Unlocking the confidence within
After completing WiT’s Mentoring program as mentee in 2021, Tejaswini Joshi – more affectionately known as TJ – has returned to the program again in 2022, this time as a mentor.
TJ’s career in IT has spanned more than 16 years to date and has also taken her from India to Australia – having worked across the software development lifecycle as a mobile app developer, software engineer, and more recently in quality assurance roles for leading organisations within the FinTech industry.
However, after returning from maternity leave TJ soon found herself no longer being intellectually challenged by her day-to-day work. At times she also felt undervalued – that her ideas and expertise wasn’t being heard.
Deep down TJ knew that she had more to offer. That she possessed the technical skills, extensive industry expertise and qualifications to move into more intellectually challenging and rewarding roles within QA.
But even though TJ knew she had successfully pivoted in her career before, something was “stopping” her from moving forward towards taking her career to the next level in a relevant and meaningful way.
TJ knew she needed extra support to help her realise her career ambitions. This prompted her to sign up for WiT’s Mentoring Program in 2021 as a mentee after a friend had recommended that she join.
TJ says that most valuable aspect being a mentee on the WiT Mentoring Program was re-discovering the confidence and self-belief she always had within.
“Over the course of the program I realised how to unlock the potential I already had to approach new opportunities and share ideas,” TJ said.
According to TJ, the most profound lesson she learnt during the conversations she had with her mentor Tasneem (Tas) was to challenge herself to look at things differently.
“So often we tend to look at things from a single perspective but when we flip our perspective or change our viewpoint, this can empower us to take steps forward towards our goals,” TJ explains.
It’s a lesson that Tas continues to remind TJ of each time they connect, which they still continue to do regularly.
TJ says that this mindset shift was incredibly valuable in helping her to secure her current role as Test Manager at Ellume, just weeks after she completed mentoring program as mentee in 2021.
“The conversations I had with Tas gave me a new perspective on the skills, expertise and capabilities that I already possessed, as well as actions I could take to further develop my leadership and people management skills,” she said.
“By choosing to focus my energy on aligning and showcasing my strengths, skills and expertise that would empower my success in the role instead focusing on what I didn’t have, this really boosted my confidence and not only did I follow through with my application this time, I was also successful getting role.
TJ says that participating in WiT’s mentoring program, both as a mentee and mentor, has also empowered her with strategies and insights she can use at work to continually enhance her communication skills.
“Tas helped me realise that I know what I want to say but it was a matter of finding the right words to express my ideas.
“So, we worked together to develop practical strategies that I can use at work such as prioritising time to do background research and preparing talking points or questions that I can take to meetings which has really helped boost my confidence with my communication skills a great deal,” TJ explains.
“Coming back to the program as a mentor this year gave me the opportunity to develop my coaching and feedback skills by enhancing my ability to actively listen for facts and feelings, provide feedback in a way that supports someone to learn and grow, as well as openly receive and encourage feedback from others for my own development. “
As someone who genuinely loves to lend a helping hand, TJ is passionate about volunteering for local community groups so she can guide others – whether it be helping international students find their feet or helping new residents navigate cultural change and live their ‘dream life’ in Australia.
“Being part of the mentoring program last year was a turning point in my career and for me I felt it was important to come back as a mentor in 2022 so that I could pay it forward by supporting someone in their career journey, TJ says.
“If my experiences and guidance can make even the slightest difference to someone else, then it’s completely worth it.”
The WiT Mentoring Program pairs you with a STEM leader who will guide you to identify the challenges, opportunities, and motivations that are unique to you. The program combines a structured course framework approach, with the added flexibility to tailor your weekly mentoring sessions to address specific support needs – empowering you to actively shape pathways forward towards your unique career aspirations or #lifegoals
The program is open to all STEM professionals at all career stages who are curious, driven, self-motivated, and open to the possibilities their future career holds.
Applications are now open to join the second intake of the 2022 WiT Mentoring program, which kicks off on Thursday 11 August 2022.