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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, 



Read job posting here.


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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.


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.

I really appreciate how down to earth this feels for the person entering the position. I think this post sets the tone for anyone to feel welcome at Metal Toad. It dispels unreasonable expectations a person may place on themselves, outlines characteristics of a healthy performant product manager, and is inviting to the reader. I can easily see a customer reading this description of a product manager and wanting to interact with them. Not because they have to for work but because they get to.

Thank you for the proactive and inspiring letter Victoria!

I have not interviewed for the PM position yet, but am excited to do so! I was finished with large corporations, about 6+ large corporations ago, mostly because of the way people were resources, a means to an ends, and at times, with disrespect & contempt. As a result, I've spent the last three years working as an independent consultant working out of my house and across time zones. Now, it is time for me to develop a new revenue stream and was wary re-entering the "work for (ce) " again until reading your letter. It gave me hope that employers are waking up and figuring out that it makes sense to treat their fellow humans well and with respect.

I hope I get the opportunity to work with you and learn from you...

...(to paraphrase) we may not have met, but I feel kinda like I already know something about you.

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