Blessing in disguise
When I was 16 years old I knew I wanted to work in technology. What I didn’t know was what I wanted to do in technology as a career.
When I went to the University of Washington, the hot company to join back then in 2002 was Microsoft. I was fortunate enough to get into a co-op program with them for six months as a Product Manager in 2005 and boy was I excited! One month into my job at Microsoft, I knew I hated it. I hated the politics as well as the red tape. When the decision came to accept a full-time offer or find another job, I decided the latter. That’s when my second ideal company came up in 2006 - Deloitte Consulting.
The green dot promised me the wonders of travel and the most exciting projects to work on. Not only did they ship me off for the entire year (which was to LA from Seattle), I got to work on boring government projects that moved incredibly slow. I knew I needed to leave and do something much more exciting and impactful and at that time I was fixated on a company called Zillow. Zillow was one of the hottest companies in Seattle and I really enjoyed the real estate market and that’s when I applied.
I would have hoped to say I got the job and all my dreams came true but this was far from it. I didn’t get the job as Product Manager and I was torn. I thought I answered all the questions correctly but I guess that wasn’t the case. After that day, I was pretty devastated and down about it.
A week later Facebook was announcing the Facebook Platform and while Zuck was giving his keynote and I remember I was instantly sold within the first ten minutes of his talk. I knew i wanted to work there since I saw the potential of his vision as well as the product. After his keynote, I put together my resume for a position at Facebook and submitted it online at 12:30pm that day. Three hours later I remember getting an email back from a recruiter and two weeks later getting an offer from Facebook. And the rest is history.
As I reflect back I must admit that not getting that job at Zillow was probably the best thing to happen to me in my career. If I got that job, I wouldn’t have applied to Facebook, moved down to San Francisco, and spent the next 5 years of my life at one of the best companies in the world. It’s crazy to think that my entire career was based on that one event that I marked as a failure.