I’m Taylor Thompson. Like too many people, I remember growing up without money: hearing my parents’ late night arguments when they thought I was asleep, worrying about whether we’d be able to stay in our house, and relying on the generosity of friends and family to keep it all together.
I’ve been fortunate to get a great education and have opportunities to build a career doing things I love – but it wasn’t until years after college that I really appreciated how much knowledge and social capital goes into building a career.
When my brother was looking for jobs, I could connect him to people who had worked at most companies and all of the roles he was considering. I had hired for some of these roles before and had friends whose companies were currently hiring. I could coach him on what jargon to use, or the types of interview questions he’d get.
Over the years, I gave this kind of advice to a lot of people – people who wanted to work in tech, investing, go to business school.
Who this site is for
My goal is to make it easier for people without connections to build great careers. Everyone should be able to earn a living doing work they enjoy.
Starting off, I’m focused on:
- People prepping for their first job
- People already working, trying to break into tech
- People who are stuck, who want to earn more money or get more control in their work lives
How to use this site
To build a career you love, you need to follow seven steps (start each with the guide linked below):
- Understand the options: what are different tech jobs, how do you get them, and what does a career look like?
- Understand yourself: what do you love to do, and how does that map onto different roles?
- Create a plan: outline concepts to study and projects that give skills and get the credibility required to land a job — along with general career skills (things like how to network with informational interviews or how to negotiate a higher salary)
- Execute the plan: over weeks or months, develop the knowledge, skills, and accomplishments to get and succeed in a high-velocity job
- Execute your search: and get your first job
- Manage your career: continue to learn, develop and move towards the type of work you most enjoy and that fits your life goals
To help with this, I’ve broken the site into different types of resources:
- Self-assessment: What do you want out of work, and what jobs fit those goals?
- Job guides: What are job options, and what does it take to get them?
- Career skills: What concepts and skills do you need to build a career?
- Tech skills: What ideas and skills do you need to get a job?
- Projects: How can you learn skills and build credibility to get hired?
- Case studies: How have other people put it all together?
How is this site different
Anyone with a successful career learns this information implicitly — but most of us learn either (A) because it’s embedded in people around us (if we have access to people who know how to play the game) or (B) by trial and error and a lot of luck.
Over the years, I’ve read a lot about tech — both to build companies, and to build my own career. In my day job, I’ve interviewed hundreds of people and produced thousands of articles outlining how to do every function in the tech industry. Before that, I read hundreds of books, and thousands of blog, articles and Q&As.
My goal is to give you structured, step-by-step advice that’s easy to navigate and act on — to actually follow it will take a lot of persistence, but hopefully it will let you focus on more productive projects and skills. I’d love to be the equivalent of that friend who can give you the inside track of what it takes to get the job you want.
How to get started
Depending on where you are in the process, I’d suggest you start with one of these essays:
- Six Steps to Discover Your Dream Job
- Overview of Entry-Level Jobs in Tech
- Complete Guide to Networking with Informational Interviews
- Whether (and How) to Do an MBA
- 5-Minute Job Negotiation Checklist and Scripts (That actually increased my friend’s salary by $30,000)
How to help and give feedback
If this is useful for you, I’m so glad, and I’d like to ask two things:
- How can I make this better? Fill out this form to tell me what questions you’d like answered or what I can add to make the site more useful.
- Share this with others who’d benefit. My goal is to reach more people, so please share with your friends, groups, and post online (if you link to it in a collection of career resources, that tells Google it’s valuable and helps other people to find it when they search for career advice).