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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?"

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  • 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?

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.

ONE Small Job Search Tweak That Landed Me Google (Against 50+ Candidates)

I know you've been applying to a lot of jobs. I know that you've opened hundreds of tabs in your browser throughout work just to research different companies and understand what they're looking for. 

Job descriptions, potential jobs.

Sharing My Journey Getting Into Tech


Hi everyone. I'm Bessy Tam, founder and the coach of www.InYour20s.com. I help smart driven creatives get into the tech companies so that they can get the lifestyle that they want and the career that they deserve.

So today I actually want to talk a little bit more about why I started this site. So for those of you who don't know, I'd been working at Google for quite some time, 4 or 5 years now. And I moved from Google Hong Kong here to Google Chicago.


I'm always super excited because there's just so much that I can do [in tech and Google] and I really want to talk a little bit more about my journey and struggles getting into tech from a marketing job of two years and what this job in tech provided me for my lifestyle and for my career towards my next steps.

"Things were very status quo... and people I worked with didn't have a lot of drive"

Before I got into Google, I was actually in marketing in Boston. I was helping a school  market themselves.

It was super small because it was a smaller business school and I was in their marketing office amongst maybe around 20 people.

 A lot of the people who were there would actually like leave very early. There's not a lot of drive. And to be honest, looking at who's working there now, it's still the same. So it's been a while, quite a while that they would just stay in the same job.

I see this a lot in my students as well [when I talk to them]. [Their companies are] just very status quo and the way that we approach things is very repetitive.

I didn't really have freedom to have, create new ideas, new campaigns or anything that a marketer would really want to strategize. And I think I found that as a clear struggle because I got back to Hong Kong to be closer to my family and I saw the situation amongst a lot of the different marketing companies that I saw.

As long as we tell you what to do, you don't really lead specific projects or really have a lot of opportunity to do what you want to drive, want to learn and to be super creative. 

"No one really teaches you how to get into the job search process.. within 10 months I applied to 100+  jobs"

It actually took me about 10 months to research and apply online.

No one really teaches you how to get into the job search process, right?

As usual, I would make my resume and then I would ask friends to take a look at it. Actually a huge challenge because  they weren't [working] in the industries I want to be in.

I think within 10 months I applied to 100+  jobs throughout these 10 months. Like it's just not the jobs I wanted.

And it was really frustrating because I know I have so much to offer and I just know that my potential is a lot bigger than [what the jobs offered]

"I just spent so much of my 24 hours waiting for responses... There wasn't even a no.. or rejections, it was just silence"

But thankfully my, I was staying with my parents (and that's pretty normal in Asia) [so that I didn't have to pay rent].

My parents didn't really rush me in, which I'm really thankful for. I was just rushing myself, being next to my phone all the time, seeing if I would get a call, checking my email like every day and having so much anxiety, so much.

I was, I was just miserable. And so that's why I started like working out and trying to find different ways to, to spend my time because I just spent so much of my 24 hours just waiting for responses, seeing my applications got any responses. 

There's not even a no... there wasn't even rejections. It was just silence. And it was super frustrating for me.

"I don't want people to go through the same thing...all of this could have been done way earlier if I had the right person to talk to and the right person to actually coach me through this."

And I finally figured out actually how to write cover letters and resumes that really speak to the audience because towards the end of the 10 months, around month nine, I got pretty much seven interviews within two weeks because of my approach.

The reason why I started the site is because I don't want people to go through the same thing. I don't want people to waste 10 months of their life like looking for a job because it's just so tough when in fact all of this could have been done way earlier if I had the right person to talk to and the right person to actually coach me through this.

More importantly, someone who was in the industry, specifically in tech.

"I didn't know that I wanted to be in the tech industry in the beginning because I never thought of myself as a technical person and never thought of myself to be smart enough to be in Google."

Actually I didn't know that I wanted to be in the tech industry in the beginning because I never thought of myself as a technical person and never thought of myself to be smart enough to be in Google.

Throughout 10 months, I actually applied online to Google twice!

But you know what? I applied to the wrong positions. Looking back into my email, I saw that it was like industry manager positions, which by the way takes like 10+ years experience.

I didn't know what to apply for [or what jobs are natural entry points for me into tech]. 

And then I met someone who actually used to work in Google and he coached me into: what they were looking for, what the culture is like and what exactly to say.

And that's when I realized you actually really need someone who's in the industry, who can actually guide you. So that's how I kind of, you know, teach my students to find someone who is in the company to talk to. 

So towards the end of the, the 10 months, like it became a way for me to restart.

"I would have been in a completely different space if I didn't have someone who knew me well, who knew my background, knew my experiences to be able to tell me these things. "

I only applied, I say "apply" but it was technically like a referral to two roles, and I got both of those just because I spent 10 months researching and tweaking and finally meeting these people to get me into these jobs.

But in the end that all of that could have been done within a month or two.

And that's what frustrates me the most. And that's why I started this site to help people have the tools and strategies. Most importantly, to find this specific job that really fits their profile, what they wanna do and is able to link that to a tech company.

And then I would have been in a completely different space if I didn't have someone who knew me well, who knew my background, knew my experiences to be able to tell me these things.

 That's like my story, my struggles.

"I know it's frustrating. I know that you're thinking about this every day, morning till night, dreading to wake up in the morning and in survival mode."

 If you really want to speed up your process,  I know you've been applying to a lot of jobs.

I know that you've opened hundreds of tabs in your browser throughout work just to research different companies and understand what they're looking for. Job descriptions, potential jobs.

I know it's frustrating. I know that you're thinking about this every day, morning til night, dreading to wake up in the morning and in survival mode. I know that and I, I've been through that in the beginning of my process.

[All I] want is to help you get to the job that you really deserve. 

Get Clarity on Your Strategy in 30 Minutes

If you're seriously ready about this, I would suggest you to book a call with me. You know, just to understand your situation, your challenges and plan it out.

 I can help you get some clarity. What are your next milestones? What should you be doing on a weekly, monthly basis in order to get to your goal.

So book a call!

I'll link the calendar below so that you can, you can look, check out some times. Honestly, it's going to be 30 minutes, an hour, however much time you want.

And of course if you like what we talk about, I'm always here to help coach you because I have a lot of students who get referrals and jobs from Lyft, Facebook, Google, Instacart, all these different places and get interviews as quickly as in 2 weeks.

And I've seen this happen without them even applying online because it's so strategic, such an awesome way to approach this and only applicable in the tech industry.

So make sure you check it out below. There is a specific link to do that. Even you can even email me at bessy@bessytam.com.

I'm here to help. 

Let me know if you have any questions and I'll see you in the next video!

VIDEO: 6 Questions To Ask In An Informational Interview

Informational Interviews are important is because you want to use this opportunity to not only get a foot in the door to understand more about what the company culture is like, what products they are using, what kind of candidate that they want, but also for them to get to know you a little bit more.

Informational Interviews will also save you months, even years of agony working in a company and role you didn't actually want. It was also save you hours of useless research online by allowing you to learn exactly what the company and team is looking for.

Transcript:

Hi, this is Bessy Tam from InYour20s.com, a career platform and coaching service to help you get into tech. So today I will talk a bit more about the 5 or 6 questions that you can ask in an informational interview.

So What is an Informational Interview?

It's not an official interview that you have with the company, but a conversation that you can have with someone who's on the team or even the hiring manager of the desired position that you're going to go for in this company.

Now, the objective of this chat or sometimes I would say coffee chat is for you to learn a little bit more about what they mean, but also for them to get to know you a little bit more as a friend or acquaintance in a casual setting before you even go into the formal process.

The reason why this is really important is because you want to use this opportunity to not only get a foot in the door to understand more about what the company culture is like, what products they are using, what kind of candidate that they want, but also for them to get to know you a little bit more.

We all know that a tech company really values referrals and there's always a finite amount of, of referrals that a friend of yours, let's say in Facebook or in Google can refer you, right?

So informational chats will allow you to get into the process or get in front of the teammates without really wasting your referral or application. And then once you know it's a good fit and understand what the team wants, then you can maybe get a higher chance to get into the team or the company through the formal process.

The Reason Why this is Really Important

The reason why this is really important is because you want to use this opportunity to not only get a foot in the door to understand more about what the company culture is like, what products they are using, what kind of candidate that they want, but also for them to get to know you a little bit more.

We all know that a tech company really values referrals and there's always a finite amount of, of referrals that a friend of yours, let's say in Facebook or in Google can refer you, right?

So informational chats will allow you to get into the process or get in front of the teammates without really wasting your referral or application. And then once you know it's a good fit and understand what the team wants, then you can maybe get a higher chance to get into the team or the company through the formal process.

So I have a little story to tell you before I jump into the questions to ask in the informational interview itself.

Informational interviews are actually the way that I got all of my jobs after my very first job.

And from what I know out in the market, the best career navigators and the most successful people actually don't really apply. They don't apply after the first job that they have in the market because no matter what it is, it's all about the networking and the people that you know.

So, instead of going through the route that everyone else goes through, search online, to find the right jobs, to find the right company and just apply and be amongst a thousand people, they would actually talk to find a way to talk to the right teammates, right people to understand more and then cut the line. And that's what informational interviews are here to help you for.

So that happened to me, especially when I was interviewing for a digital marketing position that was managing  the Asia Pacific region, which is a huge deal. That's 7 different countries I would have managed! Also when I actually moved to Google Chicago for this role that I'm doing right now.

And, just a disclaimer, you know, everything was video is based off of my own opinion, not of my companies, but I, I'm really passionate about helping people because I know how much informational interviews actually helped me.

"And for both of those jobs that I got offers for, I was fighting against candidates that were both internal and external of about 50 to 100 of them!"

So before I got into Google Chicago, or before I got the offer for the first job, I actually did informational interviews with probably 4 or 5 people on the team to understand more about what they want. And for both of those jobs that I got offers for, I was fighting against candidates that were both internal and external of about 50 to 100 of them!

If you think about it, I moved from Hong Kong to Chicago. There were other US candidates that were here for this job, ready to start! Instead, I got it and my manager had to wait 4 months for me to arrive to the US just because I have the exact skillsets and I built the rapport to showcase what I can do for them and for their business.

The 5 Different Questions that you can ask during informational interviews

So without further ado, I'm going to teach you 5 or 6 different questions that you can ask during the informational interview to really understand the wider landscape and questions of the team. 

Introduce Yourself

So first of all, you're going to introduce yourself. This is super important and you have to approach it the same way that you would approach an interview. My general rule is each introduction should only be 30 seconds to a minute. I've interviewed people before myself and I've seen some very terrible, introductions. Some even went over 40 minutes, which is crazy.

So what you want to do is say, Hey, I'm Bessy Tam. I'm currently an account manager at Google Chicago. I specialize in x, Y, z. So I would say, um, measurement as well as brand marketing for large companies in the hotel and retail space. 

And then you can break down exactly what you do. Um, I currently work on such such such projects. Then you talk about, what you're looking for. So I, I'm looking to take my skill sets on a wider level, um, and focus on a large client and help grow the business. Um, I truly think that Google has a great fit and I'd be able to apply my sales, marketing as well as measurements, product experiences to the team. 

So essentially by the end of it, you want to focus on the role and what you're going for so that you can showcase how you can help them instead of just focusing on yourself.

Question 1: "What is Your Ideal Candidate Like For This Role?"

So the first question you could ask is, um, what is, what is your ideal candidate like for this role? So assuming that you have a role in mind that you're going to talk about for this informational interview, this is a question that you guys can to the different teammates in the company, in that specific team for that role. 

Don't ask someone else who is outside of that role, just so you can understand more about the specific qualities that they're looking for or skillsets. The reason why this is important is because they'll probably list out three or four qualities that they want. 

For example, when I went for the previous role that I got an offer for that regional, they were saying that they needed someone with a very broad digital background, they needed someone who had ecommerce experience and then they also talked about, someone who, who can collaborate really well and influence others both on the c level as well as on a day to day level.

So during the informational interview, if they say that, then you marked down those three qualities and then you can explain to them, "oh, that's great. I'm glad you're looking for someone who has global experience. And also e-commerce. I actually happened to have those experiences. For example, my previous client was x, Y, Z and I helped them grow the ecommerce websites, revenue from this number to this number through search marketing, Facebook marketing as well as video advertisement overall." 

It's like a game of tennis, you want to be able to hit the ball back to their court after they tell you what they wanted so that you can kind of keep it a conversation and instead of them just talking the whole time. 

Question 2: "What is the Team Dynamic Like Within the Team? What Other Teams Do You Work With?

Second question you can ask is, what is the team dynamics like within the team and what other teams do you work with?

So the reason why you want to ask this is because you can follow up with specific questions later on. What is the working styles of the teams? How does your role different from others in various countries? What is the different working models between different groups and then most importantly, the last question you should follow up on is how does this specific role ladder up to your success and various teams' successes.

The reason why is you want to be able to pinpoint how this role fits into the larger picture of the different team dynamics and understand in a social ladder or influential setting, how important and how, how this role can solve their business challenges and collaborate well with others.

"So this is a very important question I asked when I talked to both of the offers that I got and is exactly the reason why I didn't take the first offer"

So this is a very important question I asked when I talked to both of the offers that I got and is exactly the reason why I didn't take the first offer was because I understood that the digital, the regional role didn't have as much power as or as much, um, decision making power the as I wanted to have in order to make the projects I had in mind happen for the countries.

So these are little things that you can ask to understand more about their dynamics and how you can influence in this role.

Question 3: "What Is Your Current Business Challenge?"

Then of course, the third question you can ask is what is your current business challenge? 

The reason why you want to understand this is you want to showcase that you're here to think about the business as a whole. You're here to understand them holistically and not only just go for the role by itself. 

For example, if the business challenge is something that is very specific and you feel like you cannot make an impact or is very hard to change, then it might not be the right thing. So, for example, if you're going for a company that is clearly dying like a Blockbuster or something and you understand that their business challenge is the industry is changing, then your follow-up questions would be, are there new products that are, you are trying to launch for or how are you solving these issues?

On the other hand, if you think that the business challenge is actually very interesting and something you can solve for you can talk about your experiences doing the same thing. 

For example, you can say that I have a similar experiences solving your business challenge of growing an e-commerce platform. And then you can talk about your experiences, um, and match it back to them the same way you did in the previous question. 

Question 4: "What Do You Think Are the biggest opportunities for the business?"

Next question. The fourth question would be, what do you think are the biggest opportunities for the business?

The fun thing about this question is they'll probably identify 2 or 3 biggest opportunities, and you can kind of understand how your position or your experiences can help accelerate those opportunities.

You can even ask follow up questions that would include how are different teams contributing to these opportunities. "Are there specific roles or a specialization within the team that helps ladder up to these opportunities?"

For example, when I did the informational interviews for this role in Chicago, I understood that they wanted different teammates to have products specializations and what they were lacking with someone who had measurement experience. And therefore I could say, "Oh, that's great!  I've actually done something that's similar to that opportunity. Would you want me to share more about it?" Actually, don't even ask them. Just tell them I've accomplished something like that before in x, Y, z experience in the past. And in the end, the result was this. It was awesome."

That's one way you can hit the tennis ball back to their side

Or there's a 2nd way to do so saying, "Hey, actually I have some ideas about those opportunities! Here are a few things that I was thinking about when I was looking at and doing some research on your business and the company."

So by pitching your ideas you can be more proactive and showcase sort of a plan that you're thinking about to make sure that they understand that you're really forward looking and you're trying to here to help solve their business problems. 

In the end, an employee is there to help solve business problems. Just the same way as the company is, is solving the individual's problems by giving them a job, right? And giving them something to really interesting to work on in these tech companies. 

Question 5: "Based On What You Know About My Experiences, Is there anything you think is missing where I can fill the gaps?"

And then five, I think this is super important question to ask. A lot of people are hesitant to ask this in other companies. For traditional companies I would say aren't necessarily as open to this specific question.

But then in tech companies, I would say completely go for this because tech companies want to know that you are very willing to learn. 

So the question would be, based on what you know about my experiences, is there anything you think is missing where I can fill the gaps? So this showcases that you are very aware of what you have and that there's always improvements for you to grow and that you're essentially open to feedback because tech companies love it when their employees are in a great team environment that can ask for feedback and continue to grow. 

So if they identify with those specific traits, then you can hit the ball back to them and say, that's great to know. Thank you for the feedback. I actually thought of the same thing before and I've signed up for this certification to get that product knowledge or I've actually done this, this, this, and these projects and plan to grow those skillsets in the company if I were a teammate of yours or if I were to go through all the interview processes to grow in this, these three steps. 

So it shows that you're very proactive but also willing to grow. And it just shows that you're laid back and not necessarily defensive or frantic about your position in the job market

So it shows that you're very proactive but also willing to grow. And it just shows that you're laid back and not necessarily defensive or frantic about your position in the job market, that you're a very secure person and it's always nice to talk to someone in that way in an informational interview especially to give a good perception or understanding. 

Question 6: "Are there Other people within the team or within the company who have similar roles that I can talk to?"

And lastly, what you want to get out of the informational chat is to get more chats. So by the end of it, once the 20 or 30 minutes is done and you have good notes, you can say, you know, is there anything more that we're missing or we should chat about? Then you can also say, most importantly is there, are there other people within the team or within the company who have similar roles that I can talk to, to understand more about the specific role that I'm looking for or that we're talking about here?

The reason why is because you want to be able to get a holistic understanding. Informational interviews are only one-sided as long as you only have one person. So ideally you would have three to four people that you chat with on that team or in a similar role to understand.

So one of the things that I made a decision on with the other offer that I got for the regional role was I asked actually for someone who had a similar title for me to chat with. And that particular person who was managing the European market. I talked to her and understood what she was doing on a day-to-day basis. What was her role like? How does her role ladder up to the wider team business challenges as well as opportunities? And therefore, I can visualize exactly whether I want it to be in her, his or her shoes, you know, for this specific role that I was applying for.

And I eventually understood that I did not want that. And it gives you a clearer picture instead of jumping into the company and deciding that, "Oh my gosh, this is like not exactly what I wanted. I need to find a job again." And that's just very, very stressful for you. 

Conclusion

So I hope this was really helpful!

Please comment below what specific questions you have asked in in informational interviews or any questions that you have for me. I always read the comments. 

Otherwise, feel free to jump to inyour20s.com to subscribe and get my free 7-day email course. Then I can walk you through more tips and tricks such as: Resume Revamp worksheets, interview questions that are mostly asked in tech interviews, as well as a career exploration worksheet that you can understand more about whether tech is right for you, so make sure you go to InYour20s.com or comment below.

I always look forward to seeing you guys in the following video!

VIDEO: Why you didn’t get the job & what to do about it

It hurts. You didn’t get your dream job and you’re wondering why?!

You KNOW you have the right credentials.

You KNOW you will do 3X better than anyone this company hires for this position.

You KNOW you’re made for this position - blending in with the company culture, acing the work itself, matching the team dynamics, or fitting in with what the industry needs.

And that’s why it’s so frustrating when you didn’t get the position.

I’ve been there before… and I remember like it was yesterday, as if I got punched hard in my stomach.

I basically got a manager/operations role at a PR firm when I got back to Hong Kong, after I’ve done 2 years of PR/SEO/Marketing in Boston. I got the role and was even going to manage people. However after a week of bliss and celebrations, the job got revoked without any reasoning at all. And I was once again “jobless.”

I was devastated.

"I felt ashamed."

And I definitely felt a mix of emotions:

  • I felt ashamed - not only because I might’ve announced my job to everyone that I knew, but also because I really thought I had it. I was going to kill it at this new position.
  • I felt like I didn’t get a good shot at it - it’s like.. I didn’t even get a chance to show them all the amazing things that I could do for them!
  • Most importantly, I thought I was doomed - because I couldn’t get this position, I felt like there was no chance I’d get any job better than this.

Luckily, I always trusted that things happened for a reason and listened to my dad’s advice (who was a business founder and CXO).

He said, “If a company rejects you, it’s not a reflection of how qualified you are. In fact, it’s opposite, it’s a reflection of what they’re looking for at that very moment. This has nothing to do with you at all.”

[translated from Cantonese.. And probably not an exact translation but you get what i mean haha]

“If a company rejects you, it’s not a reflection of how qualified you are. In fact, it’s opposite, it’s a reflection of what they’re looking for at that very moment. This has nothing to do with you at all.”

I really took it to heart because I respect him so much. And this really paid off within a day or two I got back up on my feet as if nothing happened. This perspective and these crazy experiences only led me to something better.

Within a hard 5+ month journey looking for more jobs, I learned that tech was a great fit for me and eventually landed my job at Google.

I’ve interviewed dozens of people since I’ve started working at Google and have built this platform InYour20s.com to help people get into tech.

Most importantly, I wanted to share behind-the-scenes why people don’t get the jobs they want - both from my personal experiences applying for jobs as well as my professional experiences interviewing candidates in tech.

2 Reasons Why You Didn’t Get the Job and What You Can Do About It:

#1 There’s a specific set of skillsets that the team needs that unfortunately you wouldn’t be able to offer.

Let’s say you’re going for an Account Manager role in Facebook and there happened to be one open role that served retail/e-commerce clients.

Looking at the job description, it may seem like a “normal Account Manager role” servicing clients. While tech companies love people who are well-rounded and showcase different skillsets, the team might be looking for something specific to balance out their team dynamics/specializations.

For example, the team might be looking for..:

  • Someone who has extensive retail/e-commerce experiences externally.
  • Someone who has extensive Facebook advertisement optimization experiences from an agency.
  • Someone who has a particular skillsets or specialization in performance marketing
  • Someone who has experiences in brand marketing
  • Someone who has a background in TV advertisement
  • And the list goes on...

The key takeaway here is that you JUST WON’T KNOW what they’re specifically looking for unless you talk to them! There’s a slim chance you can “guess” your way into a job. And you can only do that if you have all-the-above checked and be able to wiggle your way into it.

But that only happens if you’re already in the industry or already in tech.

Before I went through interviews for Google Hong Kong, I had informational interviews with the vendor company (I was hired as a temp/contract worker) to understand what the company was looking for. This was scrappiness, an entrepreneurial spirit, and a huge willingness to sell.

He was able to lay their needs out for me before I went through 4 rounds of interviews.

Before I went through interviews for Google Chicago (yes, you have to interview formally even when transferring internally), I chat informally with 3-4 people on the team to understand what they needed. This was a specific marketing measurement knowledge and experiences selling/influencing large customers.

They were all able to lay their needs/challenges out for me before I went through 4 rounds of interviews.

That’s why I always tell my students you HAVE TO talk to the people on the team and get information interviews!

Learn more about how to Ace your (tech) interview

#2 Your timing is off.

Jobs are increasing in the tech market. 67% of tech and engineering hiring decision makers said they want to increase headcount in 2019 (Modis).

While this is the case, getting the right candidates is harder than ever. Tech companies have to ensure they’re still rigorous and specific in their interviewing process in order to hire the right fit and maintain retention, but also be able to fill the open role ASAP.

The key to this is to be ready when openings come up. It’s almost too late when you see your dream tech job opening online.

Why?

1) A pipeline is already being built before the job was posted externally - Tech companies usually open roles to the “internal system” first. This way, they can see if there are enough people looking and interviewing for the job before they get a huge wave of candidates with scattered skillsets. 

When I finally went through the formal interview process for Google Chicago, I was one of 50 internal candidates applying for the job.

2) They might have a particular person in mind - The people who succeed in getting into tech would have talked to dozens and dozens of people in various tech companies before roles are open.

It’s not about what you know, but who you know.

You need to be top of mind and have made a lasting impression for them to consider you among the 100+ “pieces of paper” aka resumes they receive.

I met my Google Chicago manager through having a coffee 6 months before I formally went through the interviews. The same way I had my informational interview before joining Google Hong Kong.

3) The role has just been open for too long - I helped someone go through a tech interview process recently but another candidate was just too far down the interview process.

If someone is a 75% fit that is in the last round of interviews vs another person who is a 99% fit just applying, there’s a high chance the company or team cannot wait for 2+ months before getting someone on board.

Hiring is the #2 most difficult thing tech companies face (Forbes). We faced the same thing when we had to fill 50% of our 9-person Google Chicago team. It took us 5 months. And I was doing 2-3 people’s jobs while recruiters and our managers were scrambling to find the right fit with complementary skillsets.

Every team goes through a 3-4 year cycle of teammates leaving, this is normal. But when the time comes, we just have to make a decision.

If timing is your issue the case, what should you do about it?

Start your “referral process” early! If you have people you’ve chat with through reaching out on LinkedIn, friends of friends, or the alumni network, you’ll be able to find out exactly what the teams’ need and when they’re hiring.

I knew about the 2 Google Chicago roles opening 6 MONTHS before the roles even EXISTED.

Headcount in a tech company is almost like a value that is gifted from the managerial “gods,” especially in large tech firms. You get headcount like you get gold stars in middle school - you know when they are given, and why - whether it’s because of a client need (aka your parent talked to your teacher during the parent-teacher conference) or whether it’s because you did well.

This way, you can get the inside scoop instead of getting the generic external messages after you’ve applied like this one:

You’re like WUHHHH??

Instead of not knowing what exactly they’re looking for, why you got the message, and who the team even IS.

You can get someone inside to talk to the manager/team directly and find out what exactly the team is looking for quickly. See example below for someone I was looking to refer:

You find out exactly what they need and might be able to hop on the phone with them too.

Only the team will be able to tell you what they need. Only the team will be able to convey their current business challenges and how this role would help them. And only the team will be able to communicate whether your background is exactly what they’re looking for. If not, they’d at least have you in mind or refer you to another team that might be a better fit.

I know it’s easier to just apply and go to the interview hoping you’d get it. But I can promise you, the hours of preparation and chatting with people months before the interview is worth it.

This way, you can match your experiences and answers to exactly what they need during the interview, instead of shooting in different directions within the 15-30 minutes of time you have with the interview and hope for the best.

I can almost guarantee you, you can even get the job without applying with this method.

Tell me, if you’ve ever had an experience getting rejected. Why do you think YOU didn’t get the job? Comment below.

Love,

Bessy

PS Did you know you could get direct help from me  instead of reading dozens and dozens of articles, not knowing where to START your job search process? Schedule a free assessment here with me so that we can get you the dream tech job you deserve ASAP!

How I Used Tinder to Figure Out What I Wanted To Do With My Life

I hear a lot of my friends say, “I don’t know what I want to do with my life/career!” Instead of talking about it they try to research online where information is too broad and limited. The most important part I feel is to know the specifics of a job, industry, and company and see whether you like it or not. I call this building your Criteria List that matches the type of career you want to have. And you can only get this current and in-depth information through talking to people. That’s why I resulted to Tinder!

How Did I Result to Tinder?

I graduated college a year early when I was 20. I didn’t know what I wanted to do at that time and was lonely since all my friends were in school. So, I wanted to find the fastest way possible to meet the smartest and coolest people in my hometown.

I thought of going to networking events, but it seemed really sleezy and didn’t think I’d be able to have meaningful conversations.I thought of meeting friends of friends, which I did eventually did, but it was not very scalable. Then I thought of going to industry events or events based on my interests like fitness/yoga but couldn’t meet people as well-rounded as I needed them to be to give me a broader perspective of life.

And that’s when I suddenly thought of Tinder. My theory was:

  • Busy, successful people would result to Tinder because it’s such a fast platform for quick in-between coffees, lunches, dinners, and drinks

  • The possibilities of meeting cool people are huge since there are 26 million matches per day on Tinder

  • The users would be sociable since they would’ve had a bit of experience holding conversations with people

  • I could also see specific personal/work information on their Tinder profiles to qualify specific types of people I’d want to meet

Plus, I was just curious how the platform worked anyways  #singleforever

In any case, I could tell them that I was looking for pure friendships. If they liked that idea, then great. If they didn’t, that’s great too.

What did I get out of it?

A Strong Network:
I got to meet a bunch of cool friends with unique backgrounds and intelligent minds. I learned everything about having a healthy lifestyle and driven mentality through a network marketer I met on the platform as well. This gave me access to a wider global community of side hustlers and fitness fanatics. I still keep in touch with all of them today.

Strong Communication Skills
If small talk is hard in person, try it in text! Now I can talk to anyone on the street and I really have Tinder to thank. Because I was interested in learning about my date, I learned to ask great questions and to listen well. This helped me succeed in everything that I did afterwards, including job interviews, sales/consulting, love life.

A Broader View of the World
In school, you learn about getting a job. I got to meet startup founders, investors, teachers and understood the possibilities of not having a 9-5 job but learning to earn passive income for myself. Some of the people I’ve met:

  • Full time family business owner/real estate manager and half time Magician

  • Professional Soccer player in Germany turned corporate finance

  • Swiss who built a business in Shanghai, helping other Swiss move to Asia

  • Bar manager in Hong Kong

  • Venture capital manager supporting business from the US expand to Asia

  • Startup founder of a marketplace app, similar to Tinder that matches interests

What it Looked Like to Love What you do
With the 8 people I met with and 70 people I chat with on the app, I got to see:

  1. What their field/job/company was like

  2. How I could compare people with similar backgrounds, industries, jobs, personalities and make educated judgements/opinions about those commonalities

  3. What it took to love what you do

  4. How I could apply parts of their jobs that I liked to my career, building my “Criteria List”

The Most Important Part: Building your Criteria List

Throughout the whole process of meeting people on Tinder, I realized that in order to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, I needed to know what I liked or didn’t like – That’s where I started to create my own “Criteria List.” This was a list of criteria I made that bulletpointed certain features of my ideal career and lifestyle. These were criterias I continually added as I met more people.

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It was important for me to build my Criteria List – otherwise I’d accept any job that hired me and be completely miserable within the first few weeks. I see this a lot amongst my friends who don’t take the time to evaluate what they want out first before creating their resume. It’s also a global phenomenon where 1-in-7 people feel under-employed in their jobs and 51% are completely disengaged with their job ((Accenture) and Gallup). What kind of life would that lead to? And really, what would that look like on your resume if you just kept changing jobs every year or you don’t manage to do the spectacular work that you know you’re capable of? You spend 50% of your wake hours at your job, it’s important for you to get what you need to thrive.

To be fair, it’s no one’s fault that people apply to jobs before they know what they want. Society, friends, and family puts a lot of pressure on us to “find a job.” I struggled with that whilst I was funemployed for 10 months post college. During family lunches my cousins would laugh at me asking whether I had a job yet. Mind you, Asian families have family lunches almost every week, imagine how much pressure I was in. I almost took the first job that hired me but my parents told me to take my time. Either way, instead of blaming the society for putting pressure on me, I understood that it was an inevitable pressure I put onto myself and I needed to take a few steps back to really figure out what’s best for me.

Examples of How I Build My Criteria List:
For example, I met a few startup founders through Tinder. I went to Babson, a school known for entrepreneurship, so I was keen to learn how these entrepreneurs succeeded, failed, and whether it was for me. I saw how startups were not as glamorous as what I’ve read online and how they needed to work late nights to get to where they are now. And of course, how in the end of the day, whether they lived in China (not ideal) or moved all the way from Europe to Hong Kong to start this business, they truly loved what they do and wouldn’t trade it for the world. I reflected a lot after I got home from each conversation and learned that I wanted to find a place that had the quick decision making, small team feel, sense of ownership, and agility of a startup because this was what made me succeed in Babson College, working in small project/extracurricular groups. At the same time, I continued searching for people who were in Hong Kong’s entertainment industry for me to talk to. I learned that compared the Criteria List I initially created, the entertainment industry had slow decision making, huge hierarchies, and sense of passive acceptance for the roles that were given to them. With that, I decided acting was not for me and applied to small medium/tech businesses where I learned from my Tinder dates had the qualities I wanted from my Criteria List.

Another example was I met a filmmaker/creative director, magician/business owner, and guitarist/startup developer. I’ve always found other artists fascinating since I’ve danced for 20+ years, played the Electone for 20+ years, and played the clarinet for 8 years. I understood how business aka money played a large part in their creativity and artistry, how they could leverage their creativity to lead and perform at work, and how the flexibility of being a business owner and director allowed them to spend time on their music/art. Even though they can’t work in the arts full time, they still enjoyed it as a hobby, performing here and there in their spare time, even going on tv. There were three things I reflected from our conversations #1 I am super passionate about the arts and want to use my business knowledge to help support artists around the world #2 I liked that they had flexible hours that fueled their creativity and decided I needed a job that allowed me to work wherever and whenever I wanted to work #3 There is no such thing as having one specialized career path, I could always incorporate my interests into work and life.

Shouldn’t I Just Accept Whatever’s in Front of Me?

I built an extensive Criteria List after 10 months of funemployment and quite a few interviews/applications simultaneously. Even though it’s daunting to ask for what I want after I get job offers, it was best for both the company and for me and I can tell you why:

For the company, It’s because of supply and demand: According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s International Database, Millennials make up one-fourth of the planet’s population, which translates into 1.7 billion people. PWC’s report says by 2020, millenials will make up 50% of the global workforce. In addition, 90% of executives say that keeping new hires is a persistent issue in their companies (Korn Ferry). This means, companies want to do the best that they can to attract, hire, retain, and grow the right people in the company. This comes with making sure millennials get what they need. For example:

  • Be able to time off for charity work (Mckinsey, Salesforce)

  • Work flexible hours (Hubspot, Cisco, Accenture)

  • Do 20% passion projects (Google, 3M, HP)

  • Have strong mentors (Intel, Deloitte, Paypal)

  • Transfer internationally (all global companies)

  • And solve big problems (SpaceX, TerraCycle, Google).

(Source: PWC)

For me, it’s because we spend 50% of our waking hours at work. We are definitely not slaves anymore. I’m not sure about you, but I’m not willing to spend so much of my time doing something that I’m not passionate about. I learned this from my time working in the network marketing field and talking to startup founders/freelancers through Tinder. I realized that if I ended up hating my job within the first week of being there, I’d be doing a disservice to both me and the company. I’d be performing my worst at work since I’d be so depressed, giving off negative vibes to other coworkers, whilst I stay there for at least 18 months so that I don’t look too “jumpy”. That’s almost 390 days, 3120 hours of my life spent being depressed. The company wouldn’t be able to do anything to help turn this around.

What Are You Scared of?

“I need to get a job, the recruiters will ask why I have a X-month gap”
If you’re scared of not having a stable job while you’re meeting people, it’s also okay because at least you’re doing something and have some technical skillsets to back your resume. Recruiters asked me what I did during my gap and I would tell them about the countless people I met and work that I’ve done in sales (aka network marketing). I found that they got impressed not only because of my young age but also because of my proactivity, ability to converse with strangers (I didn’t tell them I used Tinder!), and willingness to learn.

If you have a job right now, you could also spend 20% of your time meeting people. This is what I did in my current job, meeting people after work and on weekends, and also how I got a job overseas after meeting some people during lunch/after work on my work trip.

“I don’t want people to know I’m on Tinder.”
As long as I was clear about my purpose of meeting people through drinks or coffees and that I wasn’t not sleeping with them, I realized people were actually more impressed than anything else. They saw that I was bold and almost jealous that I was able to hit up a conversation with anyone I met. Etiher way, you actually don’t have the obligation to tell your friends, family, or recruiters that you’re on Tinder either. You could say you’re just “meeting new people” through events and friends of friends. Tinder could be just a small part of the broader goal of meeting new people.

“I shouldn’t initiate the conversation on Tinder as a woman!”
I didn’t have the patience to actually wait for the guys to respond because I had a weekly goal to meet up with at least 3 people. Then I realized what have I got to lose? I don’t even know them anyway! In a sense, if they thought I was a loser or if they weren’t interested in me, then they wouldn’t have swiped right in the first place. Knowing that they’re interested as well, I felt confident to take the leap and say “Hi there! How are you?” Even if the conversation goes badly, just remember that Tinder says it matches 26 million users per day. You have plenty of fish to fish for.

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 “Oh no, I’ve got matches and I’m getting overwhelmed by the people I need to meet.”
Then I realized, swiping right didn’t mean I’d have to get married to them tomorrow nor have the obligation to go on a date with them. It was a chat and mutual playing field where we were both just getting to know each other. If I couldn’t hold a conversation with them on the Tinder platform for one or two weeks, I told them I wouldn’t be able to meet until they stopped asking.

“I don’t want them to think that I’m interested in dating”
Sure, according to Cornell Research, the mean age on Tinder are 25.2 for women and 25.7 for men with 54% single overall (source). I knew that there was a chance that many of them were looking either for hook ups or casual dating. I made sure I stated in my description that I was only looking to have meaningful face to face conversations. I also got better at figuring out what their key motive was by asking them “so what brought you to Tinder?” I knew that if they were hitting on me, I’d never be able to turn it into a mutual friendship so all I could say is “sorry I don’t think I’m the type of girl/guy you’re looking for but good luck on Tinder! Hope you find what you want! ” then move on. I could’ve just ignored them too but I thought that’d be so rude! In the end of the day, I realized that most Tinder users (in Asia at least) were just looking to meet cool people. Whilst in Australia or western countries, there were many more guys who were just looking to hook up. Either way, the qualifying questions always helped get what I want, I just needed to patiently dig through all the matches.

“They’re too smart and successful for me”
I matched with a lot of successful business owners and people with a lot more experience than I did in life/in their field. Instead of putting myself down, I thought about the ways that I could add value from there. Most of the time, they were bored with life anyway or just keen on meeting interesting people. So instead of comparing myself to them, I always prepped myself by organizing cool stories I could tell, making sure I could bring my best energy to the table, and thinking about new hobbies or places of interest in the city I could talk about. This also comes with having a lot of self awareness – knowing where your strengths and weaknesses lie and how you could relate to your Tinder match. Whatever you’re confident about yourself in bringing to the table, bring it, you’ve got nothing to lose.

Hope you’ll be brave and get to meeting people on Tinder! I’d suggest to download the key scripts and questions I used to activate the relationships on Tinder. Remember that you can use these scripts and questions not only on Tinder but for people you meet in events, through friends, or even a coffee shop! The world is your oyster.

Footnotes

  1. (2016), The Keys to Unlocking the Millennial Mindset, Nielsen.
  2. Sagiv, L., & Schwartz, S. H. (2000). Value priorities and subjective well-being: direct relations and congruity effects. European Journal of Social Psychology, 30(2), 177–198.
  3. Wrzesniewski, A., McCauley, C., Rozin, P., & Schwartz, B. (1997). Jobs, careers, and callings: People’s relations to their work. Journal of Research in Personality, 31(1), 21–33.
  4. Newport, C. (2012). So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love. Business Plus.
  5. 50 Best Workplaces for Giving Back, Fortune 500.
  6. 50 Best Workplaces for Flexibility, Fortune 500.
  7. Millenials at Work, Reshaping the Workplace. PWC.

My Personal System for Success in 2018

You’ve heard all about making New Years Resolutions. They’re goals that you set during the holidays because you have too much time on your hands comparing yourself to other people’s social media “yearly recap posts.” Next thing you know, you’re halfway through the year and you’re at the same state you were in from the beginning.

What are you missing?

Something I call a system

It’s a system that you set for yourself that caters to your needs and builds daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly habits that progresses you towards your goals 0.28% at a time. Multiply that by 365 days and you get 100%+ towards your goals by the end of the year.

And I share this in my e-book – how I managed to leverage this system to become an employee in one of the best companies in the world, get promoted twice in two years, and be in the best shape I’ve ever been.

My e-book “The Ultimated Guide to Finding Balance” – Click Subscribe now to get a free copy or at inyour20s.com/subscribe-now

I’ve then used the same system last year to achieve 2 internal certifications within my company that less than 400 people got and leverage that to move to the US from Asia. It took a lot of planning and time but my system helped keep me accountable.

Short Term Goals. 1 of 7 pages (includes Medium Term Goals, Long Term Goals, Habits, How Might I Fail, Decisions/Actions)

For 2018, I’ve reiterated my approach again. I’m super excited to share with you what I have in place for this year and how I’ve kickstarted 3 of my goals already. There will also be a crucial BONUS that I will share at the very end, so read through to the end! My inspiration came from listening to one of Tim Ferriss’ podcast episodes about Phil Helmuth, an American Poker player who became the youngest person to win the World Series of Poker. He shares his goal setting methodology called the “winning pyramid.” This is a framework that he scrambled up with a huge gush of hope after he had a huge enlightening moment at the age of 23. You can read more about it in an excerpt of his book here on Google Books.

Following his framework, I set up my:

  1. Life Goals

  2. 2018 Pyramid

  3. “Blog Pyramid”

  4. Blessings or what I call “Snippet Reminders”

  5. And a crucial BONUS action item. Read more at the end

First, I set up my life goals. These are things that I want, that I am not ashamed of , that will make me proud when I look back at life in my casket when I’m 80 years old. They are also not bound by the vehicle by itself eg. how I want to actually make money or where I actually want to live/buy homes. It’s okay to be greedy and it’s also okay to want to have nice things. The only person you have to answer to is yourself but the only thing you have to keep in mind is that your “why” has to be very strong. Why you really want these things in life and why these things will make you happy.

NOTE: Life goals can always change, you will probably find yourself tweaking a little bit here and there within the next 2-3 years. Phil Hellmuth rewrote his life goals after 5 years because he achieved most of them with this pyramid system

Then, I wrote down my 2018 pyramid or as Phil Hellmuth wrote in his book as “the winning pyramid.” The reason why I wrote my life goals down first before my 2018 pyramid is because every year that we go through should always be a stepping stone towards your next 5 years, 10 years, 20, 50 years. Just as your daily actions contribute to this year’s goals. The reason why it’s a pyramid, as Phil Hellmuth mentioned in his book, is because this pyramid entails the building blocks needed to achieve your life goals. However, unlike Phil where he put the bottom layer as the least important and top layer as the most important and hardest to achieve, I put the bottom layer as a foundation with the top layer as the hardest to achieve.

Either way, you can adjust as you need. It’s all personal, you just need to have enough self-awareness to know what works for you

As you can see, I also labeled each layer a bit according to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs where the bottom level fulfilled my security and physio needs and the top fulfilled my self-actualization needs.

Now the most important part is setting up your schedule where each level has a clearly blocked-out time in your schedule. What’s not written below is I have set traveling schedules every 2 weeks (contributes to the promotion), greencard meeting schedules, big personal trips to new places at least once a quarter, and meetings with Vanguard* every half year as well.

*I read MONEY: Master the Game by Tony Robbins and the Value Investor. It’s part of my efforts to achieve my life goals of being financially free. Tony Robbins suggests Vanguard because they are a fiduciary financial advisor, high quality and fee-only unlike brokers in the market who are selling you investment deals that may not be right for you.

I would say, to take it another step further if this is your first time setting these goals: Write down how you might fail following these daily habits (more about this in my e-book) and how you would overcome failing on a daily basis. For example, one of my goals is to get promoted. One of the things needed to do so is build a strong network in the US hence the “meet new people/event/20% projects” section midday every day. How I might fail would be failing to find people to meet with, events to go to, or 20% to work on. To solve this, I would set up time every Friday afternoon to find a bunch of people to meet for the next week. Then, I’d add that block of time on Friday.

Thirdly, I broke it down to my projects pyramids. My main one is my blog pyramid (for this blog!) as one of my efforts to break out of the corporate system. This pyramid lays the more complicated building blocks of that one task. My current pyramid is based on Ramit Sethi’s Zero to Launch, a fail proof system to help me succeed in building this website.

Another example for you would be my goal last year to move outside to US. It’s complicated and could be broken down into a focused pyramid. My foundation layer was to gain leverage within my current role at that time. I gained technical knowledge and certification in my role by moving to a more technical client account and volunteering to take 2 very difficult exams that was known within the company. Then the second layer would be people connections. I reached out to different people around the world to understand about the structure in the US and what roles were available. I also didn’t limit myself to the US in case the visa situation was hard to work through and because I had minimal connections in the US. With that, I traveled to the US meeting different people face to face and finally met my current manager who hired me. He specifically needed someone who had the technical knowledge I built for the past 2 years. Checkmate!

Fourthly, I want to remind myself to focus and be happy every day. Some of these are just small reminders that I can see on my full body mirror everyday before I walk out of the house. Another one is super important, my desktop background and my phone background. These are up to you, and should be simple sayings that helps keep your head in the right mindset.

Lastly, here are the two the crucial BONUSES that I promised!

#1 You should always announce your goals to keep yourself accountable. I announced to everyone that I’ll have this blog and I announced to everyone that I’d move to the US. Look where I am! It’s also great to get feedback, encouragement, and occasionally advice from friends who have had experience doing what you aspire to achieve.

#2 You should put it somewhere you’d see it everyday

2016 and 2017 I had it in my living room wall. This year, I wanted to follow Phil Hellmuth’s footsteps and put it in the bathroom mirror. I suppose we go to the bathroom 4X more then we walk in and out of our bedroom in order to see things posted on the wall. I’ll probably adjust them again later on if I don’t see them as often as I’d like.

P.S I also keep track of my large monthly expenses and income on my hallway wall so that I can remind myself of not spending stupid money.

Hope all of this helped! Once again, it’s setting up your:

  1. Life Goals list

  2. 2018 Pyramid (with schedule blocked out and “how to overcome challenges” if needed)

  3. The Project Pyramid on a specific complicated project

  4. Blessings or what I call “Snippet Reminders” behind your front door

  5. And crucial BONUSES – announce your 2018 goals to the world and post them in your toilet/bedroom wall!

Now tell me – What’s the #1 one thing you’ll do RIGHT NOW after reading this post?

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