If you've read this blog for a couple years or so, you're pretty familiar with my whole "up and move to California" journey.
If not, here's a quick synopsis: came to California in July 2013, promptly lost the contract job I moved here for, worked odd jobs (freelance writing, consumer studies from the depths of Craigslist e.g. taste-testing popcorn at a factory for $80 cash), part-time job at Anthropologie for a few months, filled a maternity leave for a corporate brand management position with Ralph Lauren (how anyone thought I had the background for that job, I'm still not sure, but heyyy it worked out), wiggled my way into a temp job at THE GOOGLE (in capital letters because I'd been turned down by THE GOOGLE sevvverrrallll times during my first few months in California), rolled into another temp position in recruiting at the googz, and....
....and now, one year later, a new job!
I know: "Why in the world would you leave Google?" The answer isn't too hard, though – stability. Google is about as amazing as a workplace can get, but being a contractor only works for so long, with any employer. A little visit to Urgent Care last month (and again with the fever and vomiting this weekend, yuucckkkk what's the deal, body?) reminded me yet again that I need real medical benefits, among other things. I knew I'd start job hunting sometime this spring or summer, with my Google expiration date looming in September, but when a couple companies reached out to me about interviewing with them in February and March, I decided to go for it. And also, I think I've always known that I thrive better in smaller work environments. And the googz is anything but small. It is quite possibly the definition of not small :)
And here I am. Making this new career in recruiting a real, long-term thing. I'm joining a company called Palantir, and I am super, super into them. (You can read more about them at the bottom – I didn't want to bore anyone who follows me on Facebook or Instagram and already knows all the delightful things I had to say about them.)
My heart gets all squishy when I think about the last couple years. Like f'reals seriously squishy and tries to escape out my eyes.
That imagery came out 100% more gory than I intended. Y'all know what I'm saying.
It's been.....pivotal. That's the best word for it. Formative, trying, pressing, joyous, invigorating, exhausting, explorative, chaotic. All those things. And getting a contract at Google (twice) was this huge achievement for me. It was a landmark. I sometimes feel like I'm living in one of those movies or sitcoms where a girl up and moves herself to the big city and has to fend for herself until one day SHE ARRIVES. (My dating life is also, often comically, a lot like a sitcom story line. I should start cashing in on this.)
Working at Google for the last year made me feel like I'd achieved one of those I'VE ARRIVED moments. I got to work at the #1 company to work for....THE COMPANY OF ALL COMPANIES....for a whole entire year. And it was amazing. It really was. I wouldn't trade it for anything.
But you know those plotline diagrams? From your English classes way back when? The story builds and builds, with conflicts and character development along the way, and then there's THE CLIMAX...followed by a downward slope, and then a resolution. I feel like maybe Google was that peak....that big "oh my hell, I really really really actually did it" moment.
I feel like I fought for everything I got in the last couple years.
I fought to get it, I fought to keep it, and I fought to just keep on keepin' on. I surprised myself, all the time, with the things I got through. I'd look back at the end of some months and think, "Oh wow. I didn't know I had that in me." Do you know how amazing that is? To go through a period of your life where you learn that kind of stuff about yourself? I have more grit in me than I used to think. And that's a priceless feeling.
And now there's this. A resolution, of sorts. A gentle slope, and a settling. And just an unwritten epilogue full of potential stretching out in front of me.
When I talk about the things I ultimately want out of my life, simplicity is a word I often throw around. (I spoke to that HERE, in my ode to turning 28.) I want calm, and smooth, and happy, and genuine, and....all of that. Of course, excitement and adventure and travel and curiosity! But all within this overarching realm of simplicity. Of straightforwardness and little joys. Of being able to be brave and honest and ask for what I want, and having the universe reward me with less tangles and some honesty of its own. I mean, I can't control the universe and other people, but I can control me. And I guess that's what I've got to work with. Because I really do believe that simplicity and tangles are things that you choose, ultimately. You choose if you're going to roll gracefully with the punches or let them knock you flat. You choose if you let life's inevitable setbacks complicate your heart or not. You choose if you're going to stay buoyant and hopeful when things and people try to knock you down. You choose if you're going to pass on good potential because the obstacles don't feel worth it. You choose if you're going to let a dumb situation or two screw up the good things you can still choose to have or not. All of it. You choose.
And so, here I am. A next step and a new adventure and another place to work hard and build a new work family and start fresh and move forward. A long-term situation, with no deadline or expiration date on it.
And finally, finally, finally, no more fighting.
Now more about Palantir, my new workplace, as copied and pasted from my Facebook/Insta posts about it, if you haven't already read those ones:
Ecstatic to report that I've accepted a job offer for a recruiting role at a company called Palantir! At my first onsite interview, they gave me a free frisbee. When it was a legit 175 grams, I knew they had something to them ;) They're a data analysis company that does cool things with cool clients like the FBI, the CIA and various nonprofit entities, with an overall mission of "working for the common good and doing what's right, in addition to being deeply passionate about building great software and a successful company" while "making the world a better place, every day." Things I can get behind, y'know?
Perks include being located in downtown Palo Alto (rooftop gardens, here I come!), free food (heaven bless this Silicon Valley tradition), PUPPIES (can't go back once you've worked in a dog-friendly office), office decor based on LOTR/Game of Thrones/Periodic Table of Elements, free T-shirts for dayyyyzz, an occasional taco bar (!!!) and an annual company conference called HobbitCon. (My office is named The Shire, with worldwide counterparts like Rivendell and Gondor. Yes.)
Bittersweet to leave Google but it's been an amazing year (1 year! Can you believe it??) and I'm really looking forward to the stability (and benefits) of a non-contract role. And I am REALLY stoked to be part of such an exciting company. I feel like my new career path in the tech industry is colliding with my love of the nonprofit world and my obsession with watching Law & Order. Could there be a better combo?? Here's to new life adventures (and fighting crime)!
And now here's several articles about the company and some of the seriously neat stuff they work on:
An overall list of the areas they work on, from fraud to disease response to human trafficking: https://www.palantir.com/solutions/