How I Failed in My Transition to Google

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How I Failed in My Transition to Google

I get asked a lot about how I made the transition from CBS to Google. I’ve now had about a year to reflect on my time at Google. In looking back at the transition from a traditional company to a more progressive, digital environment, there are a few ways I notice now that I did myself a disservice in those first months. I am truly grateful to have had my experience at the company and offer my failures hopefully as a learning experience for others making a transition.

1) I WAITED TO BE TOLD WHAT TO DO.

 Google hires smart people that solve problems. Many of their great products were born from employees casually discussing problems and then creating a project to solve the issue. I was so used to having my lane and staying in it, I failed to take advantage of the ability to truly work cross-functionally across their large product suite.

Takeaway: Have the conversation. Seek people out. Learn about what they do and why they do it and don’t be afraid to suggest a solution when you see one.

2) RESEARCH AND EMBRACE THE CULTURE.

The biggest change for me was the culture. I spent a lot of time in the first six month questioning processes and procedures, without really understanding the “why” behind them. Since leaving I’ve read a few books written by former employees who helped build the culture (“Radical Candor” by Kim Scott and “Work Rules!” by Laszlo Bock – both great reads). I had many “ohhh…now I get it” moments when reading those books. Had I read them early on in my tenure there, I may still have questioned, but with an educated mind that was more open to embrace rather than judge.

Takeaway: Do your research. Question to learn, not to judge.

3) IMPOSTER SYNDROME.

 I was so focused on what I didn’t know, that I failed to stand confident in my experience and the skills that I uniquely brought to the table. The lack of confidence ultimately became crippling and I never quite leaned in to what I did know and how that could be applied to make the company better.

Takeaway: You are hired for what you know. Keep poking around until you find where you can add value. What can YOU uniquely bring to the situation? Don’t assume everyone knows what you do or what you are capable of.

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Amy Young

I'm Amy, a marathon-loving mom of three, who guides others towards intentional living based on my own journey of feeling unfulfilled despite seemingly having it all.

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Hi! I'm Amy.

I’m Amy, a marathon-loving mom of three, who guides others towards intentional living based on my own journey of feeling unfulfilled despite seemingly having it all. I stress the importance of aligning life’s choices with my inner values rather than societal expectations, which often leads to a disconnection from true happiness. By advocating for self-awareness and intentionality, I seek to prevent others from feeling lost, urging them to redefine success to find genuine fulfillment.

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