I had some reservations about working at Facebook before I ever submitted an application. I spent the better part of a decade building the foundation of my career on Community support & development but I still found my brain full of half-formed opinions about how social media and social networks were negatively impacting our society, our youth, and our selves. I directed my angst about the issues of the world towards big companies I was, and wasn’t, a part of. Even though I’ve worked in tech the entirety of my career, there was a part of me that wondered if tech was my answer to professional and perhaps even personal happiness.
Voice of Customer is a widely thrown around buzz-phrase in tech. My job has always been to listen to that voice, to care about who is speaking, and try to drive product change based on the needs of the Community. I have always whole-heartedly believed in the objectives of my roles in support. I am passionate about finding solutions to complicated problems. (And of course easy ones, too!) But after all these years, I rarely ever felt like I was doing much more than listening & patching holes. I wasn’t driving change or making an impact. The Voice of Customer may have been mine to hear and understand, but the decisions were ultimately always someone else’s call. The world felt full of big-wigs who were the only ones allowed to pull levers. The rest of us were left scrambling, clawing our way to the top, on the chance we’d be allowed to push a button and make a difference.
Something inside me changed the minute I was interviewing with my (now) co-workers.
When I search for the memory of what motivated me to apply to Facebook, I remember only the impulse to get my resume “out there” and brush up my interviewing skills. I had no way to know that this company was built on something so fundamentally different than anything I had ever known. Something inside me changed the minute I was interviewing with my (now) co-workers.
My interviews with Facebook were unlike any I’ve ever had. Not because they were complicated or because they followed a crazy format that threw me for loops. For the first time in my career, I felt like I was speaking to people with the same moral and professional motivations as myself. I was becoming conscious to the fact that I had finally found “my people”. Our conversations during my interviews were rooted in how we could (or theoretically would) positively impact the world, bring people together, and erase boundaries meant to harm and segregate us. We discussed what I imagined highly-empathetic, conversational support would look like for Facebook and how we could truly help all the many people using Facebook every day. I was in a room full of idealists who were driven by their desire to change the world for the better.
In orientation, I remember hearing sentiments like, You were hired because you’re the only one who can make your decisions! and We want you to be your authentic self! The halls are filled with posters that say things that resonate deeply within me: “Don’t mistake motion for progress” “Nothing is someone else’s problem” “Give more than you take” “If you do nothing, nothing happens” And one of the most well known, “Ship Love.”
On that first day at Facebook, my mind was shaking, mostly with excitement, but also with disbelief. “Could this possibly be real?”
Nearly seven months later, I can tell you: yes it is. These mantras are at the core of every single person I have met. My co-workers believe in authentic self, in lifting up others, in making the world a more open and connected place. I am part of a community who have held onto their idealist dreams and who are actively working to make a positive impact.
Working here has not only brought me a fulfilled happiness, it has improved every facet of my life.
Working here has not only brought me a fulfilled happiness, it has improved every facet of my life. I have become calmer when faced with someone who disagrees with me about issues I am passionate about. I have stopped jumping to snap-decisions around why someone did something that negatively affected me. I stopped assuming ill-intent and try to better understand other’s perspectives. I’m more aware of the things that separate us, and because of that, have found deeper strength to fight for a space where we’re all equal. By asking more questions, I have learned more; not just about the work, but about the people I’m around. I feel like I have learned more in six months than I have in six years.
I know that no persons’ experience is unilateral. There will always be stories which will contradict my own. What I do know is that I have thrived in this environment rooted in empowerment. Because of this, I am invested in empowering others to thrive. I know that in just six short months, everything has changed.