From the Blog

The Quest for the Perfect Job

I’m Courtney, and I’m a job change-aholic. I tend to get restless and crave new challenges. I’m like the Legend of Zelda character, Link, who needs action, adventure and puzzle solving to feel fulfilled and sustain my well-being.

Here’s my story:

My pursuit at Limeade has been less about saving princesses like Link, and more focused on collecting gems of experience and adding new skills to my arsenal (or toolbelt). My role-playing game of trying on new hats has unfolded in surprising ways. And my destination was never a straight line.

I’ve had side quests to try new things and grab treasures — all rooted in trust and organizational support from Limeade. This helped pave my path to four different positions in two years.

Here’s my quest to landing in my current position:

  • Lead Implementation Project Manager, Implementation Team, (Customer Operations)
  • Applications Program Manager, PMO
  • IT Project Manager, IT Ops (Product R&D)
  • Agile Facilitator, Platform Team (Product R&D)

Here’s how I made it all happen:

I’m always semi-strategic in how I set myself up for every new position just as the designers in Legend of Zelda create quest levels for Link to follow along in his journey.

Most jobs I’ve had (except a few), I’ve followed or been pursued by a previous co-worker or friend. Building relationships through the work you do in a company is a critical part of success in your current role and future roles.  

Here’s my quest levels for job jumps at Limeade:

Quest Level 1:

I’ve always enjoyed cross-functional projects and collaboration. Using my 20-plus years of project management as a foundation, I’ve maintained an appetite for learning. I’m driven to connect dots across teams, identify areas for improvement and fill those gaps myself.  There have been dragons on my path along with some growing pains, but I always try to find a way to get everyone to the destination together.

Quest Level 2:

At some companies, moving positions is often seen as a lack of loyalty to your current team. Sometimes it’s tough to gain support for career development, movement or transition. At Limeade, we have a process around it, run by the people team, which includes getting support from both managers, proposing a job description if one doesn’t exist or applying for open headcount and helping backfill your current position. The key is communication — never surprise your manager (this usually backfires). Be clear about your goals (short-term and long-term) during 1:1s with your manager to keep them in the loop. I like to use “stretch goals.” You can be transparent with your manager that you’d like to “stretch” in certain areas, which may open doors for growth opportunities in your company or even elsewhere.

Quest Level 3:

Never be satisfied with your current arsenal. Always pick up new skills at every role that enable you to dovetail into the next opportunity. I learned almost all of our tools at Limeade (Salesforce, JIRA, Jive) by either implementing them or diving deep and learning everything that I can. As a Project Manager and now Agile Team Facilitator, I’ve found that if something keeps calling to you, don’t ignore it. Don’t shy away from things that are hard or typically an area of weakness. Our culture of improvement at Limeade has been a garden for my aspirations.

Quest Level 4:

I’m not a big numbers person so I will always take the easy path to avoid having to crunch numbers or look at data. I’ve found ways to do this by taking little side-paths that detoured me from the true-north course. I get to the same destination, but my internal GPS may not take me on the straightest course causing me to possibly miss out on a few key gems. These side-paths can also distract you from growing as a person or employee. Take on all challenges that get in your way head-on, especially the tough ones, as the easy ones should be walks in the park.

In my current quest, it took about six months of discussion until we created the position I’m in today. I was open with my manager on the desire for the move and when the position opened, I jumped in, fully loaded to beat out external candidates. In this case, I had the right background and training from a past job so I didn’t have a large learning gap.

I’ve found my perfect job. For now. But new levels are always being built around me and the needs of the company and our industry continue to change. I will always be on this journey and I invite you to join me, in the quest for the perfect job.

About the Author: Courtney Jenkins

Here are five ways you can take initiative in your career development.