Lynn Griffin (They, Them) is a Software Developer on our Employer Center team for our Enterprise customers. They started at Indeed as an intern in August 2019, and moved into their current role in January 2020. Lynn has lived in Japan, has a twin, and favorite food dish is Egusi and pounded yam. They share their full circle journey of helping people get jobs.
I went to college in Michigan for Broadcasting Communications. I wanted to be a news producer like Nia Long in the movie “The Best Man.” But the closer I got to graduating, the more I became disillusioned by the news media. I realized a lot of it was about ratings and thinking of what people wanted to see and then going out to find B-roll to fit a narrative.
After college, I knew that I wanted to help people. I happened to talk to some Massage Therapists about their work and decided to go to massage therapy school. Near the end of my training, I got a part-time job as a Job Coach working with young adults with disabilities, helping them in their internship at a warehouse and job placement. We would teach them the skills necessary in multiple positions and then use those skills to build a resume.
We applied directly to companies, but our greatest success was through postings on Indeed!
I did that for 5 years and in my program, 98% of all my interns found jobs by the end of the internship or a month after. I found it fulfilling and rose to a full-time position while continuing my Massage Therapy part-time. I enjoyed both jobs, but I wanted to do one thing that I really enjoyed. Something that wasn’t so draining on my body like Massage Therapy and something not so monotonous like Job Coaching.
Discovering my love for coding
One of my Massage Therapy clients was a Programmer and always talked a lot about why he enjoyed it. It inspired me to learn more and I started coding when I had free time. My Job Coaching program was doing so well I wanted to establish an online presence, so it was easier for people to find us. I had this new hobby that I was passionate about and wanted to help, so I started to build a website where I could learn along the way.
My superiors recommended me for a state-wide committee that would create an online portal for non-profits organized to find services like ours. I knew I didn’t know enough just yet, so I decided to search for programs where I could gain the skills necessary to take on such a task. That is when I applied to Ada – Ada Developers Academy. Then through completing my program at Ada, I got the opportunity to do an internship at Indeed. It felt like I had come full circle!
I went from using Indeed every day to working on Indeed every day and my mission was pretty much the same. I help all people find jobs and those jobs change people’s lives. I just took a different route, but still found my destination.
Full circle journey to Indeed
Moving from a structured learning environment like Ada to my Indeed internship was challenging, and terrifying, and exciting. There was, and still is, a fair amount of imposter syndrome that I battle because I didn’t go to college for computer science. I haven’t been coding since I was 12.
Sometimes I feel like why did I start so late in life. I’m constantly reminding myself that I’m not late – I’m right on time and that tech is vast and ever-changing. I can’t expect to be an expert in 5 months! I remind myself of my worth and why I started to code in the first place. I code because I like how it feels to solve programs with computers; using computers.
I’m currently a Software Development Engineer on the Employer Center team that supports our Enterprise customers. Right now I am working on a project that unifies Indeed products for all of our Enterprise customers, called Employer Center. Employer Center allows customers to navigate between products and discover new products. I think creating a hub like this bridges this gap between our products and allows customers to have more of a seamless experience.
I love that feeling of hitting that build button and that wave of satisfaction when nothing is broken. I love learning how to take ideas and concepts and turn them into real tools people not only use, but rely on. I love working with my team and how helpful everyone is.
I feel like Indeed’s character, mission, and action set it apart from other companies I have worked for. Indeed provides open paid time off (PTO) and encourages its employees to take that PTO because they are taking care of themselves in doing so.
Indeed’s continuous support
Before the pandemic, I’d say my favorite perks were waffle day and Pho in the office. Jeez, I miss that pho! I spent many late evenings at work and then headed over to the movie theatre in downtown Seattle to watch something new. I love films.
At the beginning of the pandemic when George Floyd was killed and people were protesting and the response to that protesting was more violence against people of color, I didn’t feel safe – not even in my own home (Breonna Taylor).
I appreciated being able to take time off for my mental and emotional health – that I wasn’t expected to just push through it because, although I’m suffering, “everyone is suffering during this time.” I know other people who’ve gotten that response from their employer and it’s extremely dismissive. I’m grateful Indeed didn’t do that.
Indeed set up a healing space with Rajkumari Neogy to allow its employees to unpack their feelings around Derek Chauvin’s murder trial and as a way for the Black community and their allies to share space. This was an ongoing event throughout the trial. I truly appreciated being able to listen and share my feelings or experiences with others who feel similar or just wanted to support attendees with their presence. I think this is another instance of what separates Indeed from other companies.
As a Black person in tech, I struggle with cognitive dissonance – who I am and who I think I should be in order to be successful and sit with all the cis white engineers in this field. I’m learning that I cannot be successful if I am not able to bring my authentic self to the table.
Some people would say I’ve been drinking the company kool-aid, but my reasons are simple. In a time of a pandemic and racial unrest, I feel supported. Coming from a non-traditional background, I constantly feel encouraged and motivated. When comparing my values and personal mission to those of Indeed’s, I feel they are aligned and that, my dear, makes all the difference.
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