The Latest AMA Friday!

How To Land Your Dream Job In 1,472 Easy Steps

I get asked a LOT how I got into Big Tech. If you've been following me for a hot minute, you know I've been recruiting since the dark ages and in tech for a while now too. I've been there, done that, got several t-shirts.

Still, when people ask me "how did you end up in THAT job?" - the answer isn't terribly exciting, helpful, or that interesting. Simply put, I hustled. I mean I worked my ASS OFF to learn my industry. I made friends. I asked questions. I begged people to mentor me. I EARNED IT.

It took a long time.

Let's go aaaaaallllll the way back to my childhood. I was a dirt poor little girl in the literal middle of the country. I was an only child (until my brother came along when I was 12). I didn't know my dad then. My mom worked 2-3 jobs at a time to keep me in a single pair of shoes I was not allowed to wear except to school and church - to keep them nice. We couldn't afford a second pair. I was the poorest kid I knew growing up (maybe others just hid it well, I don't know). I had dreams of maybe someday renting my VERY OWN trailer with the money I'd make working at Walmart (one of our town's biggest employers). I sometimes fantasized about living in France. I didn't really believe it would ever be possible.  Technology was something for "fancy people" and only rich kids went to college. Amazon and Google weren't even invented yet when I was growing up. Microsoft was in it's infancy.

I've worked for all three since then.

I married too young (as one does when they don't know they have other options). I had kids early (because I was married and that's what you do). I found myself alone on the other side of the country, getting divorced at the tender age of 24 with two kids under 5. I had been working as a temp, finally bulldozing my way into a role in the advertising department for a global staffing agency. I was making $10 an hour and struggling to make ends meet.

My rep from the Employment Guide (remember when we used to PRINT ads? good times) told me I'd be a great recruiter. I didn't even know what a recruiter WAS, but found out pretty quickly they can make a lot of money. I jumped in with both feet. I did not make a lot of money. At first. That came later.

You may be wondering why I'm telling you all this. I need you to understand - no one invited me to this party. I wasn't supposed to have this career. I never went to college (oh some CC classes, but that was in the 90s! And I'm pretty sure I got a D in English anyway).  All I really had going for me was determination and a refusal to give up. EVER. I didn't even know what I wanted to be when I grew up. Just... not poor. 

How did I get into my dream job(s) at such amazing companies? For me, it's really simple. I found what I love to do. I am OBSESSED with recruiting. I love it. I love everything about it, even the bad stuff. It's a CRAFT, a SERVICE, an amazing peek into the human psyche and understanding why people do what they do. It's solving really big, complex business problems by just making connections. Every single day, I am living my dream.

I know you're still asking - BUT HOW DID YOU GET HERE! Why did Microsoft hire me? Then Google? Finally Amazon? I could tell you all about the networking I did. Tirelessly applying to role after role. Attending Chamber of Commerce mixers trying to meet people "in the biz". Dressing up in my polyester knock off suits trying to impress people who terrified me. I could tell you all that, but it really doesn't matter. Because everyone's journey is different and there are no secret handshakes.

Your path is going to look very different. The things that worked for me may not work for you, and that's ok. You may end up at Google right out of college, and I'll be just as proud of you as I am the weary single dad who taught himself to code at night after the kids went to bed. 

We all start somewhere. Some of us are a lot further back from the finish line than others. Some are running a completely different race, and that is ABSOLUTELY OK! YOU determine YOUR dream. Don't let anyone stop you. No matter where you start.

Baby Recruiter :) 1976

Comments

  1. Man, what a great and inspiring story! Congrats!!

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  2. it means more when we know how hard we fought for it along the way. I often see folks connected who skip the 1,471 steps and i get mad only to realize that's not my journey - that's not how I become the person I am today. it does get exhausting climbing the mountain. glad to see you sharing your journey to help others

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