You probably didn’t have to go through the hills and valleys like Mayowa in navigating your tech career or perhaps you’re just making a head start with your decision to transition into tech.
Never will the journey to stardom be rid of failures, disappointment, stress, lack of motivation etc. That’s why we will continue to share honest conversations from thriving women in the tech industry to prepare rising talents like you for the roses and thorns that are inevitable as you pivot into tech or make progress in tech.
Let’s take a deep dive into those moments Mayowa had in her last three years and the specifics that helped her build the will to lead remarkable innovations. Then, check her out on Twitter LinkedIn to connect.
Tell us your full name, where you work and your role there
I am David Mayowa Joy, Product Manager at Bankly.
What course did you study at the university?
How long have you worked in a tech-related role?
What inspired your decision to become a tech babe?
I am driven by the need to create value, drive impact, and make my dent in the world. As far back as I can remember, I’ve always envisioned myself sitting under a tree and an idea that’ll change the world dropping down from the heavens into my lap. 🤣
Back then in 300L in uni, software engineers felt like the next Einstein & Thomas Edison 💡to me with their ability to turn an idea into a living entity and solve problems for millions of people worldwide. That sparked my interest in the tech scene. I started learning to program, but that didn’t click. Then, I got started on tech content marketing, working from CC HUB, and it was while doing this, I learnt about Product Management. Discovering PM was my AHA! Eureka moment, and solidified my decision and spurred follow-up actions into becoming a tech babe.
When did you decide to make a change in your career path?
2 years ago, in 2019
How has your experience been as a woman in tech?
My experience as a tech sis has been rewarding. I’ve worked at organizations where I can flourish so long as I get the job done, irrespective of gender. However, I have faced challenges of imposter syndrome, self-doubts, learning to control my emotions, managing all-male engineering teams, managing egos, etc. Thankfully, in those first initial months, I worked with a manager, shoutout to Mayowa Ayodeji, who helped me overcome these, and I worked with teammates through whom I could shine. My partner, who has been in the tech scene for several years, also held my hand and babied me every step of the way.
What would you consider as the hurdle(s) to overcome for women looking to transition?
Changing careers is an uphill battle. Preparing your mind for the hard work, ups and downs involved in starting a new field is the first challenge. The next is starting, taking that first couple of steps amidst self-doubts and fear/shame of failure. I believe the next hurdle comes with the job itself. Getting up to speed in the industry and learning how to succeed on that job can be scary, especially as it always seems everyone has it all figured out and you’re all alone in the dark.
What strategy would you recommend to help them navigate the hurdle(s) when they eventually face any?
JUST DO IT: I’ll like everyone transitioning into a new career to work with the sports brand Nike’s Slogan. “Just DO It.” Start from somewhere, anywhere. You will NEVER know if you Can be World Best at something if you never give it a TRY. The Fear of Failure will always be there but weaponize it. Think, If you fail at it, you’d be able to apply the lessons you’ve learnt trying into learning something new. Life is not LINEAR. I have transitioned across different roles in the tech scene, from programming during my Uni days to Tech content writing & Marketing and finally solidifying my feet in Product Management.
LEARNING STRATEGY: Identify the learning strategy that works best for you. How are you most comfortable learning? If books aren’t working for you, try articles or Twitter threads by experts in the field. If you find it hard seeing courses to their end, try short YouTube videos. The important thing is you LEARN.
CURIOSITY: Develop the burning desire to know and learn, I think one way you’ll know if that career path is for you is the more you know, the more you’ll want to know. What’s more, knowledge breeds Confidence. Ask Questions. Trust Me, Nothing is too Silly. Despite all I thought I had learnt, at my first official PM job just January last year, I didn’t know what a use case doc or Gantt chart was. Google Everything.
BREAK YOUR MENTAL CEILING: Dream BIG. Then tie Your Vision to a TIMELINE. Imagine the height of success you can achieve in the shortest duration, i.e. 3-4 months. e.g. Told an aspiring product manager to imagine saying the phrases “my team” “these engineers are stressing me” haha. Having a Vision and a Set Timeline will help you Be Consistent.
NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK. Don’t hesitate to ask for advice from those who have been through it. It had the most impact on my transitioning into Product Management. Leverage social media; don’t fear rejection. Have a story. Reach out to people. Trust me; several might not respond. But those that do will be worth it. I got my first Product Management job through a cold email.
SUPPORT SYSTEM: You need one. Join active communities. On days you feel tired, you can share your struggles with the community and hear from others. Get an Accountability Partner, preferably someone who’s a bit ahead in that industry. Get a Mentor.
Describe a relatable moment when you wanted to give up on your tech career, how did you overcome that?
This happened recently between November and February this year. I got seriously burnt out from work. I no longer enjoyed my job. Waking up to face the day’s job felt like torture to me. I knew I needed a change, and I took action to that effect by taking a break from work. After that, I was in limbo and I focused on content creation to make money to survive. Asides from that, I wasn’t doing anything, not taking courses nor applying to a new job. I seriously considered quitting Product Management.
On how I overcame it, I think it was a phase. I needed REST. Burnout is not a badge of honour. Know when to take a break. Also, I was ready for a change. I wasn’t getting excited anymore to work, and I wanted a mini Career Change to Fintech. Preparing myself for and obtaining a fintech product manager role brought me out of it.
If you could give some advice to your younger self when you were trying to find your feet in the tech space, what would it be?
This advice still applies to me now:
Take it easy on yourself. Give yourself time. Nobody has it all figured out. Even those you look up to now as the best in the field still battle imposter syndrome from time to time. In fact, most people are just winging it.
Your best will differ on different days, and that’s okay, so long as you show up every day.
Never doubt your ability to figure things out. ShoutOut to Prosper Otemuyiwa of Eden Life for this expression.
Tell us one random thing about yourself
In my spare time, I do intern for Nicki Minaj and Cardi B.
Please provide us with any of your social media handles you’re comfortable with sharing
We hope you found Mayowa’s story intriguing and inspiring and have picked on some tips to help you as you continue on the path of self or career development.
If you have learnt something, drop a comment, refer others to read, send Mayowa a message on Twitter or LinkedIn about your thoughts. Perhaps you could get some more insights into your current challenges.