Category Archives: Get a Job

Interview with Ramit Sethi and Adria Richards on Dream Job Course

Becoming An Effective Communicator; Lessons Learned From My Interview With Ramit Sethi

Wednesday morning I was interviewed by Ramit Sethi about becoming a more effective communicator.  This broke down into two camps: Introductions and talking in a  group.  We met at a local studio here in San Francisco for the interview and I’m happy to say that I walked away with a lot of valuable information and actionable items!

Like many people, I’ve done a lot of things in my life so when I meet someone new, I think about what to share.  In fact, I over think it — Should I introduce myself by title and the company I work for, something that I recently accomplished or tell them how others see me?  Maybe it’s my nerdy nature but I usually end up juggling a list of items in my head and then share a few random things as I try to give the person a picture of who I am.  I find this frustrating because I want to connect with others but it’s not always clear how to do so.

The second issue I struggle with is being heard.  I’m an introvert by nature (Meyers-Briggs INTP) and when I’m having conversations one on one I do very well but as the size of people involved in the conversation grow, I become quiet even though I still have ideas and thoughts.  This happens even with a group of friends.  I find it hard to pick the right time to speak up and make my point.  Afterwards, I often followup with people one on one and share my ideas then or by email.  It turns out that many women experience this as well.  A study published in the American Political Science Review found that when women were in groups with men and that asked them to collaborate and solve a problem, women spoke up less.  Much less in fact that their proportional share amounting to less than 75 percent of the time that men spoke.

Funny thing is, when I talk to friends about this, they tell me they have no idea that this is a hard thing for me.  They see me as social, outgoing, curious, helpful and friendly.  How does one begin to repair the internal agony of awkwardness with the desire to feel comfortable in any situation talking to anyone?

That’s why when I got an email from Ramit about coming in to get advice, I quickly replied to express my interest.  I signed up for Ramit’s Dream Job course earlier this year because a friend had recommended I check out his website where he writes about strategies to be successful, increase your income and find the job you love.  In case you haven’t heard of him, Ramit Sethi (@ramit) is a New York Times best selling author of the book, I Will Teach You To Be Rich.

So what can I do to change this so I feel confident about my introductions to others and my participation in groups?  Here are my take aways from the interview with Ramit.

Goal

Increase confidence when introducing myself and speaking up in groups.

Challenges

When presented with these situations, I feel physically uncomfortable and awkward.  I fidget and am hyper aware of my body posture.  I’m unsure what to share with new people I meet because I want them to understand who I am, what I stand for and what drives me in life.  Plus on the technical side, I want to ensure they understand my level of experience and ability.  Then there is the context and relevance of us meeting — What event are we at?  Who do we know in common?  This is especially frustrating when I see others speaking up on a topic even though they have less experience than I do on it but they speak up and present themselves in a way to advertise and promote the topic.  I at times find myself minimizing my accomplishments.

Desired Outcomes

I want to connect better with new people I meet.

I want to own my accomplishments yet not seem like I’m bragging.

I want to make myself heard because I have valuable information to contribute.

Ramit’s Tips On Connecting In A Conversation

Don’t list things when meeting people – Rather than rattle off a long list of things, pick three things that I can share that will invite the other person to ask questions, position myself in the conversation and something I’m working on or looking forward do.

Don’t bombard people with information – We all know the term TMI for Too Much Information.  Use less words and use body language like raising my eyebrows to deliver.  Watch tv interviews like 60 Minutes for tips on how this works.  Be brief and don’t rush through it.

Empathize with what they say – When others share something, take the time to acknowledge it.  Share a story of your own that shows you get what they’re saying.  Don’t try to “fix” their problem (My inner nerd struggles with this).

SMILE! even in business settings – Ramit interestingly enough told me while we were doing the role-play introductions that I had a very serious face on and wasn’t smiling.  Now that’s contrary to how most people think of me (including myself!) but I do have a habit of when I’m focusing on information, I tend to become very serious looking.  You can see this whenever I’m doing a presentation in front of others on a stage.  I’m so glad he caught this so now I can become more aware of how I deliver and not just what I say.

Pay attention to how others react to what you say – I gravitate to extroverts for this very reason; it’s easier to read them.  Reading social cues has always been a challenge for me.  A few years ago I bought a book on body language which helped immensely to pick up on this but reading faces and gauging the other person is still a work in progress.

Role Play Exercises

We did roleplaying where we each “led” the introductions and conversations with each other.  I found this very valuable to be able to act out and then discuss what happened.  Having someone to bounce my experience off of and get instant feedback about the interactions gave me time to process it and try again.  It was a bit uncomfortable but hey, I always say that in order to grow, you have to step out of your comfort zone!

We crafted two introductions: one for business and one for personal.  I focused on the power of three and for the business introduction I shared where I was from, what type of company I worked for and something I was working on, learning or a place I just traveled to.  For the personal one, we made that one a bit more fun and I still shared where I came from but then admitted that I was a big nerd and made a lot of YouTube videos.  In both cases, there was enough information for the other person to get a sense of who I was and form questions to engage in the ever popular, yet often elusive art of small talk.  Gasp!

Now it was time to talk about groups and having my voice heard.  I gave Ramit the example of the two pronged problem I faced: Getting the attention of the group and once I had the floor, what did I say to make it count?  I’m sure we’ve all been there in a group where you are listening and then have a great idea and you’re waiting patiently to speak up on your turn but then it seems like the conversation is moving to a new topic and you feel a sense of panic.  Or maybe by the time your turn comes you forgot what you were going to say?  I had a new insight after the interview with Ramit on this — The reason it seems my turn never would come is because I had been quiet in the group thus there was not a “placeholder” for my turn.  So people, speak up early and often!  Even if you just say you agree with someone else’s point.  My homework for this was to commit to speak up three times in each group setting I’m in going forward and start with getting the floor and then asking a question.  That engages the group to respond and acknowledge me. Once I feel comfortable, then I can share my thoughts.

Summary and Next Steps

I am so glad that I took the time to reach out to Ramit on this opportunity because talking with him in person made a huge difference in how much I got out of the interview and exercises.

Going forward, I’m going to look into enrolling in a local Improv course because I’ve been wanting to do that for over a year now.  I did a six week Improve course at Comedy Sportz back in Minneapolis around 2005 and it was truly a life changer in terms of being able to have fast comebacks and use humor in conversation.  People actually began to tell me I was funny!  I have friends like Scott Hanselman who attribute their success at public speaking being attributed to their experience doing stand up comedy or improv.

The other thing I’m going to look into is media training.  I have heard about this as something political folks do because they are frequently interviewed about hot button issues and need to be able to think on their feet.  The need also arises because they may be interviewed by people who have a different view which can result in hostile or baited questions.  A catchphrase for this would be mental agility.

The video captured will be used in the second edition of the Dream Job course due out early next year in January 2013.

Have you struggled with promoting your talents and experience when meeting new people?

Have you found yourself outtalked in a group?

What have you tried to overcome these challenges?

jump for joy

Devs, Designers And Startup Seekers: Attend The Foundry Group Job Mixer In San Francisco This Friday

Are you looking for an awesome job at a Startup or do you know someone who is?

The Foundry Group (aka Brad Feld and crew) will be holding a job mixer in San Francisco this Friday night for companies in their portfolio to find new talent!

Nine companies in the investor’s portfolio will be there (including SendGrid who I work for) and we’re looking for everything from developers to designers, product and sales plus people who are passionately interested in working at fantastic startups!  I’ll be there reppin’ for SendGrid along with one of our awesome HR people, Jessy Rozitis.

What You Need To Know

Register here to attend  http://foundrystartuprecruiting-esli.eventbrite.com/

Note: You must be 21+ to attend as there will be alcohol served.

On Friday, October 5th, 2012 from 6pm-8pm you have the opportunity to come eat, drink, and mingle with some of Foundry’s hottest tech startups in the Bay Area.

Foundry Group is a leading VC firm investing in outstanding early-stage companies across some of the most exciting themes in technology. The following Foundry Group portfolio companies will be showcasing their current and upcoming career opportunities and looking for exceptional individuals to join their teams:

• SendGrid – Email Delivery. Simplified. Jobs <– FTW!

• Singly – Social APIs, made simple.

Authentic8 – Bringing control to web apps by putting the browser in the cloud. Jobs

awe.sm – awe.sm’s platform helps customers from startups to the Fortune 500 harness their social data. Jobs

Datahero – Analyze, visualize and understand the data that matters to you! Jobs

MongoLab – Provides scalable cloud-hosted MongoDB-as-a-service to application developers. Jobs

Pantheon – Delivers web content management as a service, with the flexibility and power of open-source. Jobs

Sifteo – A totally new game system. Sifteo cubes are wireless blocks with full color screens that interact with each other and respond to motion, unleashing a whole new world of games. Jobs

Memeo – Controlling your access of digital content: anywhere, anytime, any device Jobs

My Testimonial for Working At SendGrid

If we’re friends on Facebook and I know you live in the Bay Area, I sent you a message today along with my testimonial of working at SendGrid and what I think.  In case we’re not Facebook friends, read what I shared below:

It’s amazing! My co-workers are friendly, brilliant, honest, hard working and yet they also make time to have fun. They also hang out after work with each other and do really cool stuff to team build including CrossFit exercise challenges!

Our customers love our product and we work hard to keep innovating. It’s a complete breath of fresh air to work with such awesome folks!

I work as a Developer Evangelist which means I help to grow the adoption of our email API with developers through events, hackathons, documentation, partnerships and community building.  I wake up every single day excited to get started!  I work remotely from San Francisco but stay in touch with my coworkers through email, phone calls, Skype, 37Signals Basecamp and GroupMe.

What does SendGrid do?  We help companies get emails delivered to the inbox and provide analytics to app developers.  Specifically we focus on transactional email which is considered to be new user welcome emails, receipts, invoices, alerts, password resets and the like.  Our customers include Pinterest, foursquare, AirBnb, Uber, Spotify, Hubspot, Path, TaskRabbit, SlideShare (acquired by LinkedIN), Dribble, Zaarly, Quora, GetSatisfaction, Flipboard and more!

If you know someone who’s looking to work at a company that is making big steps to innovate and disrupt technology, tell them to come tomorrow night to this event.  It’s a social mixer + job fair.  I’ll be there reppin’ for SendGrid so stop by and say hello.

It’s been a blast working at SendGrid and I’m more than happy to encourage you to attend this event.  I truly can’t say enough good things about working there at SendGrid.  The people, the product, the culture – It’s all pretty awesome plus I get to do what I love which is help people feel empowered through technology.

SendGrid Open Positions

That said, here’s a list of some of our SendGrid job postings we have:

  • Developer Evangelist in Berlin, Germany
  • Software Engineer for Newsletter App in Orange County, CA
  • Software Engineer for Mail Processing in Orange County, CA
  • Sales Representative in Denver (LoDo)
  • UI Designer in Orange County, CA
  • Web Engineer for R&D in Providence, RI
  • Technical Writer in Orange County, CA
  • Technical Account Manager in Boulder, CO
  • Software Engineer for System Integration in Denver (LoDo) or Boulder
  • Software Engineer for R&D in Providence, RI
  • Senior Accountant in Boulder, CO
  • Online Marketing Manager in Orange County, CA
  • Information Security Manager in Denver (LoDo) or Boulder
  • Information Security Manager in Orange County, CA
  • Inbound Marketing Manager in Boulder, CA
  • Director, Big Data in Orange County, CA
  • DevOps Engineer in Denver (LoDo) or Boulder
  • DevOps Engineer in Orange County, CA
  • Technical Support Representative for Compliance in Denver (LoDo) or Boulder
  • Customer Support Representative in Denver (LoDo) or Boulder
  • Customer Support Engineer in Denver (LoDo) or Boulder

Good luck and contact me if you have questions about the positions.

adriarichards-google-tank-top

I’m Applying For A Job At Google

I applied to work at Google!  The opportunity, Google Developer Advocate, is a perfect fit for me!

Now, an opportunity that I can’t pass up has come to my attention.

Why Google, Why Now?

Here I am in December 2002 sporting my Google tank top.  Back then I thought Google was an awesome resource to find the answers I needed to solve problems.  Yeah, I was a fan girl.  Not much more because let’s face it, who wanted to work for a search engine?

Over the years though, Google’s empire of applications has grown to include every sort of imaginable product for business, enterprise and consumers.  It also has helped me grow my consulting business.  Everything from Gmail email with massive storage and Postini packed spam filitering to Google maps and Google Apps domain email; a fully fledged merchant account with Google Checkout to the oh, so personal Google Wallet for your pocket; from sneezy Google flu trends to the most massive user generated video website known as YouTube to the social experiments of Google+ and ensuring the future of bright kids spending their summers building cool stuff with Google Summer of Code, Google has expanded to offer an amazing Smörgåsbord of services, ventures and solutions.  Let’s not forget Google Maps, the Android OS and the lighter side of Google with their snarky hoaxes (yeah, I linked up to Wikipedia!).

I want to join this team!

You can read about my love of technology, background and desire to make the world a better place.

You can watch a sampling of my YouTube videos that everyday help thousands of people make decisions about technology, life and their world.

Of course, the best way to find out more about me, my journey and what matters to me is to look through the ButYoureAGirl archives.

One of my roommates works at Google, the other worked there too until he left last year to work at a startup that he’s absolutely loving now!

Below is the job description that Google seems to have been crafted for me.  I would love to share the joy of the Google API.  I love talking with tech geeks like myself learn about what their needs are.  Developers and integrators close the loop on innovation between the main product and the customer.  Look at how successful the Google Apps Marketplace has been as well as many of the early companies who signed up.  Since I’m an excellent translator of requirements and needs, have endless enthusiasm for the “Ah ha!” moment and have cultivated a following online with readers, viewers and those thinking about doing something new.

I applied for this a few days ago and read Mashable’s article, “How To Land a Job At Google” so please wish me luck!

Job for Developer Advocate at Google

http://www.google.com/intl/en/jobs/uslocations/san-francisco/engops/devrel/developer-advocate-san-francisco/index.html

The area: Engineering

Simply put, Google engineers make computers do amazing things. Populated by extraordinarily creative, motivated and talented people, our Engineering team gets excited by developing new applications that really make a difference and are used by millions of people. We’re driven by Google’s mission to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. If you seek to tackle such challenges as building a highly scalable computing infrastructure, novel storage systems, innovative user experiences or the next big application that will change the world, then this might be a perfect fit for you.

The role: Developer Advocate

As a Developer Advocate, you will be a member of the Developer Relations organization. Developer Relations is focused on driving the success of Google’s developer products and the open web by creating a thriving ecosystem of 3rd party applications and businesses built on them. You will be an evangelist for our newest technologies in the outside world, as well as a vocal advocate for developers’ needs within Google. We expect you to be an engineer who thrives on the cutting edge of technology and loves seeing exciting, new applications and business that other developers are building. Your job is to drive momentum for exciting new technologies such as Chrome, Android, App Engine, Google Wave, Google Maps API, HTML5 and our core Google Apps and Ads APIs. You will work with some of our most strategic partners who push our technology to its limits — your job is to make them successful as they build apps that showcase the potential of our APIs and developer products. You will be the public face of Google representing these products, speaking at conferences, on panels, at user groups, actively blogging, tweeting and engaging with developer press and bloggers.

Responsibilities:

  • Create momentum and drive the success of Google’s developer products and the open web through your interactions with 3rd party developers building applications and businesses on them.
  • Advocate the adoption of Google developer products to strategic partners and the broader developer community.
  • Participate in technical and design discussions with technical executives at strategic partners to speed adoption and ensure best practices during implementation.
  • Evangelize our developer products in person and online by presenting at conferences, blogging, writing technical tutorials and other similar activities.
  • Advocate for developers internally, and influence Google developer product strategy by working with Product Management, Engineering, PR, Marketing, Business Development and other cross-functional teams.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • BA/BS degree (In lieu of degree, 4 years relevant work experience).
  • 4 years of experience including public speaking and presenting to large technical audiences, blogging and writing technical articles.
  • Programming abilities in one or more of the following languages: Java, PHP, Python, Ruby, .NET, JavaScript.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Degree in Computer Science or similar field.
  • 6 years relevant work experience, including experience blogging and writing technical articles, ideally with an existing follower base, as well as experience working directly with press and bloggers.
  • Excellent public speaking skills and charisma, with experience presenting to large technical audiences.
  • Strong command of web application or mobile application development landscapes.
  • Considerable success as a software developer, architect, technology evangelist, CTO, or consultant working with web or mobile technologies.
  • Strong command of web application or mobile application development landscapes.