James Cook is a Sales Director at Indeed Sydney. He shares his journey at Indeed and how determination and ambition are key ingredients to his success.

August 2014, sitting in a coffee shop (pub) in sunny Circular Quay, Sydney.

I’d just wrapped up my first interview at a largely unknown (at least locally) job search site, Indeed.com.

Buzzing… a word that accurately describes my feelings following my initial meeting with the HR Manager for the role that I have applied for.

I knew a few things in those early days:

  • I wanted to earn money;
  • I wanted clear career progression, and;
  • I wanted to make a difference

Fortunately, Indeed ticked each of those boxes with ease. 

Fast forward a few weeks and a couple of interviews later, I was walking into the sixth floor of 19-31 Pitt Street. Picturesque views of the Sydney Harbour awaited me; uninterrupted views of the Opera house to the right and the iconic Harbor bridge to the left. I was taken aback and immediately knew this ‘little’ start up operation I’d joined was anything but small. Indeed was a global powerhouse!

The office was warm with about 10 employees, jovial and going about their day with a sense of determination and hunger, which really spoke to our mission of helping people get jobs. 

Author and co-workers having drinks at an event

The mission was significant to us as we’re part of a global team of people helping people get jobs! For anyone who’s ever been out of work, had a family or friend desperately searching, this was a big deal. 

Not long after starting, I had training at our HQ in Stamford Connecticut (an experience I’d really need to write another blog about to do justice).

There, I felt the same level of determination I felt in Sydney, a market where Indeed was second to its competitor, but only bigger as they were #1 in the US! 

Imagine: Hundreds of people helping people get jobs occupied the many floors in a building crowned with a huge INDEED logo. It was really a remarkable experience!

Author wearing I help people get jobs shirt at an outdoor event

Fast forward to today six years on, I’m a Sales Director managing a team of seven Account Executives, two Senior Account Executives and one Team Lead in arguably one of the most impressive buildings in the Sydney CBD. 

We go to work everyday helping businesses find that needle in a haystack. This could mean working with our teams at Indeed, identifying gaps for clients, or finding the best way to get jobs out to job seekers. 

What was the journey to get here? It was pretty clear. Indeed sets out defined goals for anyone wanting to enter management, further their career in Enterprise Sales or perhaps try their hand in a totally different department.

For me, this was Account Executive, Senior Account Executive, Team Lead and then to where I am now, Sales Director.

Author and team pose in Indeed swag at an event

How do you qualify? It’s sales… so performance to quota trumps all.

Performance to quota in consecutive quarters once you’ve been with the business for nine months will see you become a Senior Account Executive. After that, you’ll need to hit more back to back quarters as well as demonstrate the ability and desire to coach and better those around you.

The past five years at Indeed have literally changed my life.

I’ve made lifelong friends, saved the money needed for a deposit on my apartment and been promoted to a role where I can help others hopefully do the same. 

My advice to anyone considering a role at Indeed, or sales in general, is pretty simple.

Set big goals, never get complacent, and never get comfortable. 

Finally, I believe this applies to everything in life but learning to accept what you can’t control is huge. 

I was passed over during my first application to become a Director by a much stronger candidate. It hurt. I was devastated and while today I can say they were the better choice, at that time, I had a hard time accepting it. 

What I did next defined where I am today. I could have thrown the toys out of the pram, looked for a new role and left Indeed. OR I could knuckle down, work harder than anyone else and ensure that when that next Director role came up, I was the clear choice. 

I chose the latter, and I’m so glad I did. Because it has allowed me to lead the amazing team I do today. 

Group photo at Indeed Halloween party

For more stories on #insideindeed, you can read more on our blog here.