I landed a job at Google and thought my career was made. I’m now a year in, and the glow of getting hired has diminished. Am I crazy for thinking of leaving, or should I stick it out longer and see if I can make it at what everyone perceives that it is — one of the best places to work in the country?
When you work for any GINORMOUS consumer brand like any of the FANG companies (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Google), it comes with a patina of pride and success. Any of these companies, and many others, are great for your résumé. But the reality is that the culture of these companies can be difficult for many people. They didn’t get to be where they are by being gentle and easy. They are hard-driving and demanding, which some people like and thrive in and some don’t. You aren’t alone, so whether to stay or leave at which point is a personal one. If you do leave, make sure that you don’t unintentionally give a prospective employer the impression that you couldn’t cut it. The fact that you got hired at Google is an accomplishment — their vetting process and hiring bar is high. Use that to your advantage. Talk about all you learned there and how you want to parlay that experience to a new opportunity.
At a recent interview, the interviewer said: “I just transferred a highly recognizable person who was the first female in this building that could get the job done. They will be hard shoes to fill. Are you that person?” What do you say to that kind of question?
Many interviewers like to hear themselves talk instead of listening. If you forget about all of that superfluous detail, the question comes down to asking something very simple. In this case it is “why do you think you can do this job?” Obviously you don’t know anything about the previous person — who, why or how they got the job, or how they performed. You can’t compare yourself to anyone because you don’t know the others involved. You only know what you can bring to the job — what makes you tick and why they should want to hire you. That is how you focus your response — on you, not someone else.
Gregory Giangrande is a chief human resources and communications officer in the media industry. E-mail your career questions to [email protected] Follow Greg on Twitter: @greggiangrande. His Go to Greg podcast series is available on iTunes.
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