After a COVID-related restructuring left Jade Dang with drastically cut hours, she was faced with having to do the one thing she hated: interviewing.
Despite her wealth of knowledge in development and system testing, technical leadership and scrum, 20 years of experience in engineering, and her general enthusiasm for leading and driving positive change, Jade says she felt like an imposter and feared that anyone who interviewed her would think the same.
“I have a degree in biology,” Jade tells The Mom Project, “I was planning to be a veterinarian until I worked for a vet after college and learned the hard way in one exceptionally tough month that it was too emotionally draining for me.” At that point, she decided to take computer science courses, which led her to an internship in engineering that grew her career and ultimately brought her into her newest role as a Program Manager and Scrum Lead at Equinix, a global organization that works with some of the world’s top digital companies.
Jade is thrilled to get to take on this new role and challenge, particularly because of the things she overcame to get it. She says, “ I spent many years at the same company, changing groups, technologies, and even roles organically as the organization needs and my interests changed,” but, while she wasn’t unhappy at the company, what kept her there were her own insecurities. “I was always insecure because I worked alongside people with Masters and PhDs, and because of that, I always felt like an imposter.” Her imposter syndrome left Jade feeling like she wasn’t good enough, and she says it stopped her from pursuing career growth outside her company because she feared she’d be “interrogated” or “judged” for not knowing the answers to questions or having experience in certain areas of a job. “So,” she says, “I avoided changing jobs because of it.”
Finding the right fit
After her hours were cut, Jade found a couple of contract work opportunities, but they ultimately fell through. At that point, she decided she was going to take her time job hunting to ensure the next offer she took would be the right one. She says she knew she wanted to work for a financially stable company with “a good culture and values” that would pay her a fair salary based on her experience. Her role as a mother came into play here, too. “I am a mom of three wonderful kids,” Jade says, “they fueled my ‘why’ and helped me realize what kind of company I wanted to work for, namely one that valued work-life balance and culturally promoted family values.”
During her search, she also decided to work with a coach who helped change her mindset on interviewing. “He helped me realize it's ok not to know all the answers [to interview questions], as long as you can show that you know how to find out,” she says, “and he told me to be myself [and] if I get rejected, it's because they are looking for something else, and it probably wasn't the best fit for me anyway. It is not a reflection or judgment on me personally.”
“I found interviews to be conversations, where I am as much judging them as they are judging me.”
This new way of thinking completely changed Jade’s perception of interviewing. “With that tweak in thinking, I never looked back,” she says, “I found interviews to be conversations, where I am as much judging them as they are judging me.” It is because of that attitude that Jade was able to confidently go through interviews and, ultimately, land her this new job.
Given all the hard work she put into overcoming her fear and insecurities, Jade deserves all the credit for this new job offer, however, she says she appreciates the help of The Mom Project’s more personalized job suggestions during her search. She explains, “I applied to a lot of job boards and talked to a lot of recruiters, but most of them have a specific job opening and come to [me] based on some keyword searches,” which left her with a lot of opportunities that weren’t really what she was looking for. However, since The Mom Project had her list out her priorities for what she was looking for in a job, she says, “ that reduced [the amount of] matches that didn't meet my criteria.”
As she looks forward to the new challenges she will face as a Program Manager and Scrum Lead, Jade’s primary advice for other women who are trying to overcome fears to further their career is to “show yourself some compassion.” She says, “Be kind to yourself! Job hunting takes time, patience, and a little bit of luck.”
Your story needs to stand out. And that's why we include a "Why Me" section when you apply for jobs through The Mom Project job marketplace. The ‘Why Me’ statement is your opportunity to sell your story through a quick professional summary. For recruiters and employers hiring through The Mom Project, it’s an effective place to start evaluating candidates.
Jade shares the “Why Me” statement she submitted that caught the attention of the hiring team:
“I love working with people and teams to help them be the very best that they can be. I have been a scrum master, with program management experience, for multiple teams, across multiple countries, companies, and industries, and I can bring to the table a plethora of Agile experiences to help your teams navigate their Agile journey. I firmly believe that connecting, empowering, and supporting people is the best way to get happy employees and happy customers.”
📖 Read more in The Study: Looking to brush up on your interviewing skills? We've got you covered. Head over to The Study to check out all of our interview guides.
Ashley Ziegler is a full-time writer with a passion for telling stories through the lens of motherhood to help fellow moms feel seen and understood (especially the ones who, like her, are totally winging it).
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