, starting as a computer science engineer, then professional services expert, bid manager, program manager, and product line manager, to a business development manager in several verticals.