3173Gregg in oil fields of TexasEngineering

From the oil field to Indeed: How I Became A…Search Quality Strategist

Search Quality Strategist, Gregg Stephens, shares his unlikely career journey from searching for oil and gas in Texas to helping candidates search for jobs on Indeed.
Gregg playing guitar

Gregg showing off his guitar skills

Gregg Stephens is a Search Quality Strategist in Search Quality (known internally as SQUALL), the team that helps ensure the job search experience on Indeed is relevant and of high quality to both the candidate and employer. He’s an avid traveler and awards points hacker, using points to travel the world.

In this installment of “How I Became A…”, Gregg shares his unlikely career journey from searching for oil and gas fields to helping candidates search for jobs on Indeed and how he’s continuing to learn and develop his career.

Gregg’s background makes him a modern-day renaissance man, having worked as an EMT in high school, taught scuba diving while earning a double major in Journalism and Geological Sciences from Ohio University, only to use his degrees to play as a classically trained finger-style guitarist. 

He eventually worked his way back into oil and gas exploration before taking some time off to research geochemistry and earthquakes for the State of Texas and eventually joining Indeed in May 2018. So just how does a person with Gregg’s skillset end up at Indeed?

A career as a geologist on the rocks 

In the spring of 2018, Gregg was a geologist looking to leave the top geoscience research institute in the world, with his resume detailing exactly how technical and data-heavy his work experience was. 200 job applications later without one single interview, he was stuck. Confident that he could do the job, but unable to even compete for it. His own miscalculation?

Gregg in the Oil Fields

Working in the oil & gas fields of Texas

“I assumed recruiters saw geoscience data the same as tech data. A conceptual truth, but I missed the mark thinking that everyone saw the interchangeable skills that I saw,” Gregg said.

“I had all the confidence in the world that I could be a major contributor in tech, but it meant nothing without someone on the inside knowing what I knew how to do as well. There is no substitute for networking, and the best time to start is yesterday.”

He finally broke into tech when his now-wife made a post on Indeed’s internal social media page asking for advice on his behalf. 

Ironically, It was seen by a fellow geologist who was looking to return to geology. Shortly after they forged their relationship, he broke his interview drought and interviewed with his future boss, and the rest, as they say, is history. 

Picking up pebbles of information along your journey

Gregg and Ash at an Indeed Holiday Party

Gregg and his wife Ash (also an Indeedian!)

While his journey to Indeed may be unconventional, the skills he picked up along the way have helped him tremendously in his role here at Indeed. He’s a product strategist, specializing in personalized advertising, so he needs to know jobseekers better than they know themselves.

He helps ensure that the ads and emails we deliver are relevant, high quality, and bring you back to Indeed. 

This isn’t an easy task; on any given day, he looks at hundreds of thousands of data points in the past to a) figure out why individuals engaged the way they did, and then b) use that to predict what they’ll want to see tomorrow.  

How does a background in geological sciences and journalism help with anything to do with job seekers?

“I’m a staunch proponent of three-dimensional thinking. SQL and python skills are great for mapping data, but the mapping concepts make more sense when I’ve also reverse-engineered outcrops by tying X-ray fluorescence & spectral gamma-ray signatures into spatially-adjacent drilling logs,” Gregg shared. 

“Geology isn’t the roadside outcrop you’re looking at; it’s the physical, mathematical, and three-dimensional possibilities through time. It’s creating hypotheses from the probability of each outcome. It’s testing, learning, and adjusting to what works – exactly like my job here at Indeed.”

Be boulder and ask for help.

Gregg didn’t get to where he is now all on his own, and says that one of the best resources in professional development is a mentor. 

Gregg poses outside an Indeed office in Austin

Gregg poses outside an Indeed office in Austin

“My mentor is not just someone who I can learn from as they grow; by speaking up and stating what I wanted to accomplish, my mentor was able to help mold my work philosophy into a leadership philosophy,” he said. “That knowledge, support, and belief in my aspirations to grow and manage that business is why I’m currently earning my MBA through Boston University’s Questrom School of Business.”

That said, working with some of the brightest minds is also an invaluable resource.

“There’s no better way to perform at the top of your game than to work with people whose brain power constantly pushes you to your limits,” Gregg shared. “Between my team, the product managers we support, commercialization, and operational leadership, there are no off-days. I have to bring my A-game every day because the standard of performance is simply that high.”

Don’t take hard work for granite

Lastly, and he cannot stress this enough, being dedicated to your craft is an absolute must. 

“Being obsessive about my work is the passport that’s allowed me to move between industries. Prior to academia, my standard workweek was 96 hours on a drilling rig. This was great to capitalize on my ‘normal,’ which was how I became a published scientific author at the University of Texas in one year with no prior research experience,” he says.

“You don’t need to work 100 hours a week, but the opportunities that arose from always being the hardest worker in the office are how I get here today.”

Gregg working by the pool

Work hard, play hard.

The most rewarding aspect of his job is the jobseeker feedback and knowing someone has found employment via Indeed.com. 

I don’t say that lightly; we must have jobseekers critique our work. Alternatively, there’s no better motivation to get better than ‘Gregg, you missed the mark’. When the bar is set so high, there’s no better way to improve than to check your work against the real thing. Feedback gives us the ability to invest in our successes and fix our shortcomings.”

Read more Indeedian stories on our #insideindeed culture blog.

 

2890Career Growth

Contract to Full-time: How I Became A… Sales Director in Sydney

Natalie Seaman walks us through her journey at Indeed, her passion for coaching and developing people, and what it takes to be successful in a sales team. 

Natalie Seaman walks us through her journey at Indeed, her passion for coaching and developing people, and what it takes to be successful in a sales team. 

I was originally referred by a friend of an Indeed employee. I had heard of the company because of its excellent reputation. I knew it was the world’s number one job site, respected for being innovative and inclusive, with a great work culture. What’s not to like! 

The idea of working for a company that puts job seekers first, giving them free access to search for jobs and post resumes also appealed to me. We all know how hard it can be finding a good, suitable position, so I was attracted to a company that had that mission statement at its heart. It’s good to feel you are helping people while contributing to a company’s success, learning and having fun at the same time. Win win!

At the time of referral, I had been offered a position at another tech company, but opted to attend the interview at Indeed as it was a dynamic start-up in a small office overlooking The Sydney Opera house and Harbour Bridge – a dream for a Brit!

In the interview, I was told that they were looking for two people to help launch the Content team in Sydney. It was only a pilot project, and the role might only last for two months. I readily accepted and as soon as I joined, I knew this was a company I could see myself with for the long haul. With that mindset, I was more determined than ever to make an impact on the Content team, with the goal to become a permanent Indeedian. The pilot was successful and the following weeks and months saw the team grow and my contract was extended. 

After six months in the role, I moved to an Account Executive role looking after the Staffing segment (the team focusing on recruitment firms) and then shortly after, I was asked to help start up the Dradis team (which is the team looking after all businesses that operated solely on the hosted platform). This proved very successful where the revenue and team grew very quickly, and I was promoted to Team Lead after overachieving all of my targets. 

Being a Team Lead helped me focus on my passion for coaching and developing people to perform to their very best, helping them achieve their targets, as well as my own. After a successful year in the role as Team Lead, I was promoted to a Sales Director. 

It’s been an incredible journey and I’m hugely grateful for the opportunities Indeed has presented me with. 

It’s great to work for a company that seeks to invest in its talent and promote from within – this brings about great loyalty and respect.

Author and friends at a trailwalk

This experience has taught me skills that I am able to bring with me wherever I go. From wearing many hats in my current role, I’ve picked up skills such as the ability to be flexible, work under pressure, collaborate well with others, have good communication skills and determination. Not forgetting a good sense of humour – that goes a long way in life!

As I learn to sharpen those skills, grit, passion, hard work and dedication has helped me achieve my goals.

Indeed is a highly innovative company that is ever evolving and re-inventing itself, so we need to be resilient and be able not just to adapt to change, but also thrive and be successful within the ‘new world’. 

We operate in a highly competitive industry so we also need to be courageous enough to try new methods and dare to make mistakes – as long as we learn from them.

Author and friends on a sunset hike

I love the working culture here in Sydney. Our culture is inspiring, fun, collaborative and hugely supportive. Indeed Australia is currently number two in the market and this drives us as employees to fight even harder for every deal to get to our goal of being number one. 

I believe this translates into the constant collaboration across teams to increase performance and close those deals that will get us to number one in the Australian market. Together we are stronger! 

There are many aspects of my job which I find rewarding… here are a few that makes me want to get up in the morning and perform to the best of my abilities: 

  • Smashing sales figures
  • Developing and motivating others – seeing them learn, grow, perform and be their best selves. When one person wins, we all win!
  • Inspiring the team. Sales is a hugely exciting and dynamic area of the business – with great highs and therefore great lows too. It’s my job to ensure people get through those lows, motivating them to push on, do better and perform to the best level they can. I get a great deal of satisfaction from this part of my role.

That said, these aspects are also the reason for my hiring decisions for the team. A good resume can only tell you so much about a person, so when I am looking for candidates I want to really understand what drives them. 

Sales is not an easy role, so I look for people with true grit and determination, resilience and people who are strong team players. We are only as strong as our weakest performer. These are essential attributes that can see individuals thrive and contribute to the success of Indeed. 

In addition to a great team and learning from them, I feel proud to work for a company that is ahead of the field when it comes to diversity, inclusion and belonging. 

Author and friends in the Indeed booth at a Pride celebration

At Indeed, we have Inclusive Resource Groups (IRGs) and as I believe in leading by example, I actively participate in these initiatives to drive engagement and awareness to my team and the organisation. 

I am one of the founding members of iPride which has been established for over 4 years and Access Indeed that was established two and a half years ago. In addition, I have also recently joined the All Generations Empowered IRG. 

For me, working closely with these groups has made me more mindful, compassionate, supportive and most of all, a more well-rounded Sales Director that treats all employees equally and gives them the space to bring their true authentic self to work. 

As I am a huge champion of diversity, I believe whole-heartedly that ‘in difference there is strength’! It has been proven in multiple studies that diverse work forces produce high-performing, happier work cultures – and in turn, more profitable companies too. 

In short, nothing but positives come from cultivating a diverse workforce.

Author holds up her Indeed scarf at a sporting event

I wanted to end with a quote from my current heroine, Jacinta Ardern who’s the New Zealand Prime Minister. She is universally respected and most importantly, she is true to her own leadership style. In her words:

“One of the criticisms I’ve faced over the years is that I’m not aggressive enough or assertive enough, or maybe somehow because I’m empathetic it means I’m weak. I totally rebel against that. I refuse to believe that you cannot be both compassionate and strong.”

― Jacinta Ardern

Believe in yourself. Don’t second guess yourself and be true to your own leadership style. 

She who dares, wins!

For more stories about our series on ‘How I Became A…’, visit our blog page here.

2941Career Growth

From Nigeria to Texas: How I Became A… Product Scientist at Indeed

In this 'How I Became A....', Adesewa Adegoke details her journey from University to Integration Engineer and what led her on the path to being a Product Scientist at Indeed.

Adesewa in front of a living wall

Adesewa Adegoke is a Product Scientist at Indeed Austin. She uses numbers to help deliver products, and ensures that they launch and run smoothly. She’s a twin, and loves listening to music and imagining doing really cool dance moves, but says she’s not a good dancer.

In our next installment of ‘How I Became A….’, she walks us through her incredible journey of becoming a Product Scientist and how her hard work and preparation met opportunity to bring her to Indeed.

Born and raised in Nigeria, Adesewa was never particularly drawn to computers as a kid. The little interaction she had with computers was in high school for an arts class where she got to do simple designs using Corel Draw, but to her this was more work than fun.

“It was my Dad who encouraged me to major in Computer Science, because he said it was the future. I just knew I had to do it well,” she explains.

Even though Adesewa was a bit unsure, she knew she had to give it her best effort. She went on to study Computer Science as an undergraduate at Covenant University in Ota, Nigeria, and later began to actually fall in love with her programming classes. She was fascinated by the concept of writing code, and the fact that you can watch the code do what you’ve laid out for it.

Adesewa selfie in an outdoor setting

After graduating, she worked as an Integration Engineer for the next 4.5 years. It was during that time she started hearing more and more folks talk about opportunities in “big data.” She was curious, and after doing her research, soon realized it was something she wanted to pursue.

Adesewa decided to take a big leap towards her dream and moved across the world to attend Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. There she received her Masters in Information Systems Management, Business Intelligence and Data Analytics. 

“I loved certain aspects of business intelligence and data analytics, but knew that I didn’t want to just solely focus on the numbers,” she recalls. “I wanted to use those numbers towards delivering tech products.” 

While in grad school she spent a lot of time on Indeed.com searching for internships. In fact, she visited the site so often she was inspired to develop an Indeed mobile app as a way to practice her skills, not knowing an opportunity was approaching around the corner.

Her university soon hosted a career fair for students where Indeed recruiters would be in attendance. She had the opportunity to bring up the backstory of how she developed the app in her spare time as a personal project. 

Adesewa and team in Alaska for a conference

At the KDD conference in Alaska

“It was definitely the best conversation I’ve ever had with a recruiter. They were actually interested in what I had to say,” she says.

Her proactiveness paid off. It was at the same career fair where she also got the chance to meet some of the Indeed Business Intelligence team, and it wasn’t long before she received an opportunity to join the team as a Business Intelligence Analyst. After just a few months of showcasing her skills, she was able to move into her role now as Product Scientist.

“A lot of Product Scientists are proactive people, they’re not people who lay back and watch things happen, but rather stand up and look for that opportunity and go for it,” Adesewa explains in a video about her team and what makes them successful.

As a Product Scientist at Indeed, her role supports product owners and product managers from ideation, product strategy, execution, as well as experimentation, to the actual launch of products. To sum it up, she ensures that Indeed products will launch and run smoothly. She focuses on statistics and machine learning.

Learn more from Adesewa and other Product Scientists at Indeed about building the team and what makes them successful in the video below.

But even though she’s found success and solid footing at Indeed, it wasn’t always easy. Early on, she struggled with an internal battle she now identifies as imposter syndrome.

“You’re surrounded by so many smart people, and sometimes you forget that you’re smart, you’re there, because you’re smart. Imposter syndrome is a real thing,” she says.

Bike riding with a part of the Product and Data Science team in 2019

“There have been times when things were not so great and I just told myself, I’m at that low point. But just give it some time, a month from now, a few weeks from now, things will definitely not be the same.” she recalls telling herself.

In spite of the need for some internal pep talks every now and then, she loves that her role is not monotonous and that she gets the opportunity to work on many different projects using different tools, solving different problems.

She looks back on her journey so far and feels proud that she worked on so many different projects that she’s always wanted to do, while staying on her toes and continuing to learn and grow. 

Adesewa in front of graffiti mural

She’s also come full circle as she’s currently mentoring a PhD graduate student on a similar path she was on years ago. It’s super meaningful to her because she can now share knowledge and help others walk the path that she helped blaze at Indeed. 

“Providing the help you wish you had, makes someone else’s journey a whole lot better. You’re equipping them for a better journey to make the right decisions,” she says.

“If I could do something differently, it would probably be to doubt myself a lot less.”

 

Some advice she has for others is to be open to information and stay curious about what’s happening in your industry. She believes information is power. Use your research to guide your job search, to identify what job titles/roles to go after and what companies align with your ambitions. 

Adesewa and team at an outdoor event

Fun times bonding with the Product Science team (pre-covid)

“Remember that life is indeed about ups and downs, but if you try not to be short sighted and know how to look toward the future, things will work out!”

 

For more stories on #insideindeed, follow us on our Instagram and Facebook pages and read more on our culture blog. To learn more about the perks & benefits Indeed has to offer, click here.

2780Career Growth

How I Became An… Account Executive in Düsseldorf

Katja was originally a client of Indeed, today she is working as an Account Executive at Indeed in Dusseldorf. Hear her story of why she switched sides and where she wants to go next.

Katja Fuchs has been an Account Executive at Indeed Düsseldorf since February 2019. She comes from Innsbruck, Austria and was originally a customer of Indeed’s. Katja was so enthusiastic about Indeed that she wanted to offer the products that she was using to help other clients. Hear her story of why she switched sides.

Klick hier um den Blog auf Deutsch zu lesen.

Au pair, student, clerk, stewardess, online marketing manager. These are some of the positions that Katja has held in her career. Today, Katja is an Indeedian!

In her hometown, Katja was most recently employed as marketing manager in the advertising department of an international company. One day, Katja was entrusted with the job adverts of the company.

Back then, Katja’s colleague said to her: “Hey, there is a guy from Indeed who keeps on calling us. Why don’t you talk to him?”

That “guy” was Jakob Chwalczyk, who is now Katja’s team mate. Jakob was the one who explained Indeed’s pay per click model to her.

From her current job, Katja was already familiar with search engine marketing. Therefore, her enthusiasm for the Indeed products and the search technology was enormous – she really wanted to partner with Indeed. 

Katja presented to the management what she learned from Jakob and how their company could benefit from Indeed. She was able to convince her managers which paved the way for working with Indeed. 

As time went on, she enjoyed working with Indeed more and more, and built up an excellent relationship with Jakob, who always had a solution to Katja’s questions.

When Jakob talked more about his work and Indeed as an employer, Katja became curious. However, Katja did not necessarily want to leave her hometown, and moving from Innsbruck to Düsseldorf, Germany would be a big step for her.

Months later, Indeed’s National Account Manager, Abdel Laaraj, came to visit Katja in her office in Innsbruck. Katja thought it was great how he presented the products and who said  “You can do that too.”

Audience at an Indeed event

Katja then decided to send over her CV without any expectations… But suddenly everything happened very quickly.

Shortly after, Katja had a telephone interview, which was followed by an invitation to a personal interview in Düsseldorf. She didn’t hesitate and boarded the next plane that Indeed booked for her. After the interview in the office, she had a few hours left before heading back to Innsbruck – meanwhile Katja received the confirmation for the job before she even arrived at the airport.

When the recruiter made the offer and explained the contract, Katja thought she was dreaming. It was all too good to be true! Katja was also supported by Indeed during the preparations for the move from Austria to Germany.

“Indeed engaged a moving company for me. They packed all my belongings into boxes for me and all I had to do was handing over the apartment key,” she recalls.

Throughout the entire time, Indeed stayed in touch with Katja to make sure everything was running smoothly.

“I have everything I need in the office, I can concentrate fully on my work and don’t have to worry about anything else,” Katja adds. “That’s the way it should be!” 

Katja with her Team Lead and Director

Even though Katja really enjoyed her previous job, she has no regrets. Compared to her home country, she has excellent earning opportunities with Indeed, and is in a fulfilling job with a lot more free time due to the Open PTO policy which is far above the Austrian average.

For Katja however, the team culture is priceless and the reason why she looks forward to going to work.

“Everyone on the team is so social and empathetic. We celebrate each other’s successes, and you help and support each other,” she shared. 

Especially in her first few weeks, it was a good feeling to know that she could rely on her new colleagues.

“My team and director are always there for me. In the beginning I had a lot of questions and my colleagues always took the time to answer everything” she recalled.

Award ceremony at the DACH Kick Off

Katja has displayed courage and shown what she is made of. In her very first quarter, she reached her sales quota. At Indeed we call that “going green.”

In the following three quarters of 2019, she continued her success. She was even given an award for her outstanding performance.

Katja is proud that she is growing beyond in her career and that she receives a lot of encouragement from her director and her teammates.

Her next goal is already clearly in sight: “I want to be “green” again in the next quarter. Then I would have achieved my sales goals every quarter since I started at Indeed and will be promoted to Senior Account Executive.”

Katja also has an idea for her next job – of course with Indeed: “Being abroad is always an enriching experience, personally and professionally. Maybe I’ll take the chance to go abroad again and move to Dublin. 

Katja adds: “Indeed as an employer offers a lot of flexibility and support with internal mobility and I see a lot of potential for my further development here.”

If Katja is relocating again, she would take more time to look for an apartment. “Back then I was incredibly relieved to find an apartment right away. However, I later found out that is wasn’t great for commuting.”

Her advice for those looking to relocate: “First of all, you should familiarize yourself with your new home. Find out how to reach the office, where you want to meet your new friends after work, and which areas you like. Next time I move, I’ll take more time researching before I settle down.”

To learn more about the perks & benefits Indeed has to offer, click here. Visit our Inside Indeed culture blog to hear more Indeedian stories.

 

2675Career Growth

How I Became A… Director of Sales (post-maternity leave!)

In our second installment of 'How I Became A....', Mun-Yee Harrison talks us through how she suffered from imposter syndrome after coming back from maternity leave.

Mun-Yee Harrison talks us through how she suffered from imposter syndrome after coming back from maternity leave. She had lost all her confidence and nearly passed up the opportunity to become a sales director. Here’s her story. 

When Mun-Yee Harrison was still in school, she knew she wanted to work in media, but wasn’t sure in what aspect. 

But after graduating from Westminster University with a degree in media, Mun-Yee knew that particular career path wasn’t for her. She did, however, still want to work in and around the industry. 

Following a few questionable interviews – the weirdest being for a motorbike magazine where she needed an interest in motorbikes and should have attended motorbike conventions – she set her sights on a career in media sales. 

“Sales wasn’t something that crossed my mind but I don’t think it is when you are at school,” she said. 

Having had various sales roles throughout school and university, she knew sales was something she had a flair for but had never considered it to be something she’d pursue as a career. 

Her first role was with The Guardian, where she spent 12 years working her way up from telesales to managing a business area. 

“It was a fantastic introduction to the world of media sales in what I still feel is one of the best journalistic brands out there,” she recalled. 

Meanwhile, in the world of recruitment, media and tech had changed dramatically, and Mun-Yee said Indeed was always an organisation that was a key competitor when she was speaking with clients.

Group of Indeedians in the lobby of an Indeed officeShe added: “I didn’t know a lot about Indeed as the brand wasn’t as big in the UK then; it was the sleeping giant which people didn’t expect to become such a huge player in the world of recruitment.”

After being sold the role by an ex-colleague, Mun-Yee started her role as a National Account Manager (NAM) in the London office in February 2017, which then only had around 36 NAMs in the sales team. She was one of only eight women in the sales  team at the time, which took some adjusting to after her previous role.

“I wanted and needed a new challenge,” she shared. “I wanted to develop myself again so instead of going for a management role, which is what they questioned me about in the interview, but at the time I didn’t want a leadership position, I wanted to learn more about this new industry and organisation”.

It was a step back for her but a massive step forward in terms of her career progression. The year she spent working as a NAM was one of the best years in her career, and she had some real successes, getting zero billers to spend and turning relationships around with clients. She was at her peak.

“I felt like I was making huge steps in my career… And then I went on maternity leave,” she said.

“I am one of those people who cannot let go. I was in labour in the hospital messaging the team as I was so engrossed and committed to the job and my clients.”

Family photo of Mun-Yee with her husband and daughterAfter only taking seven months off for maternity, she was desperate to come back and continue her career while being a new mother. In the time she had been away, Indeed had grown massively as a business in the UK with new products and new people.

“It was a bit daunting coming back with the thought of missing all the changes and being left behind,” she confessed. “I came back to a completely new book of clients. After spending seven months out of the business with a baby, I thought how I am going to be able to have a professional conversation with adults again!”

Her confidence also took a hit while she was on maternity leave, which is why after seeing a Director position become available in the team, she decided not to go for it.

“I was coming back for a NAM role and didn’t even consider coming back for a Director role,” she said. “Why would they give that role to a mum returning to work, who also wanted a flexible schedule?”

Instead, she hyped herself up to start from scratch again, with a new set of clients until the sales training manager approached her wondering why she was not applying for the role knowing of Mun-Yee’s career progression plans. 

Together, they worked to build up her confidence and she finally went for the role, although she was secretly convinced she would not get it. 

“I wasn’t sure I could do the job,” she recounted. “I had been out of the business for seven months and I was going to have to learn so much again. I had imposter syndrome, thinking ‘Oh my god, I am not going to be able to do this’.”

Family photo of Mun-Yee with her husband and daughterBut upon more self reflection, she realised there was no reason why she would not get the role, particularly after all the work she had put in, and knowing Indeed fostered a culture of equal opportunities. 

She also knew she had nothing to lose by putting her hand up for the role: “I went into the process with a positive mindset; if I got the role, great. If I didn’t, then I could continue to build on my success as a NAM, but with new clients.”

As it turned out, Mun-Yee had nothing to worry about. In April 2019, she was awarded the promotion to the role of Director of Sales and hasn’t looked back since.

“If I was to give any advice to women coming back from maternity leave, I would say remember all the hard work you put in before and successes you had,” she said.

“I was never someone who thought I would lose my self-confidence, but you have to remember you are still the same person as before going on leave. If anything, I have probably developed a lot more patience since becoming a mum!”

For more stories on #insideindeed, follow us on our Instagram and Facebook pages.