Bessy Tam, Author at Life Into Tech by Bessy Tam

All Posts by Bessy Tam

How to Get Promoted Quickly by Making a Lateral (Diagonal) Career Move : Z’s Story

Today we have a testimonial from Z. Z has had challenges stumbling in cognitive questions during previous Google and Facebook. He knew he needed help and reached out to work with Bessy on the interview prep program, particularly on the Google final interviews he had coming up.

Although Google had a hiring freeze during COVID, all the interviewers (including the Director) mentioned that he would've been hired if it weren't for the case. At the same time, the interview prep actually helped him get into a startup within cryptocurrency since the role was quite similar.

This is awesome because it:

  1. Happened during COVID and while other people were having challenges getting any job at all, he was able to get a awesome role
  2. Gave him an opportunity to become a manager. This was something that he really, really wanted
  3. Expanded his skill sets beyond just paid ads, but also into organic search as well in order to grow the company
  4. Allowed him to get to Shanghai because this was a place that he really wanted to go. Previously he was in Hangzhou in Alibaba

We were able to use it interview prep program to make sure his answers were very clear and concise because Z has a  bit of a challenge being succinct. This way, we were able to make a big connection with both the company as well as Z in order to maximize the interview's value and content within limited 30 minutes time.

Check out Z's video above and make sure you subscribe and comment.

If you also want to have a free 23-page interview prep guide, download it here in this link 

In Z's Own Words:

Hi, My name is Z!

I have recently worked with Bessy on interviewer coaching where she helped me through all stages of my interview at Google as well as for a start up. We were able to drill down on every single question that she knew that the interviewers were going to ask me [and she was right!]

"From my previous experience in tech interviews...I stumbled through different cognitive questions that I was not prepared for and I wasn't able to give as well-rounded of an answer as I would wouldn't have hope for."

I was in Alibaba in China Hangzhou and I was there for a little over 6 months.

At that point I kind of realized I want to try something that fit my career and personal strengths a bit more.

So my challenges were: I realized that interviews had a real format every time I went through interviews in top tech companies eg Facebook & Google. I had a hard time passing final interviews from my previous experience in these interviews, such as in Google a year ago for a different position.

I stumbled through different cognitive questions that I was not prepared for and I wasn't able to give as well-rounded of an answer as I would wouldn't have hope for.

I would think to myself after I answered the question, "Oh, I should've answered that differently!"

And the funny thing was that, I didn't work with Bessy until the last 2 rounds for my interview at  Google. The first two rounds I noticed I continued to stumble. I couldn't answer the question the way it should be.

The interview themselves were kind of like, "Oh, that answer took a very long time!" They would just give me that feedback, in a very polite way, that it was little too long.

And I realized that [whatever I was doing] didn't work.

"I tried to work on this myself, talk to more friends, and doing more online research... But none of it worked."

I know that I have to show this interviewer within 30-40 minutes all 360-degrees of who I was. I have to make sure that I answered interview questions differently for every interviewer to tailor my answers and provide even better versions of my answers

I tried to work on this myself, talk to more friends, and doing more online research.

But none of it worked.

"I looked her up on LinkedIn and saw what she was posting, specifically regarding COVID-19 Interview preparation for Tech. So I was like, 'wow this is really cool! this person knows what she's doing.'"

Knowing that, my ex-coworker recommended me to Bessy.

I looked her up on LinkedIn and saw what she was posting, specifically regarding COVID-19 Interview preparation for Tech. So I was like, "wow this is really cool! this person knows what she's doing."

"Bessy helped me study the interviewers.... turn negative questions to a positive answer...ask interview questions & follow up on them... and negotiate the salary to get the most out of my offer"

I recommend Bessy because of 3 reasons:

#1 It's really a professional service end-to-end

Throughout this experience, she's always attending our meetings on time, helping me through the details, and asking me all the qualifying questions before our meetings so that we don't really jump into things .

#2 Bessy is really resourceful​

She's someone who's worked and lived in Hong Kong( Asia), and in Chicago (America). So with her experiences and wealth of network, she can help you answer all the questions and think with a bigger picture.

Initially I thought this was one of those coaching services where you just kind of talk about something and then you spend an hour on it. 

But with Bessy even from the beginning, she spent time on each question during the interview prep and gave me 14 pages of information. She spent almost 2 hours in our first session to go through the steps in detail with me.

Overall she helped me:

  • Study the interviewers to connect with them more
  • Turn a negative question to a positive answer such as "Why are you leaving your current role?" Initially I had a wishy washy answer like "the environment is not right for me"
  • Be able to ask the interview questions and then follow up on their answers to show off my skills and strengths. This helped me be a lot more confident
  • Negotiate the salary. Talking through the ins and outs, helping me stay focused during the interviews until I got an offer so that I could get the most out of it, and pushing the negotiations back so that I could buy more time when I was waiting for both Google and the startup (that I got an offer with). 

#3 This is a thought provoking experience

A lot of times when you prepare for interviews yourself, you feel like you did okay and it was great. 

When I'm talking to my friends or coworkers, or doing research online, I never knew if my answers were right, clean, or detailed enough. I also didn't know if my answers were timed to 1 or 2 minutes [the way that Bessy coached me]. 

From a professional standpoint, I always wondered, "Can these answers really fit into the role that I'm apply to?"

And with Bessy, she's able to ask you question after question to think through my answers. For example, I thought my strengths were managing people but she helped me dig deeper into my approach, "is it really managing people?"

She just helped me drill down step-by-step and walk me through my own answers.

"Bessy and I were working together for almost a month and a half, and the results were very clear... I was able to answer all the questions that all the interviewers had... and come off as confident"

Bessy and I were working together for like almost a month, month and half. The results were very clear when I compared the first few interview loops to the second interview loops (where Bessy and I worked together).

I was able to answer all the questions that all the interviewers had, Not just during the Google interview but also other interviews from other startups I was interviewing with at that point.

When I went through the interview, it was as if I almost memorized my script. I knew how to answer whatever they were asking me and however many ways that they could ask those questions eg what's my strengths, what's my weaknesses, etc.

And because of this, I came off as confident

I knew the answers very fluidly and I was able to stop myself from talking forever (which is one of my "habits").

I remember another experiences where I had a startup interview that I didn't really prep for. But because I've already prepped with Bessy on Google, I was able to just pick up the phone and start listing my stuff. I was able to use that Google interview experience in this interview experience.

It worked out just the same because the role was similar.

"With this experience, a company gave me an offer. I was really happy because the role expanded my skills horizontally... and helped me go from an in individual contributor to a managing role managing ...potentially 10 people"

Before working with Bessy, I interviewed with almost 10 companies. With this experience [working with Bessy], one of the companies gave me the offer

I was really happy because that role:

  • Allowed me to switch from my position from Alibaba in Hangzhou to a blockchain company in Shanghai (where I wanted to me)
  • Expanded my skills horizontally from just paid to organic search
  • Helped me go from individual contributor to a manager role managing 3-5 people, potentially 10.
  • Helped me step into the startup world since I'd been working at big companies for the past 8 or 9 years of my career. This is the first time I'll be in a startup that's growing crazily.

My Google interviewers said that if it weren't for COVID-19 and thus a hiring freeze, I would have gotten the Google offer. 

On the other hand, I still got to offer a year in a blockchain in Shanghai, which was still huge.

"I found that once I had that direction, I knew where I wanted to go"

Who is this service good for? If you are transitioning from a(n):

  • Non-tech industry to a tech industry
  • Individual contributor to a manager role
  • Startup to a non-startup role
  • Role to anything that's a little bit more outside your comfort zone where you are going to have to answer questions that you are usually not ready for
  • Non-structured type of interview to a very structured interview like Google, Facebook, and Amazon

You have to be just very clear in the short amount of time. That kind of result get. you not only the job but really at the end of the day, gets you the pay and the level that you deserve as well.

A person can have 20 years of experiences in tech but if you interview like a 5-year experienced person, you'll just give doubt to people on the other side of the interview table.

Especially with COVID-19, we're going to have even more interviews that's on video. You lose that body language to connect with interviewers.

So these are things that Bessy will help you through, which of course you need to find out later yourself, right?

Want to know the SECRETS to acing interviews in tech?

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Dream Job in Tech Even During COVID-19 At Apple (From Finance) – Michelle’s Testimonial

Have you ever had such a vague title that you never knew what role is the right fit in tech or even where to start?

Today, we have a case study from Michelle who landed a job in Apple as a part operations manager from her Goldman Sachs position.

Initially it was really, really hard for her to even identify the right role, the right company that she could actually get into because it's super overwhelming within the tech world with the various companies, roles, industries, and sizes available.

Michelle and I worked together to identify the right role for her, a Product Operations role based on her background, interest, goals, and needs

Because we were able to identify the right role, she was immediately able to get 4 different interviews from different companies and was able to land your dream job at Apple

This is super exciting because she was able to:

  1. land a dream job within a company that she loved
  2. be able to move back to her family within California
  3. take a break before she needed to start

And this is all during COVID-19; when everyone else is having trouble getting a job within the market, she was able to land her dream job. 

So without further ado, I'll let Michelle tell her own story. 

In Michelle's Own Words:

Hi guys. My name is Michelle!
I spent about 10 years in traditional finance working for finance firms and recently landed a job at Apple as a Product Operations Lead even during COVID-19

"When I was ready to pivot my career and think about leaving the finance industry, I really didn't know what to do"

When I was ready to kind of pivot my career and think about leaving the finance industry, I really didn't know what to do. 

I knew I wanted to get into tech. My family's from Silicon Valley. I knew I wanted to be back in Silicon Valley. But I didn't really know how to get myself into tech knowing that tech is so different from the finance world. 

I felt a little lost and even though there were so many resources online, so many interview tricks or resume tips and LinkedIn and all those things, it was incredibly overwhelming for me. 

Having been in my finance world for the last 10 years and really just knowing everything about finance, I felt that I only knew how to get a finance job. I only knew how to cater my resume and talk about in interviews in a finance role

"I felt completely unknown when it came to a tech related role that I wanted to get into. I didn't really know how my finance experience job titles translated to the tech world"

But I felt completely unknown when it came to a tech related role that I wanted to get into. I didn't really know how my finance experience job titles translated to the tech world. 

This means:

  • Ensuring that I'm compensated fairly 

  • finding a role that really fits and suits me 

  • understanding what those expectations were of that job description. 

So, I didn't really know where to start with everything that was thrown at me and all the different ways that I could have approached this. 

Thankfully from there I actually stumbled upon Bessy through one of the Facebook chat groups

"There are career coaches out there… they didn't focus on transitioning into tech. They focus maybe like elevating me in finance or getting me a promotion or a new role within the same industry."

I had no idea that there were online coaches out there that do this, especially in helping people get into tech related roles.

You know, I found through LinkedIn that there were some people who will help you write resumes that are career coaches, people who help you level up. But I felt that they didn't mesh as well with me.

Even when I spoke to a couple of those through the LinkedIn referrals, particularly because they didn't focus on transitioning into tech. They focus maybe like elevating me in finance or getting me a promotion or a new role within the same industry.

So that's why when I stumbled upon Bessy, I was like, “Oh, okay, this is like her niche!” I didn't know this world existed. Maybe I wasn't aware or people like Bessy never crossed my path.

"We talked about my goals, you know, my family goals as well. Personal goals, not just career goals."

I first had my intro call with Bessy to learn a little bit more about the program. I remember vividly sitting in my studio apartment in New York hopping on the call.

I believe within the first 15 minutes or first hour and I was like “Oh, I felt like I was chatting with a friend that just really understood me and I can like tell things very candidly too.”

And she understood exactly where I was coming from. I spent 10 years in finance. I wanted to focus on a different area of my life. You know, we talked about my goals, you know, my family goals as well. Personal goals, not just career goals. 

We also focused a lot on my path and why I enjoyed doing in my current role and kind of the entire timeline of my career since college and even in college. 

I thought that was a really unique approach and I really enjoyed that cause it really does pull out what I genuinely wanted versus what I think I want on paper and what society expects of me on paper. 

So I had a really good feeling out of the first call with Bessy in just really understanding her approach. 

It's not just on the surface level, “how do we get you this job that you think you want”, but really let's go at it and find a job that really fits what you want in life and your long term goals. 

"Initially I was like 'Oh, I don't even know if I should do this... People usually say, you can do it yourself'"

So after my first chat with Bessy and I remember talking to my friend, I was like, “Oh, I don't even know if I should go or do this.”.

He’s one of my best friends and his advice to me was like, “if you can afford a coach, get a coach. Why put yourself through more time and energy if you can just have somebody that has an expertise to help you? We work hard enough to be able to have these services for ourselves.”

So I decided to kind of go with it and take a leap of faith

"I worked with her on the resume help and role-fit piece because I had no idea what role to look for or what size of company to go for."

I worked with her on the resume help and role-fit piece because I had no idea what role to look for or what size of company to go for.

In tech there's the startups, there's a medium size, there's also the large giant tech companies. And so understanding the culture with every single one of them and their demands and each type of culture was really important to me.

Bessy really listened and tried to understand:

  1. what I wanted at this stage in my life
  2. the level of effort I wanted to put in based on where I am in my career
  3. how personal goals put into play as well. 

"Bessy came to me… recommending a role called Product Operations. I had no idea that this job title was out there"

I think Bessy came to me, after understanding my background and what I enjoyed doing, recommending a role called Product Operations

I didn't really know had any idea what it was; it’s not my title at my current job. 

I had no idea that this job title was out there. And even when I started browsing through LinkedIn or a couple of job descriptions. 

As I was reading through it, I was like, Oh, this is exactly what I do at my current finance job! It was an exact fit of the sets that I have, what I enjoyed doing, and what I saw myself doing long-term in tech. So it was a great fit

"I found that once I had that direction, I knew where I wanted to go"

I found that once I had that direction, I knew where I wanted to go

And then from there, Bessy recommended that I reach out to people, do the informal chats to learn more about the cultures of the different companies and the roles itself within the companies.

Bessy helped me target specific companies and size of companies that I should reach out to. And initially it was Airbnb and Stripe.

I was able to informally connect with several individuals at Airbnb and Stripe in the roles and department that I wanted to be in, not knowing how many people would actually talk to a stranger through LinkedIn.

But those were actually really fruitful conversations.

I had really great conversations with the people that did respond to me and wanted to chat. A lot of them actually had similar transitions in the past that when I was doing so a lot of that context that I got from those informal chat were really great cause it really solidified my idea of what I wanted to be doing in these types of companies

Through the informal chats, I got to learn a lot about:

  1. the company cultures themselves
  2. the size of the companies
  3. the demands of that role
  4. And how this tech world that I want to go into in this role isn't as scary or as unknown as I thought it'd be. It's essentially similar skillsets that I can transfer from my existing role in finance 

"I was able to land an internal referral at Stripe and got onsite [interviews] at Stripe to go through the full interview process."

These informal chats were helpful even when I went through interviews.

I was able to land an internal referral at Stripe and got onsite [interviews] at Stripe to go through the full interview process.

This was great cause it definitely helped me understand what those informal chats actually did for the entire job search process and how there was less pressure in the informal chats so that I felt more comfortable at the onsite interviews.

"Through that process I've been through a number of interviews, with Stripe, with Robinhood (the fintech company), with Trulio... And finally even during the COVID times I landed an interview with Apple. I started working with Bessy probably 4 months ago before I got my final offer and signed the final for with Apple. "

Through that process I've been through a number of interviews, with Stripe, with Robinhood (the fintech company), with Trulio, and finally even during the COVID times I landed an interview with Apple.

I went through the interviews in my living room during COVID and actually accepted an offer for Apple in the Product Operations Lead role. I started working with Bessy probably 4 months ago before I got my final offer and signed the final for with Apple.

I genuinely think like Apple, and this role as Product Operations Lead and this product is 100%, like stars aligned!

I'm also in a company that I can see myself longterm, which was one of my initial goals with Bessy. This is somewhere I can see my future here for a number of years, which is what I wanted.

This is because Apple is a large company but I also have the support of that younger tech startup field [because of the product/department I’m in].

I really thank Bessy for this and I'm very excited and very thankful to have this. It’s truly the best results of this entire process

I definitely say I was not a hundred percent sure if I even needed a career coach or anybody to help me in the beginning. Of course there's so many free resources online. 

People are gonna say, “Oh, you can do it yourself. Just put in more work.” But there's just too much information out there and too many different viewpoints.

People are gonna say, “Oh, you can do it yourself. Just put in more work.”

But there's just too much information out there and too many different viewpoints.

I think having that coach and having that guidance by your side to make you feel a little bit more secure about the decisions you're making is really great. I felt that having Bessy by my side with like a coach the whole time, you know, if something happened, I was like, “Hey Bessy, what should I do here? Can I ask this?”

And it was great having that coach on the sidelines kind of just bounce ideas off of, having that independent party that is an advocate for you and want you to push for yourself.

I think that was a really great resource because it gave me a lot more encouragement and comfort [instead of] feeling like you have to do it by yourself.

So I definitely recommend this for those out there who are looking to explore another industry out there, especially within tech from a traditional background who may need a little bit more guidance if you're looking to have somebody be a coach and an advocate for you.

And also somebody that's like a friend and really casual to connect with. There's no barriers in place. 

The minute I spoke with Bessy on our initial call, I just felt like I was talking to a friend that I've known for years… It was definitely fruitful work … and I would say that my future self would thank me for going through this process.

So the minute I spoke with Bessy on our initial call, I just felt like I was talking to a friend that I've known for years and I think that she genuinely understood what I wanted [because she’s been through what I’ve been through].

Even if there were moments during the resume [revamp] process where I felt like I wanted to pull my hair out because I didn't want to give the content or think that deeply about my path and what I wanted to do, but it was definitely fruitful work.

[This is driven by the] focus and intention in thinking through what you really want to do, how you want to approach it, how you resumes should be written.

I think that was a huge help for me in terms of [even] just making me feel good about my resume that I'm putting out there and sending out to these companies and showing people.

And I don't think that I could have done it as swiftly as I could.

I would say that my future self would thank me for going through this process. 

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Caitlin: Dream Job at Facebook During Coronavirus (from Consulting Background)

Caitlin shares her story today about how she used my interview prep program to land her dream job at Facebook for a Program Manager role. 

Most importantly, she did all this during the Coronavirus outbreak, when other industries were laying off employees.

She worked at a consulting firm for 5 years but knew she wanted a career change.

Her dream career included driving a bigger impact globally and seeing a project she can personally own through to the end. In addition to having a great salary, being able to work with diverse minds, and having a fantastic work-life-balance in a great company. Which she did!

Previously, she's also gotten multiple interviews at various tech companies like LinkedIn, Uber, and Facebook but ended up not getting the offer. She wondered why she didn't get the jobs and figured out that she was:

  1. Approaching tech interviews the way the consulting interviews were conducted. (they're very different)
  2. Good enough to get herself in the door but couldn't  tell her story succintly and showcase that she was the best person for the role
  3. Not honing in on what the team really wants and needed

She saw a few of my videos previously and immediately took this opportunity. We leveraged the 1.5 week time period to understand her background and goals, prep a full 35-page Q&A doc (that predicted all the questions in the final interviews), and do 2 mock interviews . 

This led her to finally ace the interviews with the hiring manager and director and get the offer within a week. 

Most importantly, she performed her virtual interviews even during "shelter" throughout the coronavirus outbreak. This proves that tech is definitely the place to be. the only industry and market that's really growing when other companies are quickly laying off employees

Watch the video here, or keep scrolling down for her story in her own words:

In Caitlin's Own Words:

Hey, I'm Caitlin! I recently used Bessy's services to prep for a final round tech interview. I'm coming from a Management Consulting background and was looking to make a jump into a Program Management role.

I recently interviewed for a final around Program Manager role at Facebook.

The Challenges Trying to Get Into Tech From Consulting 

Coming from my background in Management Consulting:

  1. I was having difficulties identifying which people I should talk to you, who are the best people for the job in, and which experiences I should highlight. 
  2. Additionally, I was facing a challenge that consulting interviews are very different than tech interviews. And so I wanted to better understand the process from someone who really had that insider experience.
  3. Finally, I was really having some difficulties being able to fully connect with the interviewers, understand what they want, and really display confidence that I'm the right person for this job.

"I tried to solve this previously through attempting to network and talking to the right people, but I was continuously falling short of getting through the final rounds in interviews."

So I tried to solve this previously through attempting to network and talking to the right people, but I was continuously falling short of getting through the final rounds in interviews.

So I actually came across Bessy on LinkedIn through a mutual connection's post.

I had been thinking of working with a career coach or interview prep, but I was just having a difficult time having someone with the right experience that can helped me.

So Bessy's background really stood out to me because she had successfully made a career transition into tech.

And I really liked that she offered so many resources and training materials upfront. So it really gave me a better sense of her expertise and a head start on the interview prep.

The Interview Prep Program

Step 1: Identifying Her Goals & The Team's Goals

So when we really dove into things, Bessy and I first met to go through her structure and prep document that purely broke down each interview round and provided example questions.

She helped me to identify key goals around connecting my background to the role, understanding the team's needs and succinctly delivering information on my skill sets and previous experience.

We really tailored our approach in the program to talk through points and answers that would tell my story better and answer questions succinctly.

Step 2: Mock Interviews & Figuring Out Her "Why"

We had 2 major mock interview sessions and a final rapid-fire round right before I had the final interview. 

In the first round, we focused on honing my background in my why. So really developing a succinct story to explain why I'm interested in the role and in the company. 

Step 3: Final Hands-On Preparation with the 35-Page Google Doc 

Next, I worked offline to prep my behavioral answers in the Google Doc. She would provide direct feedback to my answers in the comments while I would further align my story. 

And then we were able to work together to talk through them and further hone them to really focus on the needs of the job role and again to have very succinct answers that were tailored to the job and the role.

"As a result, the Interviewers asked less clarifying questions and I was able to feel a lot more confident in my interviews"

I was able to feel a lot more confident in my interviews.

 I was much more prepared and I was able to, be more confident in my answers. This is cause I had already prepped a lot of the questions, I had already answered many of them in our reviews.

As a result, the interviewers asked less clarifying questions and we were able to save so much time in our interview loops that I could ask them more questions and really build more meaningful connections and rapports in that really short amount of interview time.

"This program is great for someone who knows that tech is a great fit for them and are looking to make a major career change"

So I think the service as a whole is great for anyone that's willing to take the time and effort to prep. And that already knows that tech is a great fit for them and are looking to make a major career change.


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Find Out What Career In Tech is The Right Fit For You (Part 3 of 3)

Step 3:  Map Your Experiences

Watch the 10-minute video here! Otherwise scroll down for the full article/transcript on answer "What Career is the Right Fit For Me?"

Want to Find Out Your Natural Entry Point & Best Career Path in Tech?

Subscribe To Start a Quick 7-Day Email Course. Get Exclusive Access To:

  • Your Career Criteria Checklist/Roadmap
  • Why Tech May or May Not Be Right For You
  • Resume Revamp Checklist
  • Top Interview Questions & How To Answer Them

The Two-Way Relationship in a Job Search that No One Talks About

Two-way job relationship: what you need in a job vs what the employer/team needds

There's actually two relationships when it comes to a job search

  1. First is what you want to get out of a company.  I address this in the first two videos in this 3-part series .
    1. So that means: the lifestyle that you need,
    2. environment you need to bring out your strengths
    3. the people that you work with eg. working with smart people
    4. solving big challenges,
    5. being able to travel around the world and live the lifestyle that you want.
  2. The second side of the equation is actually what a company needs from the employee. The reason why a job actually exists is because there was a problem in the company or the team that needs to be solved, right?
    1. So the employee is meant to solve that problem in order to improve the business or reshow KPIs.  
    2. When we talk about this match, what we want to be able to do is understand your current assets and experiences so that you can fulfill the problem or solve the problem that team has.

I will tell you a little bit more later on about how to actually do this.

Just a caveat! You may or may not be able to get into your dream job in the beginning. For example, when I got into Google, I was in sales. I would talk to customers and also be very close to product before transitioning to my dream job in product, which I did.

Benefits of Focusing On Adding Value vs Just What You Want

Increase Sense of Fulfillment

Firstly, it increases your sense of fulfillment because you're actually solving big problems that only you would be able to solve. That's what makes a a really a great fit. 

Shorten Your Job Hunt By 2 TIMES

Secondly, to shorten your job hunt. When I was able to do that personally when I transitioned to Google, it actually shortened my job search into 2-weeks : Getting 2 job offers from 2 tech companies within 2 weeks vs the whole 10 month job search process, applying to many, many roles in different companies and getting rejections.

On average when students use my coaching programs, they're able to get their dream job in tech within 4 months and interviews within 2 weeks just because of this identifying the right role. A lot of times readers out there who don't use a coach or specific people who are in the tech industry might take a little bit longer around a year or so.

Make It As Easy As Possible

Lastly, it's because you want to make this as easy for yourself as possible. When a lot of people would try to make too many changes at once when the job transition is already difficult, it harder for them to make the change. 

For example, a lot of times when people look at new jobs or positions you change industries, countries, roles,, business aspects or functions.

It's really, really difficult to have a succinct story be able to tell a story to companies, but also be able to connect the dots in the longer term. This way you can connect the dots throughout each position and be able to hone in on your assets and really add value to the companies. 

So now we're going to talk about the three different aspects where you can leverage your strengths and experiences to showcase that you are the best fit for the company.

3 Strategies to Find the Right Career Fit in Your Next Role (In Tech)

These 3 aspects are industry, business and role.

Strategy #1: Industry Experiences

Firstly, when it comes to industry, we're talking about retail, finance, media, advertisements, different industries that can help you showcase that you have the industry knowledge and how the industry actually works in order to add value.

Specifically, to add value to the team that is working within that industry.

Example: Anna Who Transitioned From the Music Industry to Google

For example, a student of mine who was in Universal Music was able to land a role within Google product partnerships. This is important because she had the expertise of being in the industry, which is something that the team really, really needed.

She was able to add value immediately and showcase that within her resume and interviews. 

Strategy #2: Business Experiences

Secondly, it's the business expertise. This means ad tech, media management, any business related activities that the team is already in that you're interacting with more specifically, you are already working with those products.

On the other side of the equation, for example, if you're in the marketing side and already leveraging Facebook ads, Google ads, Salesforce, anything like that, you would be able to simply understand from a client perspective in move over to the type companies 

Example: Ebony Who Transitioned From Finance to LinkedIn

For example, my student Ebony was able to do this, was already in the marketing side of a client and was able to transition to LinkedIn ads because she was able to showcase her use of LinkedIn, how she upsold clients and how she is able to drive business KPIs through the product itself.

Strategy #3: Role Experiences

Thirdly, it's a role. This might seem very straightforward, but a lot of titles in the traditional industry or traditional company don't actually exist in the tech companies.

Example #1: Translating Titles in Traditional Industries to Job Titles in Tech

For example, a student of mine had the title of Performance Manager in Anheuser Busch. What we worked on was understanding what she actually did and mapping her experiences. This actually translated to a Sales Operations Manager role in tech.

Another other student in Finance had the title of Vice President in Goldman Sachs. Now I personally know after working with so many students that are a lot of "VP" roles within Finance. What we wanted to do is actually break down what she did.

This 2-weekend effort translated her job to a Product Operations Management role within a tech company because she was actually managing operations for different products that Goldman Sachs was building.

Example #2: Data Engineer or Data Analyst into Tech

But this could also be very, very straightforward. For example, if you're a data analyst or a data engineer in specific companies like Lucy was, you're able to find similar roles (data analyst) within tech companies. 

Another example would be Laurie who was a business development manager and travel and was able to translate that into an account executive role.

So there's two sides of our equation. Now I'm going to tell you about the 3-steps that you'll need to take in order to link this all together. 

3-Steps to Map Your Experiences to Define Your Career in Tech

Step #1: Understand Your Current Role + Data Points You Have

First you will need to understand your current role that you're in and any past data points that you have that can showcase how strong your experiences were.

Then you'll be able to translate your unique experiences and strengths into an actual role. 

You'll be able to do this in Day 1 and 2 of my Free 7-day Email Course. Use the worksheets to map out the 3 different traits or transitional factors in your experiences of industry, business, or role related strengths to map it to a specific company or role.

Want to Find Out Your Natural Entry Point & Best Career Path in Tech?

Subscribe To Start a Quick 7-Day Email Course. Get Exclusive Access To:

  • Your Career Criteria Checklist/Roadmap
  • Why Tech May or May Not Be Right For You
  • Resume Revamp Checklist
  • Top Interview Questions & How To Answer Them

Step #2: Map Experiences to 3 Identifiable Traits for Role

Then boil down your experiences into 3 identifiable traits that are much needed in that role.

For example, if you're an Account Manager, the 3 things that you really, really need to have in your background are 

  1. Cross Functional Relationships
  2. Hitting Targets/Driving Sales
  3. Working Cross Functionally with both C level and A-level  Contacts Internally/Eternally.

For example, if you're an Analyst or a Data Engineer, what's really important is for you to highlight experiences in:

  1.  Driving KPIs
  2. Data Analytics
  3.  Stakeholder Management.

Let's say you're going for Product Operations. Then what is important is:

  1.  Operationalizing Poducts
  2. User-First Approach
  3. Cross Functional Collaboration 

How to Find Out What 3 Traits Are Important in a Role?

If you don't know what traits or attributes are really important to specific roles, you could actually reach out to some people who have the job title that you're thinking about matching to.

Leverage my informal chat scripts & step-by-step guidelines to reach out to them and understand more about what they do

So your questions could be:

  • What do you do on a daily basis?
  • Who do you work with?
  • What makes you more successful than other people in the same role? 
  • Most importantly if they did transition from a traditional to a tech company, you can ask them what traits were transferable and what made them unique to be in that position. 

If you feel like your background isn't strong enough after talking to various people in those roles, you can also define those gaps with the people you talk to and work on relevant projects for the next few months to build case studies and stories.

This way, you'll be a much stronger candidate when making the transition.

Update Your LinkedIn/Resume Accordingly

Then you would update your LinkedIn and resume in order to showcase those traits as well as adding that specific title to your LinkedIn.

 You wouldn't want "Vice President" as a title on LinkedIn. You'd want to have "Product Operations Manager/Vice President" as your title on LinkedIn instead. When recruiters or hiring managers search online , you would already show up as a strong candidate. 

Step #3: Discover Job Openings & Gain Referrals to Skip "Applying"

Lastly, when you have those relationships already being built in, you also have your identified role and three attributes plus experiences that you have.

You'd be able to easily get into tech by talking to them and understanding what teams are hiring, what their business challenges are, and be able to speak to those business challenges.

You'll actually expedite the job hunt process, showcasing the types of experiences you have that are relevant but most importantly choosing the right role.

Conclusion

 In the end, every job offer gets at least 250 applications, 4-6 interviews, and only 1 person actually gets that job.

You want to be a part of that pool by showcasing that you are actually the right person.

So tell me how helpful was this video/article? I know there was a lot that we covered. I wanted to make sure that I'm answering your questions as much as possible.

Comment Below, What role did you identify those right thing for you and how do you go about that? Where were the results? Again, make sure to comment, subscribe, and like this video

Want to Find Out Your Natural Entry Point & Best Career Path in Tech?

Subscribe To Start a Quick 7-Day Email Course. Get Exclusive Access To:

  • Your Career Criteria Checklist/Roadmap
  • Why Tech May or May Not Be Right For You
  • Resume Revamp Checklist
  • Top Interview Questions & How To Answer Them

Find Out What Career In Tech is The Right Fit For You (Part 2 of 3)

Step 2:  Understand Your Strengths

Use Your Strengths At Work? Be 6X More Engaged & 3X Happier

In a recent global survey, Gallup (a global research company), actually found that 1/3 of professionals strongly agree that they're leveraging the best of their strengths at work. 

As part of the study. They also found out that if they are focused on their strengths at work, they are 6X as likely to be engaged at work and 3X more likely to say that they have a great quality of life.

The reason why I'm sharing this is because the 5 specific career tests I'm sharing today helped me get my dream job at Google.

I was previously a marketing struggle to hone into my strengths at work and through a 10 month process actually got into tech and that's why I help people get into tech companies like Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Salesforce, L2, Trunk Club and interviews at more eg Robinhood, Square, Stripe, Headspace, Expedia, etc.

I was able to transition from a sales role too to  my dream product role at Google. I traveled around the world and also move halfway across the world from Hong Kong to USA.


First I'll share a little bit more about what I'm recommend you to do after you find out what your strengths and then jump into the career tests themselves

Want to Find Out Your Natural Entry Point & Best Career Path in Tech?

Subscribe To Start a Quick 7-Day Email Course. Get Exclusive Access To:

  • Your Career Criteria Checklist/Roadmap
  • Why Tech May or May Not Be Right For You
  • Resume Revamp Checklist
  • Top Interview Questions & How To Answer Them

What You Should Do With These Tests

First, I would suggest you to do these tests every 2-3 years. Personalities change with time and experiences so it's always great to keep track

Secondly, I want you to actually map out your ideal environment in order to bring out your strengths the most. Now, I talk a lot about this in my free 7-day email course, especially in Day 1 & 2, to create your Career Criteria Checklist. This will help you understand what your next job should be.

So today you can use all these 5 career tests to map out your strengths, understand how these strengths map out to an ideal work environment based on your tendencies and thus map out ideal career roles which I'll cover in the 3rd video.

For example, for me:

  • I need to make sure that I'll be working on projects alone while being able to gather and ideas and creative thinking from a team like environment (Introverted-ness from Myers Briggers)
  • I need to be able to get a lot of facts and you have a lot of resources for me to make great decisions and have a great impact around the world (Red and Yellow from Insights Discovery)
  • I need to be able to perform acts of service and spend quality time with people on my team (5 Love Languages)
  • I need to be very helpful. So I need to see the impact of my work. So very transparent work environment, very fast paced. (5 Love Languages)

Lastly, make sure you can figure out what you can do with these strengths in your current job such as adjusting your work environment or schedule. For example, if you're very extroverted, do more social activities and do more team related work.  On the other hand, if you're an introvert like me,  do more independently driven work. 

The Five Career Tests

I'll start with the most in depth ones and also the most expensive ones.

Career Test

Price

Questions

Personality Types

ReportPages

Where to Buy

DISC Assessment

US$50

80

18

18

Find a Partner EverythingDISC.com

Insights Discovery

US$350

25

16

32

Find a Partner

Insights.com

Strengths Finder 2.0

US$15

177

34

5

Myers Briggs

US$50/Free

80

16

18

Find a Partner MyersBriggs.Org

Free 16Personalities

Pivot Method

Free

38

3

1

5 Love Languages

Free 

30

5

1

If you liked this video or article, please comment below on the tests you used and what insights you actually found out about yourself.

If you've done certain tests before and I haven't addressed them, please feel free to comment them below too.

After this video I'll also have the third video, which is how to leverage your current assets and experiences in order to find out what your next job would be. 

5 Best Career Tests: DISC, Insights Discovery, Strengths Finder 2.0, Myers Briggs MBTI, Pivot Method, Love Languages

1. DISC Assessment

First, I have the DISC assessment. I actually had access when I was a sophomore in Babson College.

Background:

The framework was first founded in 1920s and actually formalized in 1970s so someone would researchers actually quite in depth. The only way you can access this is through different partners or if your company currently has a partnership.

2 Reasons Why I Love This The DISC Assessment:

  • First, I love it because it's crazy long, 18-pages that covered key overviews like strengths, weaknesses, and most importantly how I could leverage them to be of value to the team
  • Secondly, this seems trivial but the wording is quite objective where it's lists out, "Bessy is determined ...etc" It gives me more of a bird's eye view to my personality instead of taking the report too personally

The Metrics:

The DISC assessment actually stands for D I S and C.

  • D means Dominance. Dominant folks are very result oriented and strong willed. 
  • I means Influence. Influential people are very happy, very enthusiastic and optimistic.
  • S is called Steadiness, but really it's about being team-oriented 
  • C is Conscientiousness. Conscientious people are super detail oriented and an analytical. 

So personally I'm D & I. Naturally I'm more D than I, but then in a team environment I'm more I than D. This is so that can bring people together to work towards a wider goal.

2. INSIGHTS Discovery (Color Test)

Secondly, this is Insights Discovery commonly called the color personality tests.

Background:

I actually did this test at work 2 times. The test is quite well known, I know both Bloomberg, Google, and Facebook use it. I'm sure a lot of tech companies that focuses teamwork uses this test as well. It allows managers and teammates to understand each other's personalities and hire/work with each other accordingly.

You can access the official test on insights.com. However you won't be able to access the test online. 

3 Reasons Why I Love This Insights Discovery:

  1. Firstly it was founded in 1980s -  a lot of the terminologies and wording that they used are quite new.
  2. It's super in depth. It's even more in depth than the DISC assessment where it's 32-pages. It gave me strengths but also gave me blind spots, stuff that I can work on personally to identify my weaknesses and also be aware of them when I'm working with other people.
  3. Most importantly, this report actually gives you an ideal environment in which you can bring your strengths out most. For me, I need to have a creative and autonomous way to approach strategy - this means I need to have regular brainstorming sessions instead of having a top down leadership.

The Metrics:

The results I received were quite similar to a disc assessment.

  • Red in Insights is similar to D in DISC , very determined, a "Director."
  • Yellow in Insights is similar to Influence in DISC called the "Inspirer". This person is very happy 
  • Green in Insights is very similar to Steadiness in DISC, called the "Supporter." You always include everybody as a supportive teamplayer
  • Blue is more analytical like Conscientious in DISC, called the "Observer". You observe before taking action

If you look at the wheel above, you'll see that there are opposite colors in different ends of the "spectrum" or "circle".  A blue observer is opposite of an inspirer, Director that of a supporter.

You'll also see the more dominant features you have, the more in the "outer" circle you are. This means, the more well rounded you are , the more you are in the middle.

However, there's never a wrong or right. Your goal is always to balance other people's perspectives. For example, as a team, you'd want to have various folks around the circle to build a well-rounded team.

As someone who takes this test, you'd also want to be mindful of other teammates' strengths, especially those who are opposite of you, and act accordingly to support their working styles.

Personally, similar to DISC, I am red then yellow when I'm my natural self and yellow then red when I'm with others. So I am the positive person that brings everyone together but also gets things done. 

3. Strengths Finder 2.0

Background:

The first version of the book was published in 2001. This updated version I got has a lot more personalities involved.

The book has been on the top seller list for over five years. You can even read the reviews on Amazon, it's a great book to learn more about your strengths at good value.

If you're contemplating which strengths test to get if you were to get just one, stop reading right now and get the Strengths Finder book here.  

3 Reasons Why I Love Strengths Finder 2.0

Similar to this assessment, the color of tests, the test is around 30 minutes. It's quite in depth.

  1. It's super accessible. Unlike the disc assessment and color tests. This one is just a $15 book. Once you get the book, you'll receive a code at the back so that you can go online and take the test directly.
  2. There are  34 themes that instead of just focusing on the 4 quadrants based off of Carl Young's research of introvertedness, extrovertedness, think, or feel (aka what DISC and Insights were based on).
  3. The report is online and is super actionable.  For example, there is a section called "things you can do today." These reminders will help you bring out your strengths on a daily basis

The Metrics:

The StrengthsFinder 2.0 report online will give you a top 5 themes that you portrayed the most. And then for an additional $40 you can get all 34 themes. Again, this is a lot more accessible than the other 2 (DISC & Insights) which I believe are ~$100 per person and also requires a facilitator to facilitate the results of

The results really validated what I got from my previous tests DISC and Insights. However, I think this report breaks the findings down even more in terms of what it means for me to be red or dominant focus personally.

I think out of all of the tests, this would be a great purchase for you just to get things started. Get the book. Beforehand, you could also contact your employer to see if the DISC or Insights Discovery/Color tests are available first.

 If not, then you could even use this opportunity to bring strengths tests to the workplace too as a side project.

4. Myers Briggs (MBTI)

Background

This tool was actually developed in 1940s by Isabel Briggs Myers and then published in 1962. So, the test is still a bit more modern compared to the first two.

The official tool on Insights.com is actually $50. I personally did this test on www.16personalities.com which was free.

Why I Liked the Myers Briggs

  1. Although the free test was not official nor endorsed by the Myers Briggs team, it was still in-depth enough to provide meaningful insights with pages of results categorized by segments of your life eg. Relationships, career
  2. I like how visual it was. The report helped me put into perspective what an ideal workplace would look like
  3. I also liked how the results could be applied to daily life since the insights went a bit beyond the career or the workplace into relationships and beyond

The Metrics

There are 4 spectrums that you can get into in which each spectrum you have 1 trait to choose from out of 2. When each trait is chosen you get a personality and each test taker can get 1 of 16 total personalities.

  1. Extrovertedness (E) & Introvertedness (I) : What does your favorite world look like? Extroverts gain energy from interacting with others and external stimulations. Introverts gain energy by being alone 
  2. Sensing (S) & Intuition (N) : What information do you need? Sensing means you take in the basic information from outside. Intuition means you get information from your personal experiences and reflections.
  3. Thinking (T) or Feeling (F): How do you actually make decisions? People on the Thinking spectrum prefer looking at everything on a logical basis. On the other hand, those on the Feeling specturm prefer confiding in others and talking to them to solve problems.
  4. Judging (J) or Perceiving (P): How do you actually deal with outside worlds? People on the Judging spectrum prefer to plan ahead while those on the Perceiving spectrum deals with things as they come

I actually took this test twice. 5 years ago, I was INFJ. However when I recently took the test again specifically for this video, I was INTJ. It's interesting because this means I started using more data and logic to make decisions and solve problems as moved from Hong Kong to US or changed roles to a product role which requires more data to make decisions. 

Either way, both of these personalities make up of 2% of the world population, which is really rare. Women actually make up less of INTJ at 0.8%.

My results and what to do: I make decisions a lot based off of intuition. I prefer logic when it comes to making decisions and a lot of information and a lot of research. I also require plans ahead instead of having things thrown at me all the time. That is very difficult when it comes to being an entrepreneur or being in the tech world given things change all the time being in these fields. 

For me, the industry is super fast paced in general, but being able to map out a plan and goals and OKR is with my manager and team is really helpful for me that allows me to bring my strengths out.

5. Pivot Method / Pivotability Assessment

I bought the Pivot Method on my Kindle (buy it here), unlike the Strengths Finder 2.0 in Hardcover.

The coolest part is the author of Jenny Blake is actually from Google as well, and she was leading the career development programs are at Google, had a sabbatical to promote her book, and ended up quitting her job in order to continue her work.

Background

This pivot method is actually used a lot in workshops at work in Google. It's great if you've read this book already since you would have been exposed to her pivot method.

If you didn't know, she has a free Pivotability test online and toolkit where she gives you for free .

The Metrics and My Results:

In her Pivotability Assessment, there's actually 3 profiles:

  1. A Security Seeker, which means you have a high need of control and stability and therefore when it comes to new opportunities, you want to approach a very slowly and cautiously. 
  2. Secondly, you're Measured Pivoters you are open to change and open to actually try new things. At the same time, you also need long periods of reflection and also talking with others. I am personally a Measured Perimeter. I won't be able to survive in very, very small startup environment. Even when I started this BessyTam.com blog, I had confided in a lot of mentors in this space to start 🙂
  3. Lastly, there's Pivot Pro which is driving for achievement and also you know, actively seeking new situations.

The changes in tech are quite frequent and you're always finding new things. I think this would also be a great way to prep for getting into tech, knowing what personality you have and what type of information you'd need to make the change.

So I would suggest you to go on Jenny's website, www.PivotMethod.com/Toolkit to get the online test.

I do recommend for you to read the pivot method. This book is awesome in terms of helping you transition from whatever industry to get into tech. This framework has 4 separate steps that talks about exactly what this three-part video series is about, how to choose the right career that's a great fit for you.

BONUS: The 5 Love Languages

Background

The last test that I want to share with you is actually the Love Language Test.

This is not directly related to your career, but will help you make the most out of the people around you at work and to make sure you build an environment that is supportive of your needs towards success.

The Metrics and My Results:

The 5 different love language are acts of service, quality, time receiving gifts, physical touch and words of affirmation. Each metric can receive a score of 1 through 10 with 10 meaning it's the most important to you.

 The metrics are quite self-explanatory, but what we want to know is how this actually influences your career.

If let's say you are very much into physical touch, then it would be very, very hard for you to actually work remotely because you won't be able to actually spend time with people at work.

My personal top 2 are: Acts of Service and Quality Time (Both equally getting a score of 10). That's why I spend so much time with my clients even in this business of helping people get into tech because I really appreciate and really value the time that we have together.

That's how I actually got my daily reward and how I get motivated to work more too.

Conclusion

I wanted to reiterate that these 5 career tests won't tell you exactly what role you're a great fit for, but it gives you what work environment you need to succeed and bring out your strenghts.

Now I talk a lot about this in my free 7-day email course, especially in day 1 and 2, to create your career criteria.

Today, you can use all these career tests and map out your strengths.

Write out what that means in terms of a work environment and what are your tendencies. ​

If you liked this video/content, please make sure you subscribe both on YouTube as well as on my site so that you can updates and new content like this where we'll talk a little bit more about using your current assets and experiences in order to land a job that you absolutely love.

Also common below which tool that you like the most and what insights that you actually get out of it.

Want to Find Out Your Natural Entry Point & Best Career Path in Tech?

Subscribe To Start a Quick 7-Day Email Course. Get Exclusive Access To:

  • Your Career Criteria Checklist/Roadmap
  • Why Tech May or May Not Be Right For You
  • Resume Revamp Checklist
  • Top Interview Questions & How To Answer Them
2

Find Out What Career In Tech is The Right Fit For You (Part 1 of 3)

Step 1:  Find Out What You Want

I didn't always know what I wanted

Especially when I felt stuck and dissatisfied in marketing and went to random Google events like in the picture.

By the way, none of the events I went to led to my job at Google. So if you're going to events to try to get a job.. stop!

The people on my team were very status quo. Instead of following along, I felt frustrated. I remember vividly, I was at my desk in the office, facing the front door watching people walk around while I built spreadsheets on my computer. 

I felt lost. Instead of working on strategic projects and collaborating with others from start to finish, everyone worked at their own desks.

I didn't even know whether what I worked on was impactful, I was just told what to do. And I would look at my desk everyday, wondering why there were processes like this? And why do things have to go through 10 chains of command?

Worst of all, I felt like it was my fault - maybe I wasn't good enough to be strategic,. 

I knew I couldn't keep going like this -  Just peaks and troughs, peaks and troughs. But I didn't know what job I could do nor what I wanted. But what I did know was that I didn't want that. 

That if I continued on, I would have been very depressed.

How I Found Out What I Wanted

So I went on a journey.

Instead of being complacent, I tried to talk to people, and find out what I really want to be doing. After talking to so many people, all I knew I just didn't want a career in traditional marketing or sales  but I didn't know what I wanted!

I felt like a master of none but didn't want to pigeon hole myself in something and regret it later on.

After so many months of figuring things out, reading books and talking to experts in the field who truly loved their careers, I realized no one was going to tell you what you want.

The answer is within everyone -  And I found the every first step that got me to figure out what I wanted was asking myself  5 questions.

NOTE: No one ever handed me these 5 questions - It took me 10 months of reading 30+ books, watching tons of videos, and meeting 300+ people (8 people I met and 70 people I spoke with on Tinder) to put the pieces together and attribute my success back to these 5 specific questions

That's why I wanted to share it with you!

So get a pen and paper with a timer for 5-10 mins (or leverage Microsoft/Google Docs!) and follow the video!

This is 1st of a 3-PART SERIES to Find Out What Job is The Right Fit For You (Part 1 of 3).

  1. Finding out what you want to do (this video/article)
  2.  Bringing out your strengths
  3.  Leveraging your current assets and experiences 

PS if you don't want to follow the video, you can keep scrolling down to read it in article form

5 Groundbreaking Questions to Find Out What You Want

Your Career is Like a Jungle Gym

Before I step into the core component of this video, I wanted to talk a little bit more about the two specific objectives.

First is having, knowing what you want to do is not actually about having one career but many careers. So Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook famously said that you should think of your career not as a ladder, but as a jungle gym.

Different jobs or different careers should, should link up together in many different ways so that you can connect the dots and see a bigger picture that ladders fours what you want to do.

It's the Non-Negotiables that Matter

Second of all, it's the non-negotiables that matter.

So, these are things that are traits of your life instead of just the job itself.

These are, you know, relationships, a workplace balance, lifestyle. Ask yourself, what are your nonnegotiables when it comes to a dream job?

  • Are you traveling?
  • How many people are you working with?
  • How does health or the environment play into this?
  • What does the support you get from your career, mentorship, etc look like?

So these are not necessarily the core of what you want to do, but are  supporting factors towards what your life should look like.

That's what we want to cover today, especially in the 5 different questions you should ask yourself in order to find out what you want to do.

How to Make the Most Out of These 5 Questions

Before I ask these five questions, I would love for you to take a notebook and pen out so that you can write out the question, but also your answer to it.

Your answers should be as thorough as you can - Whether it's one full page, bullet points or even five pages of just notes. I usually like to have some calming music behind the scenes as well so that I can kind of think through my answers and be able to visualize and be able to answer my questions for me.

The set a timer of maybe 5 minutes per question where you can answer it thoroughly before you jump to the next question.

Question 1: What would you be doing if fear was not a factor?

 A lot of times we lead our life with fear.

  • What would people think?
  • what would people say?
  •  I'm not right for this. I'm not ready for this.

But if there was not a factor, what would you be doing

Would you be...:

  • Doing more speaker events?
  • Would you be coaching more people and mentoring people, whether they're in high school, college or people in your company?
  • Would you be leading a specific project that you wanted to leave but didn't have the courage say "Yes!" to?

For me, the fact that I'm here filming this video and writing this article) is really scary to me. What if there's people who say that my video is not good?

However, I know that I need to share my message more with people out in the world because everything that I share with you are tools that I've used in order to help me with my career.

Question 2: Who do I want to be like when I grow up?

This question allows us to have someone to look forward to who has the traits of a life that we want.

Generally, it's easier for us to identify the things that we want or don't want versus brainstorming it on our own.

For example, I really love the work ethic and passion and enthusiasm and creativity that Beyonce brings (video). 

At the same time, I love the audacity,  the helpfulness, and the caring nature that Oprah brings to the table that allows her to help a lot more people.

Ask yourself:

  • Who do I want to be like?
  • What do they do on a daily basis?
  • What kind of work do they do in order to make them who they are?
  • What do I like about them? What do I not want to take it from them?

So it doesn't have to be one person. It could be many people. The goal is to be able to visualize these are things I really want to do, that I want my lifestyle to be like that.

Question 3: When were you most in the zone? What moment are you most proud of?

So this is a passion or exercise I put into my 7-day free email course as well.

This question is awesome because it will help us understand what makes us really excited in the end.

A career is very, very fulfilling as long as we're excited about it because every day we're at our jobs 8 hours out of the 24 hours in a day.  And of course if you're an entrepreneur it might be more hours  than that

With that in mind, we need to make sure that we are in the zone or doing work that we love and truly enjoy.

For example, I was most in the zone when I was leading my dance team in college. It is a while back, but it's definitely something I think about all the time.

Image may contain: 1 person 

And something I strive for reason was because I was leading an organization of 80 people and was able to sell out all of our shows on a bi-annual basis. Everyone was so amazing and I was able to be creative as well as, uh, holding a managerial position that I can see myself doing in the future.

Question 3a: Ask your colleagues/peers "When did you see me in the zone or in my element the most? What brings it out? "

Another thing that you could do as a subset of this question is actually ask peers, when did you see me in the zone the most or in my element most?


You could ask them, "What are my weaknesses? What would bring it out?"

Feel free to approach it as an ask a part of your new goal or new way of learning  yourself and asking them for advice.

In an email BCC-ing everyone, you could say:

"I need your help! I would love to learn more about myself  this year. Specifically,  be able to hone into my strengths and also develop my weaknesses.


We've worked really closely in the past (or I've known you for X years now) and I truly hold your opinion in the highest regard. It'd be a greatest gift to me if you're able to provide feedback even if it takes you 2-5 minutes.  


When you have moment, are you able to share this insight by replying directly to this email?

  • When have you seen me do my best work or am "in the zone". What brings it out?
  • What are my weaknesses? What brings it out?

I'd really appreciate your feedback and it'd truly be a gift to me!


Best,

Bessy

Question 4: If today were the last day of your life, would you want to do what you are about to do today?

The reason why this question is great is because of the things into perspective. If today were your last day or last 24 hours, you'd be able to understand what is the desired impact you would want to make from your life.

Even if you wanted to impact those around you or the world, it doesn't mean you're going to jump into this job or lifestyle tomorrow.

For example, for the last day of my life, I want to spend time with my family, be able to travel, and be able to impact a lot more people to get their dream jobs.

I may or may not be able to do that today, but it's something that I have in mind to be able to strive for.

Question 5: What does your ideal day look like? 

Let's say  if it was an ideal Saturday or Sunday, what would you doing?

If you weren't watching TV or eating meals or sleeping, what would you be doing that would make that day ideal?

A good exercise is to actually walk through the day from start to finish. 

  • What time would you wake up?
  • Where would you wake up?
  • What does it look like?
  • Who's around you?  Who is with you after you wake up, you know, are you with your family? Are you sending your kids to school?
  • Are you working on key projects, writing a book, reading keynotes?
  • What do your meals look like? Are you cooking them? Do you have a chef, personal chef?
  • Are you flying to different places? Planning for travel?
  • What does your work look like? Are you helping people online? Do you have a team in person? Are you in the office?

I asked this question to one of my students and friends before and she said that her ideal day would be in the office working with her team and actually storyboarding a brand campaign with post-its on the wall.

It's really interesting how everyone's perspectives are very different and she finally understood what she wanted to do!

 But thinking about a typical Saturday would be very helpful so that you can completely visualize that day into your notebook and write it down.

Conclusion

So here are the 5 different questions that you can ask yourself in order to find out what you actually want - make sure you spend 5-10 minutes on each question and type it out/write it in a notebook.

  1. What would you be doing if fear was not a factor?
  2. Who do I want to be like when I grow up?
  3. When was I most in the zone? What moment was I most proud of?
  4. If today were the last day of your life, would you want to do what you are about to do today?
  5. What does your ideal day look like?

Comment below if you liked this video - tell me, what was your favorite question and why? What did you find out?

From Finance to LinkedIn – Ebony’s Story

Ebony knew she wanted to get into tech but didn't know which role or company she should go for. With Bessy's help in her all-in-one coaching program, Ebony successfully transitioned from a Marketing role in a Finance Company to her dream  job in LinkedIn.

With her new dream career in tech, she’s now able to :

  • Earn 2X her previous salary
  • Get more flexibility to work from home
  • Have paid-for opportunities to travel around the world to Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Chicago, and San Francisco
  • Work in a place with smart people where she can learn everyday and grow in her career.

In this 3 minute video, Ebony shares her enthusiasm about wanting to work in tech, frustrations in landing a job in tech, why she chose to work with me, the exact coaching program we went through, and who she recommends these programs for.

I’ve also added the timestamps here and in the description so you can find specific sections more easily

  • 01:57 - Why Tech
  • 02:05 - Challenges before Working with Bessy
  • 02:30 - Why Bessy
  • 03:03 - Program Details & Step by Step
  • 04:11 - Recommendations
  • 04:56 - Book a Call!

Without further ado, here’s Ebony! 

PS If you don't want to view the video, you can scroll down to read the transcript too

Overview

Ebony's Background: Marketing in a Bank

Where Ebony Ended Up: Account Executive in LinkedIn

In Ebony's Own Words

Hi guys,

This is Ebony! So I’m currently on my vacation because I just landed a job, my dream job at LinkedIn.

Before I got into tech, I was actually in the Finance industry doing business development and marketing. I was interested in tech. I really liked the culture as well as the environment that everything evolves quickly. 

There were 2 major challenges that I was facing when I wanted to get into tech.

  1. I’m not exactly sure which role I should go for or what I should be applying for.
  2. The second challenge that I faced was since I was changing from a different industry, I knew it was a lot harder to get interviews if I just hit the apply button online.

"Since I was changing from a different industry, I knew it was a lot harder to get interviews if I just hit the apply button online."

Bessy offered tremendous help for me during my entire job hunting process and helped me to get the interviews and finally landed my dream job in LinkedIn.

I was really inspired by Bessy’s experience in tech and how she got into the tech industry from a non tech background. And another reason why I chose to work with her was because she is in the tech industry and she knew exactly the interview process as well as the kind of questions you’d be asked.

During the entire process, there were different things we covered. First of all, we did a couple of session on the resume revamp. By going through my background, Bessy found out what our my good advantages.

It really gave me more confidence on my resume to showcase my previous accomplishments. We added those numbers and data points to support what I did which helped me to get interviews even only with just the resume.

We also had a couple of sessions to go through companies or the roles that I can try. The next step, we discussed how to approach these companies strategically to find out what the roles really covers and what the kind of person they’re looking for in that role.

Later when I got different interviews or informational chats, we went through the different questions they may ask and prepared an interview prep sheet. It’s really structured. If you don’t know what is the STAR method, you would know later if you work with Bessy.

"The overall process was very strategic. It helped me know more about myself - what I’m interested, what really fits me, and where I wanted to go. "

The overall process was very strategic. It helped me know more about myself - what I’m interested, what really fits me, and where I wanted to go.

I learned so much Bessy, and this coaching program is definitely something I recommend for people who want to land a job in tech, for people who are thinking of making a career change, if you need any help with the interviews or if you need any help with the resume.

I’m so grateful that I have her to support me. She’s super nice and super supportive. I’m so happy about it and also am excited for my new role as well!

From Real-Estate to Facebook/Netflix – Lucy’s Story

How would you react if you got into Facebook or Netflix?

Insert Jonah Hill screaming gif

Yup, that was me

Except I was screaming in excitement because my student Lucy got into Facebook/Netflix! 

A lot of people ask me why I started this site - and honestly, THIS is the reason why:

  • To help people change their lives
  • earn 2X their salary compared to their previous job
  • get to work in their dream companies with the smartest people ever
  • and gain fulfillment at work leading and owning their own projects.

And I know how hard it is to get into tech with a non-technical background in a non-tech industry. I even filmed a video about my experiences getting into Google from a marketing background.

That’s why it’s even more rewarding for me to be able to help people like Lucy get into Facebook/Netflix, or other students like Laurie get into a startup and then Salesforce and Ebony into LinkedIn using my strategies.

Overview

Lucy's Background: Data Analyst, Real-Estate Firm

Where Lucy Ended Up: Data Engineer, Facebook/Netflix (preferred to not specify)

How Does Bessy Come Into the Picture?

Feel free to check out the 3 minute video above or scroll to read the overview and transcript below.

Lucy joined me in my Interview Preparation Program. She had an interview coming up in 2-3 weeks but didn’t know how to prepare for it, specifically how to tell her story in a compelling way.

This package included 4 simple steps prior to her interviews:

  1. Providing Lucy with 25+ of the Most Common Questions Asked (predicts 98%+ of all questions asked)
  2. Guiding Lucy on How to Answer the Questions The Right Way
  3. Editing Lucy’s Answers Hands on In the Google Doc
  4. Providing Lucy with Mock Interview(s) Each 1-1.5 Hours Long with Feedback

Lucy was able to leverage this package and ace her 14 interviews. She was way less nervous and avoided getting “caught off guard” since we were able to predict all of the questions. 

Most importantly, she was able to be more personable, make fun conversation, and stay present with her interviewers instead of constantly thinking of what she should say next.

She aced her interviews both onsite and on video conference, a total of 6 interviews at Facebook and 8 at Netflix. She successfully got into one of the two FAANG tech companies after using my techniques and switched from being an Analyst in a Real-Estate Company to a Data Engineer in Facebook/Netflix.

More importantly, she was able to get a 2X salary increase and a few weeks of holidays before starting her new position

More questions? Book a free call with me at inyour20s.com/free-call

In Lucy's Own Words:

If you want to watch/listen to it in video you can by clicking the links below. The video is 3min total. Otherwise you can scroll down

  • Intro: 0:00
  • Lucy's Testimonial/Own Words 0:53

"My main challenge was looking for a structure to answer the behavioral questions and to organize my stories in a way that can fit any scenario."

Before working with Bessy, my main challenge was looking for a structure to answer the behavioral questions or to organize my stories in a way that can fit any scenario.  I found Bessy through the website from Ramit Sethi. 


I guess at that time, I was looking for someone to help with preparing my preparing my behavioral interviews and help me comb through my answers and bring out my best stories.

I reached out to a few people and Bessy had the most personable approach which I think really helps. She also works in a tech company so she has a lot more insight on the interviews so that's why I chose to work with Bessy.

"Bessy had the most personable approach which I think really helps. She also works in a tech company so she has a lot more insight on the interviews so that's why I chose to work with Bessy."

Bessy, she really took the time to  get to know my background and stories and my goals. This is unlike other people I've talked to, they just provide the very generic solution for your problem

After working with Bessy, I felt a lot more confident when answering my interview questions (for Facebook and Netflix). And a lot less nervous. I was able to think clearly when I was speaking to my experience and using a more structured way (that Bessy provided) to answer the questions for Netflix and Facebook.

I ended up getting an offer for one of the companies and getting 2x in my overall pay. I was finally able to work in a company I like, a FAANG company ,  and one I've been dreaming of working at for so many years!

I would recommend Bessy for anyone who are looking to get into technology and had worked in traditional industries.

If you're working with Bessy, she would provide you with the very detailed structures. You should expect to do your own homework and dig into your past experiences because you know your own experiences the best. She will provide you (hands-on) guidance and answer any questions you have.

More questions? Book a free call with Bessy at inyour20s.com/free-call

1

How to Productively Manage Your Job Search While Working Full Time

Job searching is probably one of the hardest things to do while you're at your current job. 

On one hand, you're frustrated. So you apply to anything you see that’s “interesting” and hope that you’ll get a response. 

In reality, you've been applying to this “black hole” for a while now. 

Then, you still have to go to your day job in "survival mode”, coming home drained from work and still needing to hunt for a job.

What if I told you that nothing YOU'RE DOING RIGHT NOW will get you to YOUR DREAM JOB?

I’ve been where you are before, frustrated… knowing that tech is right for me, but not knowing how to get there. 

Worst of all, I didn’t know how to manage my time. I was writing cover letter after cover letter, application after application. 

I felt anxious, hoping that any company would give me a callback and give me a chance.

But there was silence.

After 10 months of hundreds of applications, I knew that something had to change.

So I transformed everything I did; 

  • focusing on outreach instead of applications
  • talking to people instead of submitting my resume
  • figuring out their business challenges instead of focusing on ME ME ME!

As soon as I tweaked my approach, I got 7 interviews within a week, 2 of which were tech companies and I got offers to both of them.

Fast forward to now, I’ve been in the tech industry for 6+ years and started this blog to help people like you speed up this frustrating process.

This is also why people come to me for 1-on-1 coaching - to help them get into tech companies like Facebook and LinkedIn and to manage their time strategically so they don’t burn out. 

By teaching my approach, I get emails from my students all the time saying:

"Thanks for checking up on me ! ^.^ I'm doing well (which...has been a first during this job hunt)...I feel like your task assignment was perfect because it showed me how much energy would be "enough" for me to put in throughout the day and not feel guilty when I want to go read, listen to a TED talk, or code, or just hang out with my family. A big thank you for that! <3" 

Hilary*

From:  Neuroscience Academia

To: Referral in Tech Startup in 2 Weeks

"I finally have a structure I can follow. Now I don't need to stress so much and can actually enjoy the process!"

Lucy*

From: Finance/Banking

To: Offer at LinkedIn 


Here are the exact strategies you can use to manage your time and not get burned out:

The 6 Surprising Stages of Getting into Tech

When it comes to getting into tech, these are the 6-steps that really matter.

DO THIS:

  1. The deep-dive (identifying past projects that match a natural entry point in tech)
  2. The resume
  3. The outreach (talking to those in relevant roles to understand their business challenges)
  4. The referral
  5. The interviews
  6. The Final offer

AND NOT THIS:

  • “Researching Glassdoor online”
  • “Applying to companies I think are cool”
  • “Applying to anything I see out there and see what sticks”
  • “Talking to random friends who work in tech because their jobs seem so cool”
  • “Writing 100+ job applications for months and not hearing back”
  • “Checking jobs out on Google’s career page”
  • “Responding to recruiter inMails on LinkedIn. Even though they aren’t in the industry you want to get into”

Find out if you’re fit for a job in tech through my FREE 7-day email course here!

Why Is This Important?

Because your energy and effort are important - we want to work smart instead of just “working hard“

The result? You’ll..:

  • Get referrals in 2 weeks instead of applying to 100+ jobs in 6+ months
  • Skip the line against 1000+ “applicants” by having a sponsor in the company instead of “being in the dark” after applications
  • Go deep in 1-2 companies that really matter to you vs 15 different companies “on your list”
  • Get 100% satisfaction in the job you go for vs wanting to switch jobs within 3-6 months of working at your new job
  • Approach the job search stress-free and actually enjoy the process

  • Earn potentially 2 to 3X your current salary JUST by being in tech

Wouldn't that be nice? The best part is, it’s doable!  My students have done it, and so can you. 

A No-Brainer Way to Split Up Your Week

Now that you understand what the 6-steps are, next we need to find out the best way to structure these steps in a simple schedule during our work weeks.

The goal is for us to not burn out or feel guilty if we want to relax. 

Overview

Weekdays are meant for outreach and “informal coffee chats.”

And  Saturdays and Sundays are meant for “researching” & “building.”

job search

Why does it matter what day of the week I do things?

People are not available to chat about work stuff on the weekends

On weekdays (Monday to Friday), people are on LinkedIn, social media, and ready to chat about their company while they’re at work. 

When they are out of the office, they are less likely to want to talk about work stuff. In addition, they might not have access to their laptops or internal system to refer you. 

If you reach out to them during the weekend, they might say, “Okay sounds great! Let me do this when I’m back in the office on Monday”. 

Guess what happens within 24 hours?

They forget.

And it really isn’t their fault. They’re busy!!

You don’t want to play a game of tag on LinkedIn. You want to be strategic so that you can reach out to them in the most convenient time possible.

Hubspot says that the highest engagement times on LinkedIn are between Tuesdays and Thursdays early in the morning, during lunch, or early evening.

As someone already in tech, I witness this phenomenon in my life given I have back-to-back meetings on Mondays and fire-drills on Fridays before I wind down for the weekend.

The Strategy

So on weekdays you should be following the 6 stages outlined above:

  • Stage 1 & 2: Talk to coworkers or past colleagues who’d have access to data points or project results

  • Stage 3: Reach out to cold contacts or relevant people in your network

  • Stage 4 & 5: Chat with previous contacts for insights and advice for interviews

  • Stage 5 & 6: Chat with the hiring manager and do interviews

Then, weekends are for researching and building things like cover letters, and interview prep docs instead of being on LinkedIn for outreach or on the phone/Google Hangouts for calls.

“It was painful but during lunch hours and after work, I would reach out to people on LinkedIn - it worked out because I would reach out to around 20 people each week. On the weekends, I would put everything together including cover letters.  I eventually chat with 20 people in total and got the referral and offers” 

Lucy*

From: Finance/Banking

To: Offer at LinkedIn 


Now that we know what the general weekend/weekday guidelines are, how do these apply to each stage of the job process?

Stages 1 & 2 -Find your Natural Entry Point in Tech and Write a Stellar Resume

Overview

In the first two weeks, you’re putting in time for Stages 1 & 2 of the job search: 

  • Stage 1: Deep dive into your history 

  • Stage 2: Resume revamp

Just like any successful SMART goal format, you’re going to have smaller goals the ladder up to your larger goals of getting transitioning from a non tech job to a job in tech. 

by the end of these first weeks, you’ll want to have a finished/polished a 1 or 2-page resume.

A lot of people ask which is better, a 1 or 2 page resume. The secret is, it doesn’t matter!  Either way, just don’t go beyond 2 pages.

PS feel free to email me your resume at bessy[at]inyour20s.com to take a look!

As you can see in the chart above, on the left and right sides you have the weeks, stage, and success metrics for the week.

In the middle, we have the actions broken down by Sunday, Weekday, as well as Saturday. 

Sunday

On Sunday, you should spend about 3 to 5 hours diving deep into your background to gather experiences and projects that you’ve done before. It can help to start all the way back from high school or college if relevant because those experiences are easier to recall.

How can you sit for 3 to 5 hours straight? Trust me, you can! 

Have your favorite snacks on your desk, a great cup of tea or coffee, a fresh Google Doc page and your most recent resume in front of you. 

Wear comfortable clothes and set a 3 to 5 hour alarm on your phone, and don’t touch your phone until you’re done!

Once you have the blank page open, ask yourself:

  • What projects did you do? 

  • What organizations did you lead? 

  • What roles have you held? 

  • What events did you host or run, what happened, how many people attended, what were the results?

  • What grade did you get or did you get any awards?

  • For internships - what were 1 or 2 cool projects you worked on? Ask yourself the 5 W’s + H - who was on it, what did you do, where was it, when was it, why did you start this project, and how did it end up?

Do the same for your current job with the goal of breaking out 3 to 5 different projects from work. 

  • What was your role?

  • Did you help out in any “fun” events or even “side projects”? 

  • How did your role change or evolve in the past 2 years? 

  • What were some of the things that people have said about you?

  • What were the results of those projects/your role? In revenue, attendees, number of excel cells you worked with (if you’re going for an analyst/data engineering role)

Once you’re done, you should end up with a 5 to 10 page document full of paragraphs highlighting all of your great contributions. 

Don’t worry about constraining your words or sentences yet. At this point, you should be expanding and listing out everything you’ve done as much as possible.

Monday to Friday

During the weekday you’ll want to reach out to any resource that would have information on results from your previous experiences.

One of, if not the biggest challenge for a lot of my readers, is to quantify results or data in your resumes. This is the most important focus area for a successful resume!

A student of mine said during our Resume Revamp coaching session:

“I know I need to use data and numbers... I've struggled for a long time to use results in my resume but i think it's really hard to quantify.  I previously wouldn't think the number of events would be a data i could quantify, i thought it had to be revenue"

Lucy*

From: Finance/Banking

To: Offer at LinkedIn 


These are some examples of numbers you can use:

  • 150-person attendance with 4.9/5.0 satisfaction rating
  • +51% y/y growth in revenue
  • +20% increase in website clicks
  • Analyzed 250K units of data in excel with 15-columns/variables
  • Reached 10M users
  • Decreased operational errors from 50% to <10%
  • Launched 15 products in 3 months for a $4M revenue
  • Started 15-person class now expanded to 250+ attendees
  • Launched first-ever campaign..

And here are some examples from the work I’ve done with my students:

STUDENT 1

Before:

After:

STUDENT 2

Before:

After:

STUDENT 3:

Before:

After:

Have the data points you need in mind. Then email your past coworkers or colleagues during the weekdays about the projects you worked on together. Ask them whether they could get those specific results/data points for you.

Here is a sample email or message with a request for data

“Hey Janice! 

Hope you’re well, it’s been a while since we’ve talked and worked together! I really enjoyed our time working on the white claw lime flavored project, and when I heard you ended up transitioning to a different product role that you’ve always wanted I was so happy for you! 

By the way, I’d love to ask you for a small favor if that’s okay. I’m currently in the process of transitioning to a new role and wanted to get some data points to have as results of the white claw project we worked on. If you have access to that data and have time, may I ask when you compare May data to April data of 2017, how did the users and engagement increase or change?

Thank you so much for your help again! Really appreciate it”

Make the message warm, the connection personal, and data-ask clear and specific.

Then you’ll be able to get data points for all of the projects you listed out before. By the end of this process, you might have too much data to work with. But no fret, even if your “original resume” ends up being 5 to 10 pages with additional data points, some of that work can actually be on your LinkedIn instead.

In the end, it’s better to have more data points and project-work first before you cut anything down.

Saturday

Lastly, on Saturday you’ll build your resume. 

Look through the 5 to 10 page document you’ve built. This document is your “original resume” where you’ve gathered additional data points, projects, and job experiences together.

Notice a theme of what you really liked or excelled in amongst your past 3 to 8 years of experiences (including school).

Once you notice the theme, you’ll be able to search up job descriptions with the particular title in a relevant tech company and understand what “keywords” and experiences to have in your resume.

For example, if you’re an analyst in your company right now, you’d have something similar to below:

  • Stakeholder Management: worked with CEO and CMO to identify 5 key product opportunities for the business by analyzing key market trends, current product sales data, website analytics, and both quantitative and qualitative customer research.

  • Analysis and Insights: Analyzed 150m lines of data amongst 5 variables through SQL. Presented key insights to Head of Sales with 2 other teammates. Resulted in +101% y/y growth in sales.

In addition, you should be linking decks and presentations into your resume (eg. on the word “Presented key insights”) so that the hiring manager or recruiter will be able to see your presentation/visualization style. 

Be mindful though, some role titles are not translatable. Eg. I had a student whose title was Performance Manager but her transferable title would be Sales Operations Manager. I had another student who had a Project Engineer title but her transferable title would’ve been Analyst.

Ultimately, when you transition into tech or in fact transition in any career, you want to focus on only changing ONE variable amongst these four:

  • Location

  • Title

  • Company

  • Industry

In our scenario, you’ll be switching companies into tech, but your industry would ideally be the same (eg. marketing analyst in insurance company switching to marketing analyst in tech company managing insurance clients)

Stages 3 & 4 - Get Your First Interview Through Informal Chats and Referrals

Overview

In weeks 2 & 3, you’ll focus on the 3rd and 4th stages:

  • Stage 3: The Outreach
  • Stage 4: The Referral

According to JobVite, more than 50% of hires are through referrals. 

According to the undercover recruiter, referrals have the highest applicant to hire conversion rate, quickest start date, and highest satisfaction. 

That’s why companies always prioritize referrals and that’s why you should too -  ultimately you’ll have a higher chance of getting into a tech company by getting a referral than just applying online.

It seems counterintuitive, but none of my students who go through my coaching program EVER apply to jobs online.  Learn to kick start your informal chats with free PDFs, scripts, and contact trackers here!

my students get offers and interviews in companies like Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, L2 Gartner, Salesforce, Startups and more with a 95% success rate.

What do we do if we don’t have a network in tech though?

We want to be able to reach out cold on LinkedIn, in our network, and through mutual friends on LinkedIn.

Then, we chat with relevant contacts in the 1 company you’re targeting to learn more about their experiences in the role, what they do on a daily basis, and what the team’s business challenges are.

Then throughout these conversations eventually get referrals. Recent students even got referrals to LinkedIn, Google, and Headspace within 2 weeks of doing these outreaches.

Sunday

On Sunday, we want to “build” our outreach list as well as outreach scripts.  

Use this LinkedIn Hack (Video) I found while on a coaching call with my student in order for you to find the right people on LinkedIn without reaching the search limit. This way, you don’t have to pay for LinkedIn Premium!

You want to build a list of 20+ contacts in a Google Sheet. Subscribe and write out exactly what you’re going to write to them. 

The script goes something like the below:

“Hey [Name]! 

Hope you’re well – I’m [Name], a [title/role] in [industry]. I saw that you [some mutual and specific trait/experience that you both have]. I’m hoping to get into [xyz industry] w/ my [relatable background]. Would it be okay if I picked your brain for 15m after 6PM M-F/anytime weekend? I’d love to learn more about you [desired company that he/she is currently in] too!- 

[Name & Phone Number]”

Remember, you only have 300 characters to reach out to someone cold on LinkedIn so try to get to the point as quickly as possible.

And FYI the script would look a bit different if it were for your friends or mutual friends.

Monday through Friday

Once you have the “target list” or “outreach list” built out on Sunday, on Monday you’d be set to reach out to those contacts. 

We want to aim to reach out to 10 to 20 people during the week and get 3 to 5 chats confirmed per week. 

A few of my students would do outreaches during lunch time. Some would block of an hour or two in the afternoon. 

The key is to have the LinkedIn app downloaded on your phone so you can do these seamlessly.

During the week, you’ll also be on calls. If you don’t know what to ask about during these informal chats, watch my video here 

Saturday

Saturdays are great to use to prepare for informational chats. This means creating a prep document to jot down notes on the person’s background, listing out the 3 to 4 most relevant questions to ask them based on their experiences. 

Don’t know how to reach out or what to say? Email me at bessy [at] inyour20s.com or get the free PDF kickstarter guide and Google Sheet trackers here

For example, for someone who’s been in the company for 6 years, you can ask about the various teams, business challenges, and overall very in-depth questions about the company’s structures. These are things you can never find online.

You can also ask them to refer you to 2 to 3 contacts in the end who may be relevant for you to learn more about the team you’re targeting near the end of the conversation as well.

On the other hand, for someone who’s been in the company for 1 year, you’ll want to ask more about their personal experiences transitioning from X industry to the current company, what the onboarding process was like, what was their biggest challenges as X role in the team or company.

Ultimately, by the end of each week you’d want to have sent out 10 to 20 messages for outreach and confirmed 3 to 5 chats. By the 2nd week of doing this (or overall week 4) , you should already have a referral.

My students on average get referrals within 2 weeks of starting the outreach process. 

For my student who got referrals from LinkedIn and Google - it took her about 2 weeks, 25 outreaches, and 5 informal chats before the referral.

For my other student who got a referral for HeadSpace, it was also about 2 weeks after the Resume Revamp, 22 outreaches, and 3 informal chats.

Stages 5 & 6 - Stay confident and stop the nerves during interviews

Interviews usually happen in these stages:

  1. Round 1 Screening: Recruiter

  2. Rounds 2 & 3 Behavioural Interviews:  Teammates

  3. Round 3 & 4 Team fit or  Role & Responsibility: Manager and possible External Manager

  4. Rounds 4 or 5: Last round: Director or Panel

In the 1st round or initial screening, you will be on the phone with the recruiter talking through general questions such as “Tell me about yourself, why do you want this role, what are your experiences with XYZ skillsets/responsibilities.”

In the 2nd or 3rd round, you’ll be meeting with teammates to walk through some  behavioral questions amongst 4 topics: 

  • Solving Problems

  • Leadership

  • Team Fit

  • and Roles & Responsibilities. 

In certain cases, 1 interviewer will be focused on interviewing one topic with you. In other cases, 1 or 2 interviewers will be in the same room with you but they will cover all 4 topics.

In the 3rd or 4th Round, you will be interviewing with the hiring manager about roles and responsibilities. 

In another round, you may also be interviewing with another manager separately from another team. This is to eliminate any biases and ensure objectivity. 

The last round may be with the Director of the region or team. This round may be similar to others in a conversational setting, or it may include a presentation. 

In order to not burn out, your goal is to have 1 to 2 weeks time before your interviews so that you can have enough time to prep. 

Prepping for an interview would mean:

Sunday

You would be building an interview prep doc, doing mock interviews, and writing cover letters to ensure that the interviewers know your intention and why you’re a great fit.

Monday through Friday

On the weekdays, you’ll be talking to people and reaching out to relevant employees within the company to learn more about the interviewers’ style, how the interview process is, any tips, and most importantly what business challenge the team is specifically looking to solve. 

You’ll also be having your interviews during the week since hiring managers and recruiters will be off during the weekend. 

How do you attend interviews while employed? Well try to have interviews during off hours - in the morning before 9 or 10am, during lunch 12 to 2, or after work around 4pm onwards. You want to be respectful.

Often times, you will have full day interviews if you get into tech as well and they will fly you to Mountain View or whereever their headquarters are. 

When that happens, feel free to take a personal day on a Friday that will occur 2 weeks later. You don’t need to tell your employer why you’re taking a personal day, but a Friday or Monday is generally less suspicious.

Saturday

You would be reviewing the interviews you’ve had in the previous week, prepping for the next interview by adding questions they’ve asked in your prep doc, and continuing to build your outreach list to get unanswered questions answered.

By the end of each week in this stage you should have:

  • Written a cover letter for each job
  • Built an interview prep doc for each interview (1 week prior)
  • Did a mock interview for each interview (3 weeks prior)
  • And aced interviews - since you would have had 5+ chats prior to your very first interview to understand what they wanted!

What Should You Do For The Rest of the Time?

If you have 3 to 5 hours spent on Sunday and Sunday towards building and researching , then 1 to 2 hours each weekday towards outreaches, then what should you do the rest of the free time?

RELAX!!

Interviews and outreaches should be a fun conversation. If you don’t do anything outside of your job or your job search, would you have anything fun to talk about during those conversations?

I once had a conversation with HR prior to the last round of my interview with the CEO for 45 minutes. She said“this is amazing, I am just so engaged with this conversations!”

The best part about living life outside of work is that you have time to rejuvenate.

If you’re too stressed, too tired, too busy, or too focused on “getting the job”, you won’t have time to gain experiences outside of this setting nor be able to truly reflect and understand whether that job was right for you in the first place.

So make sure you have this schedule in place and set up non-negotiable time in your calendar to complete the tasks above. Other than that, have FUN during this job search. 

And like my coaching students, you should be able to land a referral within 2 weeks and job offers to companies like LinkedIn and Facebook in no time.

How are you going to schedule your approach differently based on what you learned? Tell me in the comments below!

Need Experiences for Your Next Dream Tech Job? No Problem!

Have you ever struggled thinking "I don't know how to get into tech. I don't even have experience in the field, where do I even start?"

No fret! More often than not, we forget that there are a lot of opportunities while we are in our current job or company to gain experiences and skillsets that are relevant to our next role.

For example, as a(n)

  • Analyst in your current company, you can gain R or Python skills during your job and on personal projects to become an Analyst in tech
  • Marketing Coordinator, you can do a 20% project for the marketing team to help launch new marketing campaigns leveraging Facebook, Google, & other platforms
  • Marketer, you can do a freelancing project for a previous company you were at or personal project for your senior management to "sell" Facebook Ads . Then you can become an Account Manager/Sales Rep for Facebook Ads

This type of experience is also important when it comes to gaining experience and also feeling challenged in your role.

For me, I find satisfaction in my job not only because of the industry that I'm in or the salary that I earn from it (6-figures by the age of 24), but also the impact we bring, community that we have, and career that we can build.

Working in tech for 6+ years has allowed me to find this satisfaction and feel challenged beyond my role.

By taking advantage of the flexibility, transparency, and autonomy that working in a tech company brings, I’ve also managed to get unique experiences in 7 different areas of work, move abroad, and get access to C-level within the 100K+ people company that I work in.

That’s why today, I wanted to share 5 strategies that you can use to gain relevant experiences for your next career jump:

1. Network with a Purpose

A strategy is to share your goals and passions internally. However, you need to do this with a purpose - both with the right people as well as with the right intention.

First, you can talk to people who have been in your company for 4+ years. These people may know of specific people, projects, and roles you may not have heard of before but could benefit your cause or passion.

For example, when I knew I wanted to move abroad, I talked to my ex-manager who has been in the company for 10+ years and asked him if he knew anyone who worked in the US. This allowed me to gain trust through this 2nd degree connection and get hired abroad.

Secondly, you can search for people who are working on specific projects or fields that you’re interested in learning more about. Companies (even yours!) always have a directory or internal network where you can search for anyone in the company, no matter where they are in the world.

Reach out and set up a 30-minute coffee chat to talk to them and learn more about their experiences. At the same time, share your relevant experiences and skillsets as well so that they can socialize your impact within the company and possibly craft an opportunity to work on a project with them.

2. 20% Projects or Rotations

Google allows employees to devote 20% of their time, or essentially a Friday, to work on “20% Projects.” This was how engineers created Gmail and Google Maps, this was also how I gained experiences in 4 different areas of work across Learning & Development, Marketing, Product Specialization, and Strategy & Operations within my company.

Sometimes, this is also called “time-share” where you share a portion of time within your week with another department or team internally.

Sometimes, this can also be a “rotation” where you work on another team 100% of your work days for 3 months.

These 20% projects are awesome because it allows you to (a) gain tangible skills/experiences in case you wanted to pivot to another career (b) make an impact based on a challenge or problem you see and (c) work on something you really care about.

Get coffees with other teammates in different departments, leading with, "Wow! I saw your project on XYZ and it's super cool! If I set up a time on your calendar for 15minutes to learn more about your personal experiences in this, would you be down?"

Set it up on the calendar and take as many notes as possible. Try to even use some of the informational interview tactics I taught (Video) to learn more about what you should ask.

Make sure to work with your manager and the other team you’re working on the project on to define your work scope. Then socialize your projects with surrounding teams to gain internal support and maximize impact.

3. Start a Side Hustle

39% of working millennials have a side gig according to a CareerBuilder survey. While 7-in-10 of them don’t want to turn it into a full-time gig, side hustles can boost your creativity, technical skills, and leadership experiences - all of which are essential for a successful and happy career. In addition, you can leverage your side hustle to earn extra money on the side.

Side hustle can range from building a product (eg. an app or consumer product) to freelancing (eg. coaching or marketing on Upwork) to working on fun projects (eg. growing a social media page or writing).

Ultimately, a side hustle helps (a) solve a problem in the community and (b) leverage your unique skillsets to serve that need.

For example, I started my site helping people get into non-tech roles in tech just because my friends and acquaintances frequently asked me for advice. This allowed me to challenge myself, dabble into a new field, and stand out amongst other peers on LinkedIn while working in my 9-5 job.

Want to start a side hustle? Find out what you’re uniquely good at, what you’re known for, and what you’re asked a lot about from your friends and coworkers. It’s definitely a plus if this skillset is something you can get paid for!

4. Transition to a New Role

Transitioning to a new role can be one of the most challenging things to do but also an awesome and meaningful way to craft your own career within your company. Almost all tech companies allow employees to change roles internally just because it’s a great strategy for retention.

According to LinkedIn, 56% of employees stay in their current companies because of opportunities to work on a new challenge.

Transition to a new role could mean taking a marketing class to transition into marketing or working on a 20% project to transition from operations to recruiting. The general strategy is to first gain relevant experiences, either through a 20% project, rotation, or freelancing.

Then, network and share your experiences and goals. This way, you can build strong relationships so that when headcount open up, you will be the first to know!

5. Have Fun!

Gaining relevant experiences can also mean just having fun in your current role! Many times, if you’re too worried about your next career jump or role, you’ll lose sight of the impact and creativity you can bring to the projects right in front of you.

You might be facing a decision paralysis because there are such smart people in your company, you are scared of consequences, or you simply don’t know what career to pick. My thought is: trust your gut instinct and do it all! The more you take action on your vision and the more you can get support from others, the more you can craft your own career like a boss.

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