Chelsea Stirling has become an integral member of the company in the three years since she first joined Solink. Chelsea has not only found her passion for helping others, but since coming to Solink, she feels like she has “found her people”. Chelsea shared some valuable advice for women looking to jump into the tech industry, as well as some insight into why she loves working here so much. Learn how Chelsea found her own secret to success.
What is your job title?
I am the Director of Customer Success.
Tell us a bit about your career path, and how you got to where you are now.
I have an atypical career path in tech. I got lucky and got a job on a tier-one help desk with a political party when I was in my third year of university and basically refused to leave! Once I found nerd culture and got into the tech industry, I knew I had found my people. From there, it was a matter of writing down everything and saying yes–no matter how much it scared me. While my degree is in Communications and English, I now have a good baseline of technical skill from on-the-job learning.
How does working at Solink help you advance your career or skills?
Solink IS my career–everything before it feels like a dress rehearsal. Solink, and specifically our CEO and CFO, have trusted me to do what I know. Solink considers the quality of your work first and foremost. Seniority or what you have done on paper is not as important as what you can do in real life. Being given the resources and support I need is what helps me continue pushing boundaries.
What do you like about working on/with the Solink customers?
Solink customers are the best. Full stop. I’ve never experienced such a hard working clientele. The people who are attracted to the Solink platform are savvy business people who like to work harder and smarter. I feel lucky to spend my days working with Solink clients.
What do you like about working in the Customer Success department?
I love the camaraderie that comes with solving hard problems. Our Customer Success department touches so many different aspects of the customer experience. Whether it’s onboarding, training, troubleshooting, audits, or investigations, we encounter a wide scope of challenges. Working through these together, makes you feel like you are in the trenches side by side. It’s a really amazing experience.
Is there anything hard about being a woman in the tech industry?
I have worked in IT and tech for the past 8 years and I have definitely found myself in some tough situations. I wont dance around it, sexual harassment is something pretty much all women experience in some capacity, but working in a male dominated field can make things especially difficult. Having to worry about it takes energy away from our ability to perform to our fullest capacity. Another issue I’ve encountered is being questioned in ways that a male colleague would not be. Women in predominately male spaces often find their expertise or ability to handle a situation is up for debate. There’s also a bias towards “traditional masculine” ways of doing business and solving problems. I’ll stop here and say that Solink specifically is a wonderfully inclusive and safe space–a real breath of fresh air.
For you, what makes a team or workplace feel like it really invites and welcomes gender diversity?
Having those in leadership positions be strong advocates of women in general–in the family or in the workspace–is extremely important. Valuing women in whatever role they play, from an entry-level position to the C-suite, and allowing their work to shine, is something Solink does really well. As long as we keep striving to be more inclusive, we will be.
Any advice for other women looking to grow their career in tech?
Tell everyone what you want–friends, family, coworkers…everyone. Have no shame in starting at the bottom. Say yes. Ask questions. Ask them again if you don’t understand the answer. Try to lean into feeling uncomfortable. The more comfortable you can get with being uncomfortable the better. You are building your tolerance, keep pushing.
It’s ok to not know what you are doing. It’s also ok to know exactly what you are doing and not be shy about it. Be kind to other women in your space. We are conditioned to feel that other women are competition, but if we see each other as allies I think that sets us up to win.