So, naturally, during the course of my last 7 years working at Google, I tried a variety of different roles and projects and really sampled it all. At Google I worked in cross-functional roles across operations, engineering, program management and user experience — and my roles cut across lines to interact with legal, business development, marketing and more — B2B and B2C.
I also worked with teams from Dublin to Japan, learning how to work across different cultures.
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When I left, I really had felt like I had made the most of my experience and had learned about the company from as many angles, working with as many people as possible, creating my own path along the way at one point I had even pitched a role for myself that turned into a global team! I could have kept hopping around and trying new things forever there, working with amazing, creative, brilliant people at a company that I respected and admired.
So, if I was getting all of this great opportunity and working with so many people I loved, why then did I decide to make the big decision to leave? And why now? But after 7 years, I had realized that I needed to rethink my criteria for what makes a right job for me. Also, I was feeling more and more like I lived in a big tech bubble. I daydreamed about living in new places and seeing new faces around me. The perks and novelty of a job at Google as a company were wearing off, and I realized I was in the same spot as most other something people out there: completely unsure of my next move.
I wanted a company fit and a job fit, and was completely lost on how to get there.
I started with what I knew best: asking questions. I talked to people — a LOT of people — in various jobs, industries, and with a variety of feelings about their job and role fit. I met with people in and outside of tech, current and former consultants, CEOs and founders. I talked to people that absolutely hated their jobs, and those that felt they found their calling in life.
I talked to freelancers, fashion designers, and artists.
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Not only did I ask about their experiences, I asked for targeted advice based on what they knew about me. I used this crowd-sourced mentorship which to be honest was more deep empathy insights gathering to learn a lot very quickly. It helped me shape a realistic picture of what my life might look like down a variety of different paths. Out of everything I was doing, what were the activities that got me completely energized? Throughout my last years at Google, I had tried a lot of seemingly unconnected things, just because they seemed interesting. I said yes to volunteer my time doing design sprints, and the design sprint team came knocking on my door.
As time went on, these small things led to bigger things, more opportunities, and more learnings. Friends started approaching me with freelance gigs to help them run strategy and vision workshops. So, unbeknownst to me, I had the answers all along cue angels, birds and epiphany music. The goals were ambitious the BOI mission is to inspire million people. Due to the size, every person had a major impact.
And to top it all off, there was an incredible culture: every single person I met was incredibly smart, charismatic, humble, authentic, self-aware, and had a great sense of humor; all qualities I had a hard time finding in any other comparable company I was talking to. When Julie and I met, the team was doing beer yoga in the background and running around with nerf guns it was a Friday, to be fair.
On top of that, they were multi-disciplinary and energizing to talk to; they really knew their stuff. These were people I could see myself collaborating with every day while having a lot of fun in between.
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I had never worked in other sectors, never in a small company, and had never even set foot inside Belgium before. Also, I cut my very, very comfortable and generous Google salary in half. This was a big personal and financial risk.
I thought back to what ex-Googlers before me had said all along. She was right.
And then last year when Trump got elected, I realized that nothing in this world is predictable or stable. And it was then I knew that the golden handcuffs were just a mental barrier I had been holding on to, and it was surprisingly easy to let go. But, that was still OK: a little discomfort was actually the best sign I was doing something right. And you can bet I did a lot of research and asked a lot of questions along the way to make sure I knew what I was getting into. I just wrapped up my first big project as project lead, and it was rewarding in a way that I never found at Google on any of my past projects.
Google is and always will be part of my identity, part of my formative years and honestly I consider it my free! Instead of being paralyzed by not having it all figured out, I invested in myself and sampled everything that interested me. I chose novelty and change. I chose to invest in myself. I chose to leave one amazing company and team for an equally amazing company and team. So now, here comes the real talk portion:. Do you feel in a comfort zone with your job? Do you feel boxed in, wanting to stretch yourself beyond your industry, country or role? Stuck in a place that feels one-note?
My suggestions are to first take inventory about what matters most for you, especially related to the future you imagine for yourself I used Woopah, a free-writing visioning exercise , second ask yourself what energizes you even if it seems completely out there: say YES to any opportunity in that area even if you give up valuable Netflix time to do it!
And last but not least, talk to people — ask questions of a diverse group of people to get genuine advice and see how it relates to your path. Your Career with Kingspan is Yours to Shape! Why Choose Kingspan?
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As a Kingspan graduate, you will be given a permanent position from day 1 - creating a unique environment where you can grow your skills and further your knowledge every day. You will be empowered to drive your career forward, with opportunities to lead your own projects and work with teams across the globe at the very early stages of your career. With 5 business divisions and more than facilities in over 70 countries across the globe — working with Kingspan opens up opportunities to experience different cultures, countries and businesses.
The opportunities for a rewarding, challenging and varied career with Kingspan are endless. We love self-starting graduates who are ready to take on responsibility, share their ideas and act on their own initiative to achieve great things. If you are an innovator looking to influence the future of buildings on a global stage — Kingspan is the right place for you. Although we are a global company, Kingspan has always prioritised its roots as a family business.
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You will work in an environment where people from all disciplines, countries and seniority work together and support each other to make things happen. At Kingspan, we combine a competitive salary and benefits with a dynamic and fast-paced environment so that you will never stop learning and developing your business skills.
You will also be provided with a mentor to support and guide you throughout your first year with the business. Graduate Stories Graduates from all disciplines, backgrounds, countries tell you more about their Kingspan experience. Explore Graduate Stories.