Human Resources

C-suite career advice: Wendy Hamilton, TechSmith

Wendy Hamilton

 Company: TechSmith

 Job Title: CEO

 Location: Okemos, MI

What was the most valuable piece of career advice that you received? 
If something is not getting done that is critical, and it’s not clear who owns it – then it’s yours to take.  Go Lead!

What was the worst piece of business advice that you received
The worst advice I’ve received is to pretend to agree with an emerging idea, because it’s the agenda of someone senior.  It’s important to give it fair due, and to be intellectually curious of course.  But it’s not the role of a team member to be a cheerleader.  Now that I’m in a senior role, I’m genuinely afraid of people agreeing with an idea because its mine – I want genuine debate. 

What advice would you give to someone starting their career in the tech industry? 
Tech is the greatest industry there is – it spurs the imagination, it’s exciting, it’s always changing.  But tech is worthless if it doesn’t solve a real user problem.  My advice is to stay focused on the market need regardless of the industry type.

What tips would you give to someone aiming for a c-level position? 
Be self-aware, humble, as to your strengths and weaknesses. The more senior you are, the more important it is to surround yourself with talent that fills in your weaknesses. 

Are you particularly proud of any career advice that you’ve given or the career route/development of anyone you’ve mentored?
There are career defining moments, when you are in a position to ask for what you want.  There have been a few instances where I’ve advised individuals to do just that, to advocate for themselves.  These instances worked out well for the individuals – they were happier and ended up having a bigger impact. 


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