Job: Tech and Cloud Security
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Alex was connected to us through Drew, a teacher in the DC area who also grew up with Alex. In his interview, we cover everything from his morning routine that he swears by, his must-listen-to podcasts, and what drinking from the firehose really looks like.
What is your background?
I’m 24 years old, was born and raised in Washington DC, and I lived there almost my entire life until I went to college. I went to school at Miami of Ohio where I majored in Chain Operations and Management. From there, my first job was doing sales at a trucking company. I did that for a while and I was not a huge fan of it, but then someone introduced me to the tech world and I instantly fell in love with it. I'm currently doing sales there for a software company in Alpharetta and I have been in Atlanta for the last six months.
What is your day to day like?
One thing that was always beaten into me was having a routine. Every morning, I walk to get my day started, and then I have a cup of coffee. Once I get to the office, I always have a plan to get my first ten calls done. My calls are heavy in the morning, and then the afternoon is more email-based. I found that works best for me, although everyone has different preferences. I work in the office from nine to six, and from five to six I like to plan out my next day. Then I drive home, make some dinner, and relax a little bit.
What does your job look like? What do you do?
I am an Inside Sales Associate, otherwise known as a Sales Development Rep or an SDR. My job is to find people who are going to be interested in our product. My job is to get them connected with an account manager, depending on the deal size, and my job is to show them the value in our product and move them along with the process. Going forward, I am trying to go up to the next role, which would be an Account Manager. Currently, I only do the first step in the process, which is generating interest in a moving pipeline. In the next role, my job is going to be progressing these leads throughout the process until I close the deal.
What has been the hardest thing in your personal career?
The most difficult transition period for me was moving from my first job into the next one because I was just not happy. I took a leap of faith and decided I was going to apply for a tech job, which was kind of a scary moment for me because it was like rolling the dice. I think I should have been slightly more prepared for more options, just in case that didn't work out, but thankfully it did. That was probably one of the more turbulent periods from my early career.
What motivates you?
I'm a very competitive person, so usually, the people around me are what motivates me. On a personal scale, I always want to be able to take care of the people around me, and I know that I need money to do that. What drives me during the workday is that competition between my coworkers.
What would you tell someone looking to join your field?
I think not only with my field, but any field that you go into, the first couple of months is probably where you will feel the most uncomfortable. However, you want to become comfortable being uncomfortable because the reality is that you are going to be drinking from a firehose. Initially, when you come into the field, there are so many different things to catch on to and so many different needs that you just have to go one step at a time to know what your objective is. You are not there to just close the deal right off the bat; the objective is to get the client to a meeting with an Account Manager. Having a good scope of your field is probably the best way to phrase it.
What would you tell your younger self?
I would tell myself in college to not be so narrow-minded about what you need to do. There are many routes you can take. I was so dead set on being in operations and management, but after being in manufacturing and trucking logistics, I found out I didn't like it and there were other avenues I could go down. One piece of advice that one of our managers told me that always stuck with me is that you want to evaluate where you are every six months. His whole point was that there is always something that can be changed every six months, so by reevaluating where you are, you can set yourself more up for success.
Favorite podcast or book?
For news and podcasts, I listen to The Daily, which is through The New York Times. Usually, I listen to those on my car ride to work. In terms of news literature, I read The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and The Guardian. I always think it's a good idea to have at least one international news article in the mix, just to give a different perspective. In terms of books, one book that I recently started reading is a pretty interesting sales book called How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. So far, I am only about 40 pages in but it is already a very interesting read.
What’s your last piece of advice?
My one piece of advice, just from my short period of experiences, is to be aware of what’s going on and make sure you know who's in charge of stuff. Know who is your boss's boss, who is that person's boss, and just be self-aware of your own position in the company, or where you stand on your team.
The YoPro Know's Takeaways:
- Evaluate where you are every six months
- Make a daily routine and stick to it
- Be open-minded: it is okay to try out more than one career field
- Don't be afraid to take a leap of faith and change jobs