Reflection: My time at LinkedIn

Helloooo blog fam, it’s been a minute!! Ok, 1,576,800 minutes (3 years πŸ˜‚ ) to be exact, since I posted my last blog post. For a very, very quick update on what has happened since then, I started and ended a new job at LinkedIn SF from 2017-2018, moved to NYC in 2018 right after, and began my new job as a Product Manager at Jet/Walmart! I’ve been in NYC officially now for 2 years (pandemic and all), and it’s safe to say that I’m happy to call NYC my home.

Amid this pandemic and 2020, I told myself I wanted to blog more and kick off more of my social media postings, but it’s something about this year (heightened anxiety, the stress that accompanies it, plus a plethora of other things) that has kept me from actually doing it…which made me even unhappier in the given situation. Last week, however, I got a little reminder on Facebook and Instagram that I posted about my first day at LinkedIn 2 years ago, and it sent me into a wormhole of looking back at my memories and my time there. I had always wanted to write about my year of experience there and I thought, it’s no better time than now!

Visiting the NYC office in 2018

To make this post easy to read, I decided to talk about my experience there in a Q&A format.

LinkedIn Q&A

  1. What was your job title and what did you do?

    I was a Technical Data Analyst and was working on a pre-launch product called LinkedIn Talent Insights. It has since launched in 2018, when I was still working there!
Our team jackets we got

2. How long were you at LinkedIn and what was the culture like?

I worked at the LinkedIn SF office for 1 year and commuted down to the Sunnyvale HQ office ~once a week to meet with stakeholder teams. So since I was able to experience the culture of two different offices, I’ll break out the culture question into two and mention the culture as a whole at the end.

San Francisco: I mainly wanted to break this question into two parts really because I wanted to highlight how awesome working in the SF office was! #thecity🌁 First off, the LinkedIn SF office is based in the hip, tech-laden SOMA district of SF and is its own building with 20+ floors. It has its own dining floor, gym, and has rooftop patio where they host events like Happy Hour every Friday! (My favorite time of the week πŸ˜† ). Secondly, is the culture itself. The SF office, unlike other non-HQ satellite offices has a huge mix of different teams that work there. Traditionally satellite offices are mostly sales offices, but the SF office also has tech/engineering, R&D, and marketing, to name a few. This made it feel like you were able to interact with all different types of people with different professions and also made for a livelier atmosphere (the city also attracts a certain type of person, which many of the folks working there also lived, if you know what I mean). So I felt really fortunate that I was able to get exposure to the different variety of teams and people at a tech company all in one building.

Sunnyvale: The Sunnyvale office, as the HQ, houses the majority of all the tech/engineering teams and major operational functions (HR, Legal, etc). Like all the big tech companies, you can find yourself on rows and rows, tech and engineering teams that are there. But that doesn’t mean to say that the culture there is boring! Because LinkedIn is one of the top tech companies in the world, you’ll still find some of the smartest and most interesting folks at HQ. The demographic does tend to skew older just because you’re in the suburbs, but there are plenty of young folks, clubs, interest groups, etc. that are at the Sunnyvale campus. There are way more buildings here so your chances of finding and getting to meet friends or exploring career choices are much bigger.

Culture as a whole: Compared to when I worked at Google, LinkedIn can be a company where you can still act scrappy. The company is big, but not big enough where if you have an idea it could get lost. One of the biggest gripes I hear at these mega-size (50k+) employee companies is that people feel they have to stay in their line. Not the case in my experience at LinkedIn. For example, the Product Manager that I worked with actually came up the idea of Talent Insights and pitched the idea himself to top execs and was able to get support and backing to build the product to launch. You can make yourself known quickly in LinkedIn if you wanted to and get exposure to top execs easily, which is not always easy to find. As always, the folks here are smart and brilliant and come from all walks of life. To me, LinkedIn really appreciated those who worked hard and proved themselves, which I think speaks volumes. For example, I know a good amount of software engineers that got accepted who went to a bootcamp rather than get a CS degree.

3. Did I experience any sexism/racism?

I’m glad this question was brought up because it means we have awareness to this issue and people are prioritizing their wellbeing and not letting this fly by. I’m sad because this is still an issue.

Tech companies have gotten a lot of flack in the past decades for lack of diversity and employee treatment. We still have a long way to go. However, since many tech companies have at least unanimously agreed that diversity and inclusion are important topics, this has trickled down to the culture of the employees at the individual level, so thankfully, I have not personally experienced any and have been encouraged to speak out if so.

4. What’s the food like? I hear you get free food.

Well why yes, indeed πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹

I ended up needing to grab pictures of actual food from my Instagram archive since the ones I actually took on my camera are all just desserts πŸ˜† πŸ˜‚

Typical lunch: bread w/ butter, sauteed greens, curry + rice, and salad
I don’t always get breakfast, but when I do it’s on the days I travelled to Sunnyvale
Trying to avoid the LinkedIn 15 by masking my meal with greens, but failing
HQ always had some very well prepared plates!
Specialty plate that day
Desserts:
ice cream cake on the rooftop patio
this one was so cute!
I don’t remember what this one was, but it was creative!
In spirit of Halloween yesterday – mummy eclairs!

I probably have 20+ more photos of desserts, but those were some of my favorites!

Conclusion

Overall, I had a fantastic time at LinkedIn in the year there. It was here I really got to experience how to build and launch a B2B product, use data as a means of persuasion and influence other teams, meet really awesome people inside and outside of work, and experience a fantastic team culture (which ends in our team all going to Hawaii together!). I had to move on to advance my career (hm, maybe next blog post?), but it wouldn’t have been without my time at LinkedIn to have gotten me to my next step. Please let me know your thoughts and if you have any additional questions that I could answer in my next post!

Cheers to more blogging in 2020/21!! Haha

Me on my first day at LinkedIn in 2017!

One thought on “Reflection: My time at LinkedIn

  1. Jenny

    Hi. I am interested in a career transition. How were you able to enter the field of product management? My background is in a technical field, but not tech. I am currently living in the Bay Area surrounded by all these tech companies and I am at a loss as to how to get my foot in the door. Any advice would be much appreciated. Thank you.

    Like

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