Who hasn’t daydreamed about working at Google or a company with similar perks? Catered meals, massages, gym classes, nap pods, slides, and biking meetings sound pretty good to me! Carly and I met at a networking event a few years ago and I can vouch for the fact that she follows her advice of advocating for your peers and celebrate their success. Learn more about her role and Google and her advice for other young professionals.
Carly Potock, Brand Strategist at Google
You have what many people would consider to be a dream job! How did you end up at Google? What was your career path?
I’ve been at Google for just about two years now, working in various roles that partner with our mid-market sized clients to develop digital strategies for business growth. Prior to joining, I was at Major League Baseball on the international marketing team for the 2013 World Baseball Classic.
These are definitely two very different jobs, but the common thread throughout my career path has been a healthy dose of risk-taking, and an incredible cast of friends and mentors advocating for me along the way.
I started my Google career with a bang, moving from the Lower East Side of NYC to Ann Arbor, MI where I didn’t know a soul. Spoiler alert: It turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made. I worked in the same role there for just over a year, before somehow convincing the powers at be that they should give me a temporary job in California. The wisdom and nudging of some amazing leaders, as well as one darn persuasive proposal, is what landed me my next role and permanent relocation to California. In summary, I’ve been fortunate to work for a few key people who have trusted me enough to let me run with it. They’ve all listened, advised, and advocated for me when I can’t be in the room. For that I am so grateful and I can only hope to be able to return the favor one day!
What are your roles and responsibilities as brand strategist?
As a brand strategist at Google, my team partners with clients aiming to use digital platforms to grow their brand. Our mission is to inspire, educate, and brainstorm solutions that use digital to tell brand stories and engage with new audiences. In short, I get to help lots of brands explore “what’s possible” on digital and take their business to the next level. Not a bad gig!
What is the most rewarding thing about working at Google, and on the flip side, what is the most challenging?
The most rewarding thing about working at Google is hands-down the opportunity to work with so many interesting, brilliant people. I wonder every day how I snuck through the cracks and got hired to work alongside colleagues with such unique passions, experiences, and the ability to turn big ideas into action.
On the flipside, the most challenging thing about working at Google is picking and choosing where to get involved. Because Google’s unique culture allows us to pursue interests beyond our core roles, I find that I’m overwhelmed by the wealth of organizations, initiatives, and activities occurring at work! It’s hard to pick just one!
What is your favorite thing about working in the tech industry?
My favorite thing about working in the tech industry is the pace! People are always thinking two steps ahead, hungry for the next move. It’s both inspiring and totally intimidating! I constantly feel like I’m sitting across from the next person who will invent something mind-blowing.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
During one of those weeks when it feels like you just can’t make anyone happy, a manager of mine told me to try to always believe that people’s intentions are good. It can be hard when a coworker snaps at you or you get a nasty email at 8 am, but it’s advice that has completely changed the way I approach and react to situations at work. I’ve found that I can better protect my own energy when I assume we are all coming from a good place.
What advice do you have for other young professional women?
By first adding the disclaimer that I definitely don’t have this work thing all figured out, an approach that has served me well in my career has been to always err on the side of kindness. The business world is smaller than we think and as young professionals, we are going to cross and re-cross paths with a lot of people in the next 40 years. Advocate for your peers and celebrate their success, be patient with the colleague who won’t stop emailing you outrageous questions about your project, and shake everyone’s hand with the same level of respect. You might want to work for them some day!
Oh…and it never hurts to ask!
What is your favorite quote or mantra?
I’ve kept the same quote taped to my computer monitor for the last 3 years. The quote is by Maya Angelou and reads, “The question is not how to survive, but how to thrive with passion, compassion, humor, and style.”
I love this mantra for two reasons. Firstly, I think it’s both the most unusual and spot-on choice of words I’ve ever heard: passion, compassion, humor, and style. We can all only hope to embody those traits daily. (Right now, I’m shooting for just one day of the week.)
And secondly, I never want to consider myself just “surviving.” That breaks my heart. Whether professionally or personally, this mantra is a good reminder that if I’m not in a place, position, or relationship where I’m thriving, it’s time to make a change.
Thank you, Carly!