Jordyn Short, Services Architect at Elastic, spent seven years in the U.S. Army. She learned many valuable lessons, among them, the path to success isn’t always easy. After leaving the military, she took these learnings to create a fulfilling career.
As a civilian, the path to success isn’t as defined as it might be in military training, so Jordyn had to learn how to create and pursue the career she wanted. She went from the Army to government contracting work, which she says was a good transition into finding out who she was and what she wanted.
Jordyn spent two years as a Senior Technical Consultant at Elastic before being recently promoted to Services Architect, a common career trajectory. To get promoted, she had to complete her Elastic Engineering certification, show technical competency, and lead various engagements. Promotion typically requires going in front of a technical panel and giving a presentation to explain your thinking, process, and best practices for solving the problem.
Jordyn knew all of this from the interview process, though. She identified the steps she would have to take at Elastic by asking a variety of questions in the early conversations, including:
- Will this position give me an opportunity to grow my technical skills?
- How will I have the opportunity to learn?
- Are you going to facilitate my learning and desire to grow technically?
“You need to be very upfront in the interview,” Jordyn says. “You don’t want to go into a position that makes you stagnant. Know what you want out of your next position.”
“Make your own career goals clear,” Jordyn says. “Have it mapped out for yourself.”
Figuring out what you want from your career can take some research and time. Start by looking at org charts to see what the next logical position is. Read various job descriptions for that job title, or ask to do an informational interview with someone in that role, or both. Write down what you’ll need to do to get to each step on your new plan. This could be things like certifications, training, or certain experiences.
Then, in an interview, ask questions! Ask about the company’s common career paths, how they think about internal promotions, what their learning and development programs are like, or whatever else you need to know to get an idea of whether they will be able to help you achieve your career goals.
If the company is transparent in the interview, it’s a good sign that they’ll be that way in your career advancement, too.
“[At Elastic] the process is very open. Any questions you have, they’re open and honest,” Jordyn says. “Even going through the interview process, Elastic was very transparent about what career ladder associates with the position.”
Once Jordyn joined, she knew exactly what she needed to do to reach the next step. As part of bi-weekly meetings with her manager, she created a roadmap of sorts on how to progress.
“Your manager will be supportive if they are looking for ways to help you elevate,” Jordyn says. “If I go into a meeting with a skill gap I identify, my managers will give resources. If I don’t know enough about this, they’ll suggest a class I can take. It’s all about the tone, and you get to set it.”
While she just started her new role as Services Architect, Jordyn has her sights set on her next step. Elastic will help her get there.
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