From an Owl to a Unicorn – The #HireKoka Conclusion.
I’m joining the teams at Slack.com
How it happened
Nov 30, 2017 I wasn’t looking for a job. I had just got back from a solid trip to London and Paris meeting with companies, speaking at a couple events and meeting with the media for work.
I was asked by an old friend and fellow LinkedIn alum now running Growth Marketing at Slack if I would be willing to talk with the VP of Marketing about content marketing. There wasn’t a complete strategy in place and they needed to know where to start.
I was happy to do it. #RelationshipsMatter is a core value at Linkedin and I will try to live up to that especially when it comes from other Linkedin Alums. No expectations on my side, I was just happy to talk about content marketing and see what the inside of Slack looked like.
We met, talked for about an hour and that was it. I knew they would eventually be hiring the role but it was too early. I wanted to leave the door open but again, I was still under the impression that things on my end were going good.
Timing is everything
When I lost my job, they were first on my list. At that point, there was still not an open role but I wanted to make sure they knew I was interested.
The #HireKoka campaign was in full swing by late January when I got an email for an initial interview. I was excited just to have the opportunity.
It was never about having a plan B, it was about finding the Plan A and chasing it.
On Jan 24th I walked into the building for the first time as a candidate. I was already fascinated with the chance to be part of the company. How many times do you get a chance to work with a company labeled “One of the fastest growing SaaS companies EVER”?
I had many opportunities at this point and a few of them were great places with great people, Slack seemed to have found a way to scale that to an extreme. I also knew from my time at Linkedin that companies like this have an opportunity to hire just about anyone they want. They don’t have to hire anyone, they can be very selective.
So how do you get hired by a Unicorn? I don’t know if there is a formula to follow but I think you have to be just as unique as them and have something to offer that exceeds expectations. Did I have what it takes? I was about to find out.
Over the next month I was interviewed and interviewing about a half dozen people at the company, I had to build a presentation of a content marketing plan that I had developed and executed. It was by far the most comprehensive process I have been through as a potential employee.
This confirmed my original thoughts about how selective they were and it also gave me a great opportunity to get to know everyone and the expectations being set.
Did the #HireKoka campaign have any influence?
The short answer is ‘yes’. It was brought up a few times in the interview process. It was clear that the updates, support and engagements were being seen by them and all of the companies I was talking to.
All of this was happening as I met with and was being evaluated by other companies. I would get into the city around 8am and sometimes hang out in a coffee shop or squat at an office building most of the day just to have a lunch or meet for coffee with a hiring manager.
I kept talking with other companies. Making sure no rock was left unturned. It was an exercise in patience and focus. I wasn’t expecting Slack to come through. I wanted it to, but I had to maintain a healthy dose of pessimism too.
As I got down to the top 4, things got very interesting. I had to do some real soul-searching. It was never about having a plan B, it was about finding the Plan A and chasing it. That required a conversation with myself outside of the spreadsheet.
Do I go to the place offering the most money?
Do I go for a a big title?
Do I take the role that lets me work from home?
Do I take a role that stretches myself outside of my comfort zone?
…the list went on and on.
These are not easy questions.
I also had to make sure I wasn’t going to put myself in the same situation I just got out of. Shiny objects are not always diamonds. I needed to know that whatever company I went to was running effectively and my role was well thought through and supported by all stakeholders.
After the “last” interview, I was confident but still not sure I was going to get it. I also had no idea how many others were being reviewed for the role.
It wasn’t until I got “the call” a week later that I was sure. That’s when it became real. It was a little bit luck, a little more skill, and a lot of concentrated power of will. I landed in a great place.
My start date is on March 19th. I’ll be reporting to the VP of Marketing and building the content strategy from the ground up. I’m excited. I am back to creating again. Doing what I do best. Building the content machine and helping add value. I’ve missed the work and happy that I get to do it again.
Again, I have said this a lot but I can’t say it enough, “Thank you!” all of you that watched, shared and supported the #HireKoka chronicles.