A Perfectly Designed Career Launch

September 27, 2011

Ed. note: This is a continuation of our series of blog posts on Life at LinkedIn seen through the eyes of our colleagues. Today we hear from Jessica Clark who’s proven that LinkedIn really can give you a much-needed career boost.

I never imagined my receptionist temp work would be anything more than just that. Then a few weeks ago, it landed me my dream job. Since before I knew there was a field called “design”, I was living it. In middle school, I enjoyed creating magazine covers featuring my family. In high school, I redesigned a Monopoly board to feature all of my close friends.

At San Jose State University, I found that visual design really was my passion. Most recently, I even designed a line of jewelry for a fashion show that donated all proceeds to an organization building new lives for survivors of human trafficking. Yet realistically, I hadn’t considered making a career out of any of it – honestly, I hadn’t considered a “career” period.

A little over a year ago, I found a job that would just pay the bills and allow me to go to school. I temped at various companies, but truly felt at home as a receptionist at LinkedIn. Everyone was so considerate, and people really took an interest in me. A couple months in, the head of User Experience Design (UED) stopped by my desk and through our conversation, discovered I was studying graphic design. He, along with the other team members, encouraged me to dream big – to turn my passion into a career. He even met with me to give feedback as I built my portfolio.

To my surprise, this past summer, they created an internship for me in their department which is rare since most other interns were engineers. Not only did I get to take part in fun intern events like attending a Giants game and sushi making class, but I also got to bring my talents to life. The UED team invested in me, mentored me, and from the beginning, trusted me with important projects (though one of my favorites had to be designing our Intern Fair t-shirts). I found that the people here really give you a chance to work on things you’re passionate about.

After 12 weeks of focused learning, I was thrilled to find out my final presentation had landed me a full-time job as an Associate Designer in our Marketing Communications group. Now I get to work on everything from ads to signage…you name it!

Personally, I’m really grateful that I have the opportunity to work for LinkedIn. Our business is about transforming lives. For instance, we just launched the Volunteer Experience and Causes section in the LinkedIn profile. It is so inspiring to me that we’re encouraging our members to showcase causes they’re passionate about. From working in an orphanage in Mozambique to dreaming of starting a nonprofit teen center in downtown San Jose to just planning events for friends, serving others is a part of who I am.

I’ve always thought of the corporate world as a dog eat dog world, but LinkedIn’s culture is truly unique. Around here, the rewards come from helping each other up the ladder – within our walls, on our network, and now, beyond in our communities.