Two years with Google: Lessons Learned

Hey friends! We’ve made it to Thursday. It honestly feels like the.longest.week.ever. After a rough day with Juno yesterday (see Instagram below), I am SO ready for the weekend.

Even though I am ready for Friday night, today is a big day for me. It’s my two year “googleversary.” AKA, I have been with Google Inc. for two years! I joined Google immediately after graduating from undergrad and had absolutely no idea what to expect in the working world. Through three offices and five desks in two different states, and two completely unique roles, I’ve learned so much about myself and being a grown up (ish).

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One of my favorite coworkers/people in the whole world made me the balloon heart <3 

In the interest of nostalgia, I’d like to share the most important lessons I’ve learned in the last two years. Let me know if any resonate with you or if I am missing something key (see #9)!

10. Assume good intent

People are generally good or are trying to be. In life, miscommunications happen at least 9 times out of 10. Assuming the other person is doing the best he/she can and doesn’t mean to be rude/upset you/do something wrong makes a world of difference.

9. It’s okay to not know stuff

Some of the best feedback I’ve ever received was that I am great at bullshitting. This is awesome when making a big preso but not so much in every day interaction. Admitting I don’t know what’s up has gotten a lot easier, and when I see it in others—RESPECT.

8.  Learning is HARD

School’s awesome: deadlines, timelines, clear assessment, and objectives. Ideally, work would be that way too but mostly it’s not. I’m paid to thrive in ambiguity. One of my mentors once told me that the ups and downs of learning are miserable; it’s looking back, once things have stabilized that you realize what just happened and how much you’ve grown.

7. Don’t flirt/date/etc within your cost center. Just don’t

Enough said.

6. Burnout is a real thing

If a job requires 11 hour days consistently, something needs to change. A person only has so much energy, time, and spirit, so spend it well, my friends. And let’s just say, sending work emails at 10pm? Probably not conducive to long term success.

5. All the perks in the world mean nothing without the people

Part of why I left my old team was because the people I loved working with had left. It didn’t matter that my work was challenging, I had all the free froyo I could eat, or that the pay was good. Once ‘your’ people leave, it becomes a lot easier for you to leave too.

4. The best friends challenge you

The good people in our lives are the ones that make us better, not allowing us to exist in the status quo. They call us out on our shit. Push us to try new things. Act as a sounding board for our rants, then tell us to get on with it. I’ve found that those people are few and far between. Even now that I am separated by at least 2000 miles (or a continent in other cases), I have a couple folks I know I can count on to help me grow.

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KitKat at Google

3. Own your development

You gotta try new things. Projects, promotions, or new opportunities do not fall on your lap, nor will they be outlined for you in a syllabus. Do things that scare you and take initiative. Even at Google, one of the top companies in the world, with an incredible internal mobility program, I’ve had to stumble along my path.

2. Health comes first

Even the best manager, peer, or friend cannot put you first. It’s your responsibility to take care of YOU, whatever that means for a particular day. Always prioritize health, physical, spiritual, and emotional. Without your health, you’ve got nothing. Been there, done that.

AND

1. It’s all about you

Controlling people and outcomes really truly is impossible. All you can control is yourself, so do a good job. Control your reactions. Recognize those triggers. Don’t take things personally. Think critically about what you want and need on any given day, and pursue it tirelessly.

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Love at work!

 

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