Google Knocked and I Answered

Yes, they did knock…it’s too bad opportunities door doesn’t have a peephole, because if it did, I would have thrown on a pair of pants..figuratively speaking.

Let me begin at the beginning.

A little over a month ago, I was about to leave work on a Friday and I got an email. It was from Google, more specifically a Google recruiter and they were interested in me for a position at their headquarters. My first thoughts were that this was some sort of scam or joke so I looked up the recruiters information and sure enough, he had a Linked.In profile that stated he was a recruiter at Google.

Needless to say, I was very excited. I drove home with dreams of sugarplums and gumdrops dancing through my head..oh wrong dream..more like free meals, in house massage therapist and access to some of the brightest minds of this generation.

If you aren’t familiar with Google (the company behind the browser) crawl out from under that rock, and Google ..Google. They have been in the top ten of best companies to work for for several years running, their facilities are amazing and they operate on the cutting edge of technology 24/7. I work in the technology industry and have been looking at Google job boards since 2002, hoping they would have an opening for village idiot or food tester.

I got home and quickly shot off a very brief reply to the recruiter that probably read like a schoolboy anxiously answering a love letter.

That weekend was one of the longest weekends in history. I knew that no one worked Saturdays but I couldn’t help checking my email at least a hundred times more than usual that day. The next week frantically rewrote my resume as it had not been updated in almost two years. You see, I hadn’t been looking for a new job and had not applied for anything which made this whole thing all the more exciting. A few days went by and I got a reply from the recruiter. He wanted my resume and a time for a phone interview. I very quickly shot back what he asked for and the waiting game began again. It was like sitting on the edge of my seat for over a month..very exhausting 🙂

My Interview wasn’t till the next Monday so the week slowly drug on, and over that weekend my daughter got sick. We ended up staying a few nights in the hospital (she’s all better now, but RSV sure is a troublesome one), one of which was the day I was scheduled to interview. I felt like I couldn’t cancel because I just couldn’t wait to get the process see if I really was Google material!

The interview in the hospital room was pretty nerve wracking. I was worried someone would come in and interrupt, as the nurses came in every couple hours, I was running on very little sleep and this was a phone interview with Google…but all went well and I passed the interview. I was told I would be working with a team of hundreds of engineers, on services you and I use daily. I was blown away. (You have to realize I am young, have no working experience in the position they wanted me for and haven’t been in the industry all that long either so this whole thing was wild, not to mention my longstanding dream of working for Google)

The next interview would be a technical interview with a Google engineer. I won’t go into details here but after cramming for several weeks on every topic I could think of that I would be asked about, sweating every time I thought about the upcoming interview out of excitement and nervousness and getting everyone in the office all hyped up (they seemed more excited about the job than I was, even my boss) I totally choked and got the reject two very long weeks later, while I was on vacation

After the interview, I pretty much knew the outcome and after a few days, I got over the heartbreak and thought about all I had learned. Here are those lessons:

  • Always be ready for the unexpected! Previous to this adventure, I had become pretty complacent. I’m happy with my current job but it really isn’t that hard and I was burnt out from school as I was reaching the tail end of my degree program. I had spent the last few years concentrating on that hurdle that I failed to grow in some ways on my own. If I hadn’t stopped, and had continued to improve and hone my skills in the area the Google position was in (Linux system administration and open source development, if you were wondering, which I have always done as a hobby but never gotten really serious about) maybe I could have been ready for this one. I learned so much over the course of the interview process that I didn’t know before yet could have helped my in ways I never even thought about in my current job as well as advancing my overall skill set.
  • Never underestimate yourself. Learn to market yourself and the skills that you have even if you think they aren’t worth anything to anyone. I asked the recruiter after I got the rejection letter what prompted him to contact me and he said that it was my passion for technology. I had no idea that that passion was evident in my writing (I write more than just financial advice 🙂 ).
  • Take things as they come. I could have taken this whole opportunity in a negative light, not having been offered the position. I could be sour about it and switch search engines 🙂 but what good would that do me! I am taking this as a challenge from the big G. The fire is burning in me again to improve my skills and become Google material. I know now that there are jobs out there for things that I love doing and do solely as a hobby for now and if the chance comes again, I want to be ready.
  • Never burn your bridges. Even though I didn’t get the job and didn’t even make it through the interview process, I met some really cool people along the way. Again I could be sour towards these people and just let the contact fade into memory but instead I plan to keep in touch with them and keep that line of communication open. You never know when you will be able to help someone out and create a deeper connection with another human being, which is a pretty amazing thing. Other bridges that could have been burnt here were with my current employer. This made me realize, yet again, how great my boss is. He was not only excited about the opportunity, he was supportive and helpful. If I went about this the wrong way, it certainly could have ended worse.
  • Don’t get too far ahead of yourself. There were certainly some mistakes I made during the interview process. I think being too anxious certainly hurt me during that technical interview. The cramming caused information overload and I wasn’t able to retrieve information I knew when asked for it. I also asked some questions about some aspects of the job a bit prematurely, which probably didn’t make me look too professional. Be patient. All good thinks come to those who wait.

So that’s just how things go. That is one of the things that has contributed to me not being around here for a while. I am very excited for the future. I have a lot of free time now that school is over (more about that in an upcoming post!) and I can’t wait to grow in every way imaginable!

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12 People have left comments on this post

» Anthony BuonomoNo Gravatar said: { Mar 31, 2010 - 10:03:00 }

You have inspired me. I'm going to learn more about SQL to be more effective at my current job and ready for any future prospects. Thanks for sharing!

» Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar said: { Mar 31, 2010 - 12:03:00 }

Anthony, I’m glad I could inspire. You really never know what great opportunity could fall into your lap, so be ready!

» Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar said: { Mar 31, 2010 - 12:03:00 }

Anthony, I’m glad I could inspire. You really never know what great opportunity could fall into your lap, so be ready!

» Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar said: { Mar 31, 2010 - 12:03:00 }

Anthony, I’m glad I could inspire. You really never know what great opportunity could fall into your lap, so be ready!

» Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar said: { Mar 31, 2010 - 12:03:00 }

Anthony, I’m glad I could inspire. You really never know what great opportunity could fall into your lap, so be ready!

» Paul @ FiscalGeekNo Gravatar said: { Mar 31, 2010 - 09:03:18 }

As someone who works for the Anti-Google I hope for the best for you in the future. Take this opportunity to learn like you have said and go forward. There are indeed many minuses for working for a company of Google’s size, not the least of which is the demand on you. All the best to you.
.-= Paul @ FiscalGeek´s last blog ..Interview with Francois Bondiguel Cofounder of PocketSmith =-.

» Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar said: { Mar 31, 2010 - 10:03:33 }

Paul, I had no idea you worked for Microsoft (Just guessing they are the anti-google you speak of), I’m impressed and would love to pick your brain sometime.

I agree there are some minuses, but what I was looking forward to was the incredibly fast paced work environment. I’m relatively new in the industry and I know a year there would have increased my experience in my areas of interest far faster than anywhere else I can think of. (according to my research 🙂 )

» Financial SamuraiNo Gravatar said: { Apr 10, 2010 - 05:04:51 }

Wow, bummer, but a great experience and something you learned.

Are you based in San Francisco? I guess due to my location, there are Googlers everywhere. If it helps any, I know many who work there and they feel it’s just another corporation with some decent perks. The big money has been made already.


.-= Financial Samurai´s last blog ..Doing Anything You Can to Survive – Silence And Surprise In The Night =-.

Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar Reply:

Ya Sam, I’m over the bummer part but the fire the experience lit is still burning strong and I don’t regret it one bit.

I’m actually based in Utah, which made the whole experience that much more exciting. I used to live in Cali and really miss it; the sunshine, the diversity in people…I had even been toying with the idea of job hunting out there but decided against it.

After the initial excitement, I had decided to be completely objective about the opportunity. I had done some research on the more down to earth side of Google and had discovered that aside from the perks and the cutting edge technology, there are plenty of politics and normal business stuff to get in the way of the fun.

Thanks for dropping by, Sam

{ Apr 12, 2010 - 04:04:20 } A Helping Hand For Fellow Yakezie Members

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