How to Get Out of Your Own Way

Wednesday, November 01, 2017 - 11:00 am12:30 pm

Jessica Hilt and Allison Flick, UC San Diego


This is a class about how to get better facilitating your own career success. Sysadmins and technologists are typically heads-down-work-hard types who do good work but struggle when it comes playing the business game to advancement and recognition of their work. This class will break-down some of the more cryptic areas of professional development into simple strategies that participants can implement immediately but, more importantly, won’t feel weird doing.

Jessica Hilt, UC San Diego

I’ve worked as a extroverted, career-savvy technologist for more than a decade in areas ranging from politics to start-ups. At the University of California, San Diego, I teach soft skills, community building, and storytelling to our technical community to increase adoption of new technologies, create consensus, and help people understand each other. I run a Women in Advanced Computing group that helps women with career development and advancement. I also create, develop and customize educational programs that suit the needs of the technologists at UC San Diego, including our own 500-person technical conference. I have been an invited speaker at several technical conferences and IT organizations including the City of San Diego, Intuit, USENIX LISA, and the UC-wide technical conference, UCCSC.

Allison Flick, UC San Diego

Allison Flick is an IT professional who has spent her career within higher education. After spending 10 years as a programmer and database designer, she has shifted her focus to supervision, systems administration, and user support. She is a mentor to many student employees and sysadmins in their early careers. In her spare time, she organize and run a Women in Advanced Computing group at UC San Diego that help women with career development and advancement.

@conference {207195,
author = {Jessica Hilt and Allison Flick},
title = {How to Get Out of Your Own Way},
year = {2017},
address = {San Francisco, CA},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = oct
Who should attend: 

System Administrators at all levels (junior, intermediate, advanced). Anyone who might feel stalled in their current career and wants to see what they could be doing better to get the recognition they deserve.

Take back to work: 

Sysadmins who complete this class will learn strategies that they can implement immediately to become better promoters of their own accomplishments, identify hurdles that they can and can’t control, and incorporate tools that will help on a day-to-day basis for career success.

Topics include: 


  • Self-promotion: From interviewing to job reviews
  • Stepping up and stepping out: opportunities within a job
  • Tools that help you when it’s time to shine


  • Successful delegation and diplomacy
  • Playing with others when they don’t play well with you
  • Community building


  • Make a career plan
  • Self-doubt and imposter syndrome: no power poses here
  • Your success narrative: storytelling on the fly