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Microsoft executive explains how to get your dream job in tech.

Kati Quigley is the Senior Director of Global Industry Marketing at Microsoft.

Many people want to land that high-paying tech industry job at Google, Apple, Microsoft, and the like. This makes these jobs incredibly competitive and requires applicants to do things that help them stand out from the crowd. Kati Quigley pulls from almost two decades of tech industry experience to let you in on what you should be doing to land your dream job.

Advice from Kati.

Who you work for is the most important thing about your 20s. Be intentional about making sure the environment and individuals you are working for are aligned with what you find most important. Turn early employers into life-long advocates.

Consistent traits of successful applicants.

Sheer effort goes a long way when it comes to landing your dream job. From Kati's experience, successful applicants consistently do things above what's required of them—gaining various experiences like volunteering, interning, and actively participating in clubs and organizations. Many successful tech applicants have followed their passions to create things like non-profits and side hustles. What matters more than the success of these undertakings is the effort and gratitude expressed in response to the opportunity.

How to find the right company for you.

When interviewing with a company, realize that you are interviewing them just as much as they are interviewing you. Too often, interviewees only ask questions about the responsibilities of the job. Kati recommends that applicants go deeper to understand better what the company stands for and if it fits all aspects of your life.

Example questions to get you started:

  • Tell me a story about when you were most proud about managing someone?
  • What is something that you've accomplished that you're super proud of?
  • Why are you at this company?
  • What are the most important things to you in a company?

Vertical or Horizontal growth?

Focus on setting a trajectory for increased responsibilities throughout your career in one direction. After you have established an excellent reputation and have some experiences behind you, begin to think about new experiences and domains that will catalyze your long-term growth.

Kati's warning.

Don't be complacent in your career or your life. For anyone who feels complacency setting in, push yourself to learn new things and gain unique experience.

The X factor for getting the job you want.

Curiosity. Have a lot of questions and keep an open mind combined with a desire and passion for learning.

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