Four years ago, I moved to New York to pursue a life in publishing. I had two suitcases and a backpack. A few things happened quickly: I spent my life-savings and saw the not-so-endearing side of publishing. Anxiety frothed in my gut and out of that came desperation, which lead me to lots of job applications.
In a job application mania, I applied to a position at a real estate advertising company on Craigslist. I interviewed there but ultimately did not receive an offer. My interviewer liked me though and passed my resume on to his parent company, a recruitment marketing agency by the name of Bayard. By the time I interviewed for a role there, I had other job offers on the table. I passed those up, however, and wound up, arbitrarily or otherwise, working in recruitment advertising.
About two years later, I met Kshitij Jain (KJ, for short) over Skype – my COO at the time told me that he was “a guy you needed to know” and introduced me to him. The conversation was brief and conducted over a poor internet connection on his end.
Some months later, I wound up meeting him because he wanted some help with a slogan for his newly formed company, Joveo®, and I had a creative writing degree. I brainstormed some ideas and mentioned one that seems relatively vapid in hindsight, breaching the recruitment horizon; everyone can relate to the idea of what the horizon can bring.
Unbeknownst to me, KJ is fascinated with horizons. Looking back, it’s an odd, if not fortuitous, stroke of fate that at the exact moment in time I happened to picture a horizon, I was talking to a guy whose name literally translates to horizon.
We got dinner after a fruitless session of ideating slogans and during that time we discussed a mutual mission that drove each of us in this space, one which still drives us today: Put the right job, in front of the right person, at the right time and on the right medium. Some might simplify that into a job for everyone.
It was that evening that KJ said to me, “someday we will work together.” The rest, as they say, is history.
In all seriousness, it’s strange to think about one’s journey to get to the here and now. My own path is littered with a great irony that’s very applicable to other folks in the space: A lack of knowledge of how to find a job created my opportunity to work in recruitment advertising.
As I embark upon this new adventure in my life, I carry that irony with me. At Joveo, we’re constantly creating new products. New things are churning through the pipeline and all of that is exciting, but the excitement fades unless the deeper moral prerogative is there. There’s immense opportunity for this company to positively impact the world by helping bridge the gap between a job and a jobseeker, by continuing to build technologies that unlock new candidate pools, identify new methods of job ad delivery, and ultimately shape the candidate experience of the future. To do it right means to sit in the mind of potential applicants every day, balance data with less tangential facts of the human psyche, and then innovate; if it’s pointed toward people behind the screen, then we’ve done something good for employers, prospective employees, and the entities that help connect the two.
In thinking about this journey, I’m reminded of a quote from the Office, a favorite tv show of mine. Upon being captured (again) by the police, Creed reflects upon his time there:
It all seems so very arbitrary. I applied for a job at this company because they were hiring. I took a desk at the back because it was empty. But, no matter how you get there or where you end up, human beings have this miraculous gift to make that place home.
Each time I read it, I get goosebumps. The writing and delivery is impeccable, even if it feels the slightest bit contrived or out of place that Creed would be the one saying it. Regardless of the details behind who said it, the quote really, truly hits the mark.
If you couldn’t guess already, I’m kind of proud to call this place home.
P.S. If you glean anything from this, I’d suggest three things:
1) Liberal arts degrees aren’t useless (take that, Mom!).
2) Go ahead and (re) watch the Office. It’s worthwhile.
3) Craigslist can be a source of quality apps.