Hi there, please tell us a little bit about yourself! Who are you? What do you like to do for fun?
Hi Ya'll! My name is Linh and I'm a 27 year old living in the beautiful city of Austin, Texas. I came to Austin for school (Hook 'Em), loved it, and have been here for a little over 10 years! Things that bring me a copious amount of joy include: community, my fur babies, food, reading and farmers markets on a Sunday morning.
Can you tell us what you do as a Product Operations Specialist at Calendly for those who are unfamiliar?
I am currently a Product Operations Specialist at Calendly! ProdOps is a newer function that is starting to form in new Tech companies across the globe. My job is to ensure we are driving alignment across the business by improving effectiveness and efficiency of the product department.
Apart from managing our Product Roadmap, I work cross functionally with other departments (Sales, Marketing, CX) to ensure that they are caught up to date on new released and feel empowered to speak on it with our customers.
How did you decide to pursue your specific career? What pivotal moments pushed you to where you are now?
I had worked in Business Strategy & Operations at a previous job and realized that I loved the Operational component of it. Additionally, jumping over to the product side and being able to work with PM's and Engineers has been a career pivot that I've always wanted to do, so when this role came up I knew it was the perfect fit.
Growing up I had no idea what I really wanted to do -- rarely does college ever prepare you for what the real life job hunt is like. I just knew what I was good at, what interested me and which areas I wanted to learn and grow in were. From there, I pursued opportunities that I knew would challenge me in a way that could learn and speak on and it's propelled me to the position I'm in today!
What programs & tools do you use everyday for your work? What do you like/dislike about these programs?
The entire Google Suite, Slack, Atlassian (Jira & Confluence specifically), Aha!, Pendo (to name a few!).
Any advice on how to stand out and get hired for those starting off?
Shoot your shot! When you're looking to apply for jobs - don't let your imposter syndrome get to you. Your soft skills are just as important as your hard skills, so use that as a way to really shine light on yourself as a candidate.
I thought that I was super under qualified for my role, however, my boss let me know that he could teach me the ropes on how the product delivery cycle operated but he couldn't teach me how to be a personable human being that could effectively communicate. To him, that was more important in a candidate and employee.
What are some must-have resources or skills you would recommend for your industry?
Resources: Notion is a great tool to help keep you organized through your day. Organization is key in this role! Join the Product Led Alliance Slack group - there are a ton of people across the globe battling similar issues as you in this industry, and it's great to have a group to brainstorm with. Also a great place to network.
Skills: Be a problem solver and feel comfortable to offer solutions to areas that you feel need improvement. Know how to communicate and match energy as you are working with a ton of different departments and personalities.
What are 3 character traits that would make someone excel in your field?
Empathy, active listener, organized
Most satisfying & difficult thing about your job?
Satisfying: Being the person behind the curtain building processes and seeing them come to life is so fulfilling. Especially when you get feedback on how it's made someone's job easier! Maybe it's the people pleaser in me, but I get so much joy in helping others out.
Difficult: ProdOps is fairly new, so really figuring out my footing and establishing purpose has been difficult. Rewarding when it all works out for sure, but difficult at times.
What would you like to say to your younger self?
Omg! This question makes me emotional lol! I would tell myself that just because I wasn't the top of my class and wasn't excelling as quickly as my peers that what I had to offer was and *is* still important. It all works out in the end, and don't ever stop betting on yourself.
Best advice you've received/heard?
There's no timeline that we all have to follow. 7 billion people can't do everything in the same order, so don't beat yourself up for where you are in your life in comparison to someone else. Your life is not a race or a competition - so just enjoy it!