It's never too late to take a seat the table. You might just fit right in.
I have taught myself a new skill. I didn’t start this new skill because I wanted to nor because someone introduced it to me. I learned this new skill because I had to learn it. Okay, so what is this new skill? Designing Shopify stores and I have to say this task did not come easy. I am still learning new things everyday.
Being as though all of this greatness happened during the pandemic, I have always wanted to be a “technology person”. People who were interested in working at places like the Apple store growing up or who knew how to design cool My Space pages always seemed different yet forward thinking to me. They push the world further and came off as people who were smart.
I have to also admit learning about eCommerce in a way that can propel my career took a lot of late nights, early mornings, webinar trainings and an unimaginable amount of everyday trial and error. It also wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t mention that I own a small business, Chaibles, and without Shopify I don’t think I would have been interested in learning this new skill.
However, all I could think about while learning this technology and all of the technology that surrounded it, like social media tools and app integrations, was why didn’t I work at the Apple store growing up? Why didn’t I even apply? I actually like this technology life. I understand it and I’m 34 years old. Why didn’t I work at the Apply store, like the other smart forward thinking kids. I love my iPhone. However, I think I know why? Apple and many other technology companies did not speak to me.
As a “cocky” millennial, I am a member of the first group of college students who not only used but believed in social media. However, for some reason it seemed as though that world for creatives was cut off to me and included only a secret society of White or Asian men that had super smart powers. I now have learned that that is partly true, according to Melinda Gates. She had a chat with David Letterman on his Netflix series, where she said that it is “vitally important that women and people of color have a seat at the table and are designing our future. She referenced a hair extension business and explained that just because you don’t know about a problem that exist for a culture doesn’t mean that there is not opportunity for something to be created for that problem to be solved.
However, creating companies without the opinions of all people who represent your customers can be a recipe for disaster. Considering how most companies are playing a game of DEI catch up, right now! I would have loved to be apart of that forward thinking community of innovators growing up. This thought made me think of all of the young children and adults who are missing out on opportunity because of the lack of exposure. They too could be technology innovators, app developers, computer engineers and even Shopify store designers, if only there were messaging out there that spoke to them.
As I continue to grow in my eCommerce development skill set I can’t help but notice the change in the way we are doing business today. There is a major shift in jobs available vs.qualified applicants. This gap will only grow wider with the lack of job training and education that can help support this employment gap. I am introduced everyday to programs and technology that I know some of my fellow peers would not understand. I can still see the disconnect in messaging and reach.
So how can we make more people see that they can work for technology companies like Apple, Google, Tesla, Facebook, or even a tech start-up? I say start by meeting people where they are and continue to provide and promote job training. However, we must be intentional and realistic. This is not a matter of doing something for “likes”.