In October 2017, I decided to apply to Google. It wasn’t the first time I had applied—I applied in 2011 when trying to get a job post-graduation in communications. Back then, I never received a response to my application and expected similar results in 2017.
Although I applied for a product Developer Programs Engineer position in New York, I ended up getting an email from their technical writer recruiter the following week. A year and one day from the day I submitted my application, I signed an offer letter. And 6 weeks after that, I finally went to Noogler (that’s what they call new Googlers) orientation. It was a long road to get here.
Honestly, throughout the interview process I felt very little stress. I think it’s because I had no expectation that they would actually want to hire me. I would get through one stage and expect, “Okay, they’ve discovered I’m a fraud and unqualified. They’ll definitely shut it down now.” But every few weeks I’d be surprised to find out that I made it to the next stage.
I got my first offer in April 2018, for what would have been a junior tech writer position in either Sunnyvale or San Francisco. In that offer, I heard a salary which didn’t meet my expectations along with the need to relocate. I was devastated. Ultimately, I decided those two factors meant taking the job wasn’t the right decision for me. As much as I wanted to work at Google, I wouldn’t take a significant salary cut.
I said that I would reconsider if a role opened again in New York.
Months passed of me checking in with my recruiter, giving updates on my career. I spoke at Write The Docs in Prague. My full time gig at Joyent went through some changes which led to more responsibility. I was convinced that it was never going to happen, so I continued to apply to other opportunities.
Eventually, my recruiter suggested I could deliver more writing samples to possibly move up a level (from level two, a junior position, to level three) which could create opportunities in New York. I submitted some of my content about Terraform, and I was delighted to learn that not only was this good enough to move up a level, but with it came the salary I needed to accept the job and a position in New York.
I went to the Googleplex in Mountain View for orientation where I met lots of people just like me, people who were so excited and so honored to have been picked to work at Google.
So many times over the course of the week our facilitators said, “You belong here. Imposter syndrome is real but our interview process is no joke. You were picked and we did not make a mistake.” It was so important to hear that, to have those fears noticed and tampered. Of course the fear doesn’t totally go away, but I felt much less alone.
I didn’t meet any other Nooglers who would be technical writers. However, I met a lot of software engineers, UX designers, PMs, and others. I got to see Sundar Pichai speak on a stage from the front row of the Noogler class. I ate my weight in snacks and other Google meals in the many cafeterias. I tried to enjoy as much of the new-kid feeling as possible before having to do the real work of writing copy.
I’m so excited to be back in (one of) the New York offices, which can be reached from a direct stairwell from the subway. I’ve been assigned a mentor and met the team of technical writers I’ll be working with. I’m still in an orientation program, so I’m not writing content just yet, but I’m excited to get started bettering the documentation for Google Ad Manager.
Interested in applying to work at Google? Check out our careers site to find a good fit and let’s chat.