Career tips for newcomers to digital industries (1)

"Every Crisis Has the Potential to Be an Opportunity"

by Magdalena Rogl, head of digital channels, Microsoft Germany

Career tip #1: Humanity – Be a human, not a robot.

“To be professionally successful, you have to function as perfectly as possible.” Nonsense! Exactly the opposite is true. Especially in times of artificial intelligence and robots it is important to be human, to become aware of your emotions, and to learn empathy. Only then can we complement these technologies perfectly. I hope for honesty even through difficulties and defeat, both of which make us better people as they force us to grow and show that every crisis has the potential to become an opportunity.

Career tip #2: Reflection – Take time to think honestly about yourself.

The less time one has, the more one should take time to think about him/herself. Reflection — conscious thinking about ourselves and our fellow human beings — is an important quality and a powerful tool. Now and then allow yourself the time to think about how you feel at the moment, how you have mastered situations particularly well, and why it did not work in other cases. When I have negative stress, it often helps me to look at the situation “from the outside” and analyze it, asking: what is happening here? Why do I feel like this? Is my reaction justified? Take a deep breath and remember how previous stressful situations have been resolved.

Career tip #3: Network – Find people from whom you can learn.

At first glance this is perhaps the most often heard career tip — but also the most misleading. It is not about getting to know as many people as possible and collecting as many “opportunities” as possible. It is my absolute passion to connect people, form networks, and help others develop. And I’ve experienced that this all comes back to me. Sometimes I have the feeling that my whole network consists of mentors for each other. A real network lives from diversity, helps to change perspectives, hear different opinions, and make good decisions.

Career tip #4: Self-love – Be the best friend to yourself.

Having role models can inspire and encourage. But we should not get lost in emulating or imitating them. We can and should be role models for ourselves! I find it so important to remember again and again which goals you have reached, which difficult situations you have survived, and to be proud of yourself. A trick that often helps me is to ask myself, “What would I tell my best friend to do?” We would never be as critical of him/her as we are of ourselves.

Career tip #5: Optimism – Imagine what the best thing that could happen would be.

Especially when it comes to career development, we’re often especially good at thinking about what we can’t yet do, what we should learn, and why we’re not ready for the next step. But how about turning the whole thing around? When we think about what we can do, what we have already learned, and what could happen in the best case if we courageously took the next step? One can hardly imagine what would then be possible.


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