Open Letter to My Future Hire

Open Letter to My Future Hire

Dear You--

I haven’t met you yet, but I feel like I already know you. You’re smart (that goes without saying), ambitious, and engaged. You like to work because you find work interesting, and you like to solve problems because you get a sense of personal satisfaction when you and your team deliver an elegant solution. You care deeply about people. You recognize that everybody makes mistakes, that everybody is always learning, and that failing is part of learning. At the same time, you have high standards, you can look a deadline in the face, and you aren’t afraid of difficult conversations. You are amazing. You really are. 

I know that you’ve worked with technology for a number of years. I don’t care how many years, exactly, I just care that you have a gut sense for how technology works. Its corners. Its hidden layers. Its concerns. Its desire to please and its cries for help. You know that technology can be a little bit rowdy sometimes, a little bit unruly. You like this about technology. You like that there’s so much potential, so many different paths it could take through life. But you also like to be able to tell a good story to technology and get technology to straighten up, put on the long pants, and go out into the world having cleaned behind its ears. 

Have you worked as a product manager before? I don’t know, but you have everything a good product manager needs. Your first question is “Why?” followed by “Why?” You get business value the same way you get brushing your teeth with your right hand (or maybe your left?) You know the basics of analytics, of A/B testing, or phased releases, of roadmaps. You know how to write a beautiful user story, and it’s important to you that you get the acceptance criteria just so. Agile? You know that you could never go back to the way it was before. You dream about Agile. In one of your dreams, the scrum master asks you a question, and at first you panic, but then you say the only answer, the right answer: “I don’t know, but I’ll find out.” 

Have you coded before? I don’t know. Have you worked in an agency, or directly with clients? Again, I don’t know. Have you been burned by past bosses, or by unhealthy work environments? Maybe. I haven’t met a single person who has come through unscathed. I can promise you that I will always treat you like a human, that I will care about your personal and professional growth, and that I want to learn from and be challenged by you. You will be working for a company that leads by values not by policy. We hire carefully because every person who works here matters. We love and cherish our culture. We are here because we want to do good work, and all of us, from finance to QA, are craftspeople at heart.

I can’t wait to meet you, but like I said, I feel like I know a little about you already. 

Yours with respect and admiration, 

Victoria

 

Read job posting here.

 

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Comments

Victoria, you have a bit of flair and a grounded sense of honesty and I appreciate that.

Bravo to you, Victoria, and Metal Toad, for leading "by values."

"You care deeply about people. You recognize that everybody makes mistakes, that everybody is always learning, and that failing is part of learning. At the same time, you have high standards..."

This is the kind of rare work environment that I admire...the human element. Digital agencies often fall into the meritocracy trap and it just breeds fear. (I'm looking at you, Google.) If I was looking for work and you needed a Designer, you'd be near the top of my picks!

Victoria, I have to say that was one of the best introductions to a company and team I have ever received. It is this heart that makes me want to apply.

Thank you again.

Kenneth

So frequently I come across blog posts from Toads that remind me why your company is always ranked a top place to work. Victoria, this is such a warm and welcoming introduction to your outlook and to the company culture as a whole.

Love this so much! This is an amazing snapshot of team culture and leadership style. In the words of Tina Fey, "I want to go to there."

Too few employers offer any open awareness of humane treatment while expecting their new hires to bend the world for them. I feel cheered to see even more evidence of a culture I'd like to welcome and be welcomed by.

Not working with you yet, but someday here in PDX.

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About the Author

Victoria Blake, Vice President of Product

 

Victoria is a product manager who developed her product practice in the crucible of startups. Because of this, she understands technology within the context of the whole business organization, from sales to client services to customer support. She specializes in investigating users' core needs, digging into the competitive landscape and business case, and prioritizing features that deliver real value. Victoria is a true believer in Agile. She uses all the tools in a product manager’s toolkit--including A/B testing, continuous improvement, phased and MVP releases, user testing, and data-driven decision making--to build products that solve real needs. She takes pride in good work, believes in the power of teams, is fluent in Nerd, and has a burning desire to get things done. 

When she is not drinking Kombucha from the tap at Metal Toad, she is spending time with her family, attempting to get to the gym, and trying to get to sleep by 10 p.m. after watching an episode of Battlestar Gallactica. 

Ready for transformation?