My Education: BS, Psychology
My Prior Experience: I worked as an intern at IBM and was offered a job there. I have had a number of different jobs in different organizations since that time.
My Company: I work for a large technology company.
Job/Career Overview: Overall, my job is to enable software salespeople in my company to use my company's social software to do their jobs. Using social software makes them more efficient and productive, and it also helps them to sell the software more easily since they've actually used it.
One of my responsibilities is to collect data about our target audience, meaning salespeople. This could be either through surveys or interviews or by analyzing the target audience's behavior using our web-based social software tools. We then take the data and make decisions about how we will improve our evangelism program.
I am also responsible for coordinating a group of summer interns to work on an intense, fast-paced project. It's my responsibility to identify the project, interview the interns and make hiring recommendations, and then advise and mentor them as they do their work.
I also consult them on web site design. In my previous job (at the same company) I was responsible for the overall design strategy for the web site, so I am still called upon to consult on the design of other pages and sites.
I rate this career 5 out of 10.
The best parts of the job are...
1. The people. I get to work with lots of different people from different places and very different backgrounds and experiences from me. I enjoy being able to learn more about them and their culture.
2. The travel. I get to travel to lots of different places and meet more cool people.
3. Thinking. In general, I have a thinking job, which means that I get to do a lot of data analysis and brainstorming and thinking. I am paid not so much for what I produce materially, but for the ideas and thoughts that I can come up with. (Of course, I'm also expected to execute those ideas - or get someone else to.)
4. Flex-time. Currently I work 24 hours a week, predominantly from home. I have worked more and less hours, from home, from the office, and from lots of different countries. Since my company and organization are focused on results, it doesn't matter all that much where I am. This allows me to spend time with my son instead of commuting into work.
The worst parts are...
1. Red tape. Big company means lots of politics and red tape. Yuck.
2. Meaning. There's not a whole lot of meaning to what we do... but, on the positive side, the company is generally supportive of volunteer activities.
1. Even if you are an introvert, learn to work well with others. As difficult as consensus-building can be, advancing in virtually any career direction will require negotiation skills.
2. Be willing to take jobs that are "beneath" you. Getting broad experience enables you to understand other roles and responsibilities and will ultimately allow you to see the bigger picture and allow you to be better at what you do.
3. Regardless of what job or career you pursue you will be required to communicate extensively, verbally and on paper. Even if you hate writing, practice. The faster you can write a clear, concise, coherent paragraph, the more efficient you will be overall.