Five years ago, I started working at people's dream company. I say that because it was not a dream company for me because I never thought it was within my reach. In June 2018, a lot was happening, and I needed a significant change. The job that I once really enjoyed was falling apart; I had gotten a job offer at a great company but could not start because I was waiting for my immigration status to change. In addition, I had the opportunity to travel to Nigeria after 12 years and went back to Germany for the first time since I moved in 2015. One afternoon, I got a call that changed my life forever.
In this blog post, I will take you on the wild and exciting journey I have been on in my five years at Google.
"I can't believe I'm here"
My first week started with orientation, where I met great people, learned about the company, and got everything I needed to start work. This was the biggest and well-known company I had worked at so far. On my shuttle ride home, I was in tears. I still remember the Nigerian song I was listening to as the bus ride began. The magnitude of landing such a great job dawned on me very slowly. It felt like all the difficult times I had experienced were worth it as they paved the way for me to be right here, working for a company beyond my dreams.
"I feel like this dream company is becoming a nightmare"
It is very difficult to realize that a dream turned really bad. In my first three months of working at Google, I knew that my role was not the right one for me. It felt like I took a huge step back in my career, not by choice. This was a significant issue because I worked very hard to grow my career, and for the first time, I felt like things were out of my control. And sadly, my health was impacted. Six months after starting my new job, I felt the worst I had ever felt in my body and professional life.
"I have to prove to myself that I can make it"
After a few months of suffering, I decided to make a change. People said it was too early for me to know whether this was the right place for me. Some of them advised me to be patient and wait. Those words only frustrated me even more if you know anything about me. For people who did not know all the battles I fought to be where I am today, it was easy for them to say be patient and wait for a year. A thought that kept coming to my mind was that I have been through a lot and succeeded; this would also be possible here.
"I am hopeful, and there is light at the end of the tunnel"
Especially when you are going through challenging times, the people you surround yourself with matter a lot. I had a work friend, a software engineer, and a black woman. She had been at Google for eight years by the time I joined. Her advice was the most useful. She shared how she navigated her career at Google and how helpful a mentor was. I stayed connected with her and also found a mentor. Through our conversations and learning, I understood the company's complexity and discovered paths I could take. I knew that I needed to start a new role. However, I knew this company was still the place for me to be.
"I am happy and have found my place"
One of the greatest lessons I learned from my first year working at Google was that I wanted to do work more aligned with my personal mission of supporting people on their journey. For the past four years, I have been able to do precisely that. In 2019, roughly one year after joining, I started working as a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion program manager after many years leading software programs. For the first time since I joined the company, I felt like I had arrived, could finally start showcasing my strengths and learning about this new space. A lot of great things have happened in the last few years. After five years, I have been able to find my place, meet great people, contribute positively to the culture of our organization, and develop my career. These are exactly the things I hoped to do at my dream company.
I have never mentioned that I work at Google on any of my platforms. It is a big deal, and I have many feelings about finally saying it. I need to write a whole post about this another time. Today, I am celebrating the beauty that has come from five years that were sometimes very difficult and great most of the time.
One thing is sure: I was successful with the help of people who have made my journey successful. Thank you to everyone who encouraged me, removed roadblocks, created opportunities, introduced me to new people, and reminded me that I deserved to be here at Google.
Over the past months, I noticed that I was going through a personal mindset shift around doing the things I always dreamed of but had not done because I was waiting for the perfect time or situation. I suddenly felt a sense of urgency around living my life to the fullest. If you are like me and want to start doing great things now, this is for you.
In this blog post, we will ask ourselves three questions to help us make a move and live our best lives.
#1: When is the perfect time to make a bold move?
Something magical happens when we become more aware of our subconscious thoughts. Knowing what your thoughts and beliefs are will allow you to address them. I kept telling myself that the perfect time to make a bold move is when I have a plan in place, have saved up money, and feel mentally ready. My expectation of the perfect time is now an excuse; it does not exist.
#2: What bold moves have you been holding back on?
At the start of this year, I decided that this was the year when I would make a particularly bold move that I had been sitting on for three years. Unfortunately, I kept talking myself out of making the move. Finally, last month, it became clear that I would not make progress if I didn't jump. There are so many things that I have done over the years that I could have done because I was holding myself back. I want to live my life to the fullest.
#3: What will you gain if you make the move?
We often think about what could go wrong when we put ourselves out there. Our negative risk assessment is usually based on historical factors and experiences. Imagine the good that will come out of you taking that bold move. Once I started thinking about the positive outcomes, the excitement started, and I felt confident to make my move.
If you have been holding back from making a bold move, I hope this post encourages you to go for it. The truth is that the perfect time is now!!
During a conversation recently, I was reminded about the role we all have to play in building a world where everyone feels. There is so much going on in the world these days. We need to take more action to counter the negative things happening.
In this blog post, we will remind ourselves of the actions we can take to make our world a better place.
Giving back to our Community
Dedicating our time or other resources to society is a great way to continue investing. If we want to see things improve, we must be part of the change we seek. We have a lot to contribute to our community.
Preparing the Next Generation
As parents or caregivers, we are responsible for teaching our children the lessons they need to know about being good stewards of the earth and their community. Our son is almost three, and we are already trying to teach him some little things.
Continuing to have Hope
It is crucial for us to continue to see and hope for good in our world. The moment we give up hope, even more things start to happen. We are still on this earth and have the opportunity to experience more good things.
Final Thoughts: MC's Story
In 2017, I went through a major life transition shift that led to me making some significant changes in my life. I realized that I wanted to do more to improve my community. There were so many needs that I saw. However, I knew that I needed to start somewhere and then take it one step at a time. I looked at my talents and wondered how to leverage them to help others. My first step was to launch this blog, where I share my experiences and amplify the experiences of extraordinary women. The next step was to align my job with my mission. And in 2019, I was fortunate to find a role where I can help employees from all backgrounds feel like they belong and can thrive. I often ask myself how to continue making the world a great place for my son to grow up in.
Time is going by very quickly, and many of us feel like we are constantly on the go. With the summer holidays ending for many people and the start of some busy months ahead, it is an excellent time for us to check in with ourselves and see how we are doing. Your physical, mental, and emotional health
In this blog post, we will reflect on ten questions that help us dig deeper into our well-being.
Spending time reflecting on your well-being is crucial. The following questions help me get deep and discover my true feelings.
This year has been a good and very different year for me. The progress that I have made this year was in areas I did not expect and was not prepared for. The most valuable lesson I have learned this year is to embrace new experiences even when I'm afraid. Planning for the year has been a practice that has helped me stay on top of my busy life as a working mother, wife, and coach. The main thing that was different this year was that there were a lot of unknowns which made having a well-defined plan difficult. So I did the next best thing, I went on the journey and planned my immediate next steps. There have been some surprises along the way that have taught me to get more comfortable with the unknown.
If you ask me how I am doing, I can say I am mentally and emotionally well. However, there are areas that I want to keep improving upon. The first of them is the ability to sit still and not feel that I need to be doing something. This past weekend, I volunteered at our son's school and had one of the first quiet moments in a very long time. I kept thinking about ways to multi-task while I arranged books in the school library. The pressure to utilize every minute of my day is something I feel very often. Thankfully, on this day, I convinced myself that the moment was a gift to be in my thoughts and listen to music in peace.
As I think about things that will bring me more joy over the next months, I really want to be at peace and enjoy my life. Embracing the new and unexpected is necessary for the journey that I am on this year. I am thankful for all the life experiences that have taught me that I thrive in uncertainty and that there will always be beautiful things I get to celebrate.
We have one life to live, and I really hope that you are doing well. If you are not feeling your best, do the things that help you be your best self. And if you need additional help, please find what you need. Everyone is at different stages of their lives. Please be kind to yourself.
Call to action
Carve out 30 mins of your time in the coming days and write down your responses to the questions.
In 2015, I was brave and decided to move to the US. After living in Germany for 14 years, I was excited about what I would experience in a new country. Fortunately, I visited the US every year for four years before moving here.
In this blog post, I will share the eight things in the US that still surprise me. Check out a post I wrote over five years ago about the 10 things I wish I had known before I moved to the US.
#1: The Diversity of People & Cultures
One of my favorite parts of living in the US is meeting people from many countries who now call the US home. I get very excited when I meet people from a new country. Going to the doctor and seeing the instructions in multiple languages always warms my heart. Also, the ability to access delicious foods from different countries makes me feel very fortunate to live here.
#2: The Size of Things
It happened again this past week. I bought a box of cereal online, and the size shocked me when it came. I kept wondering why we needed a box of cereal that was so big. Every time I travel outside the US and see the size of regular fruit, it all looks small.
#3: Measurements and Temperature
Every time I go to the grocery store, and they ask me how many pounds of meat I need, I ask myself and the merchant how much two pounds is. It is easier to eyeball the amount I want than remember the pounds or ounces. It's the same with figuring out how warm or cold it is. I have figured out that 72 degrees Fahrenheit is the most comfortable.
#4: Building Credit & Spending Money
Buying things on credit is promoted in the US, so you have a good credit score that allows you to buy more things, which is something I'll never fully understand. Knowing that I made a large purchase on my credit card makes me very nervous, even when I know I can afford it. Growing up in Nigeria, owing money was not a good thing.
#5: The size and beauty of this Country
The US is the largest country that I have ever lived in. If you take a flight in Germany for an hour, you could be in a new country. Flying for an hour in the US does not take you too far. You will probably still be in one state. In the eight years I have lived here, I visited six states and enjoyed some of the most beautiful places I have seen. Especially living in California, where you can go to the beach, climb mountains, and play in the snow within a few hour's drive.
#6: The Political Landscape
I moved to the US in 2015, right when the political campaign for the last administration was starting off. There have been many things that have happened politically that I could never have imagined living in Germany. I am still shocked when I listen to the news and hear some political debates. It's a wild world.
#7: Technological innovation and new ideas
Living in the Bay Area and working in Silicon Valley, I am amazed by all the innovative ideas and products people develop. There is something fascinating about hearing all the new advancements. Some of them are scary, like driverless taxis. I still wonder who asked for that. With that being said, I'm thankful to have access to a lot of cool things.
#8: The great possibilities and opportunities
About four years ago, I made a huge pivot in my career. I was inspired by watching other people chase their dreams. Coming from Germany, where people expect you to be an expert before you can do the job, it was a big mindset shift for me. I decided to take a leap of faith, and I am very happy that I did not let the fear of the unknown hold me back.
The last eight years have been an exciting ride for me. There were so many things that I never imagined or thought I would experience. I am very grateful for the opportunity to live here in this life phase.