One of the best parts about working in a startup — especially here at Identified — is the amazing group of people you end up having the fortunate pleasure of working with every single day. I've definitely said it before, but I can't help saying it again: Identified is lucky enough to have this fantastic team full of kickass folks who come in every morning and really strive to "bring it".
These people are dedicated.
These people are focused.
And these people absolutely love doing what they're doing.
And the best part? It's fun.
Take a look.
Morris comes to Identified from Atomic PR (I actually have a few buddies working over at Atomic, hey guys!), and she happens to have one massively impressive background in tech. In fact, a few of her previous clients include SXSWinteractive, BitCasa (who she helped launch alongside her team at TechCrunch Disrupt 2011), as well as ShopKick and Digg.
This girl is bad.
But uh, y'know, the good kind of bad.
Not only that, but did you check out her watch?
That, ladies and gentlemen, is a pink Casio watch with calculator included. Yes. You heard me (or read me, whatever). A calculator. Only real "gangstas" (or "G"s, as our generation likes to call them) can rock Casio calculator-watches with style, and Meri definitely fits the bill.
But enough about geeky gadgets and the cool people who wear them.
We've still got some ground to cover!
Okay, there's a lot going on in this picture, so let me just start with Jalahn White, pictured to the very right of this photo and making one hilarious expression as she takes a probably-too-large bite of her tuna sandwich. Jalahn laughingly reassured me that she simply takes horrible pictures on a pretty regular basis, so any embarassing photo I have of her, I have the freedom to post.
/Rubs hands together and cackles.
Jalahn is 21 years old and comes to us as a senior from San Francisco State University. She's currently interning with Identified, but is looking forward to an awesome future in PR and Communications. Oh, and her favorite color — if you couldn't tell by her cellphone and, uh, what is that, a wallet(?) on the table — is purple. Not that this information is important or anything, but why not?
Moving on along, now.
You have no idea how much I had to beg Ego Faylona (pictured in the hilarious picture above) to let me use this picture in today's blog post. No really. I shot him an email with the photo asking for his permission, to which his immediate GChat response was "NOOOOO!" And after pleading with him and spouting off some nonsense about how hilarious it was, and how our community would really appreciate it (herp derp), he finally relented.
That's what you call taking one for the team.
Ego, who happens to be one of our lead visual designers, comes to Identified all the way from Manila in the Philippines. We literally jumped through hoops to hire him and fly him out here to live in San Francisco and work with us, so trust me when I say that this guy is very talented.
When I first met Ego during Identified's 1 million users party (we're well over 1 million now, but it's always nice to look back fondly on how far we've come), he was rocking this awesome Star Trek hoodie that really made me think, "Wow. I am obviously working with the right people." And aside from how gifted Ego happens to be with design, he's also a gamer! I've definitely had long conversations with Ego about some of our favorite video game consoles, titles, and series, so believe me — as an Identified user, you're in the right hands.
I'm a bit biased since I happen to love anything and everything to do with video games (I might also have a professional background in the gaming industry, cough), but if there's one thing I know about gamers, it's this: We are super critical. We know what's fun and what isn't, and we play almost everything on every single system that we can get our hands on just to be able to form a well-rounded opinion on everything related to the space.
So when it comes to creating a product that's awesome and fun for absolutely everyone to use, and in a way that's entertaining and cool? We've got our bases covered.
Now, I stink and didn't get enough cool pictures of everyone else at the table, so I'll leave their introductions for another time (don't worry, they're all just as awesome and you'll definitely love them).
Instead, allow me to tell you all a fun little story about "team building".
If you didn't know, Identified spoils the crud out of its employees. Every Monday to Thursday, we get these incredible catered lunches that are sure to make anyone jealous (like salmon and mushroom chicken, or huge platters of yummy sushi – mmm!). But Friday happens to be the one day out of the week that we don't have our lunches hand-delivered (boo hoo), so instead, most of us either opt for hitting up one of the restaurants near the office, or taking business lunches with our geeky friends in the area.
Today, rather than going our separate ways, I intercepted some of the fine folks on the design and engineering team on their way out to grab a meal, then suggested that we all go out together.
We may have struggled for a bit to nab a table for 9 at Ironside (they're pretty busy over there around lunch time, but man, the food is great!), but we managed to pull through. Then, by some stroke of luck, what was originally intended to be a simple lunch where all of us could just goof off and get to know one another (we're often so zoned into what we're doing at Identified headquarters that we don't really get a chance to meet everyone else on the team), ended up being a fantastic team-building and collaborative brainstorming opportunity.
Ideas were thrown out left and right, our interns pitching ideas for the blog, our new PR Manager revealing her awesome hidden talents (which we will definitely be putting to use for Identified, by the way), and our engineers dropping impressive names of companies they've coded for, things they could build to improve Identified, and man-oh-man — it just doesn't get any better than this.
On team building and collaborative brainstorming.
When Serial Entrepreneur, Roger Dickey, visited Identified headquarters yesterday, one huge point he brought up was the importance of collaboration. It's this idea that, often times, we get so swept up in what our definitive role is in a company, that we end up forgetting about the amazing wealth of creative resources we might have within the rest of the team.
For example, I never would have thought to implement a certain bit of strategy for the company if I hadn't been sitting next to Jalahn at Ironside and gabbing with her about Identified. Her input was incredibly valuable, and actually contributes to something great that I know our entire community will love.
The surprising amount of creative innovation and inspired collaborative concepts that can spawn from simply taking the time to network, speak with other people on your team, and ask for opinions from those in your company who may not even be connected to a task you happen to be working on — it's amazing, and the results can surprise you.
From the team at Identified to you, have some great career advice:
Get to know the people around you at work. Befriend your colleagues and find out who they are, where they're from, and what they want to do with the rest of their lives. Get an understanding for why they happen to be working at your company, and remember everything. Build a relationship with the people you work with. You never know when a connection like that can come in handy in your professional career, or when you two can help each other out and collaborate on something fantastic in the future.
Now, you've only met a few of us, but believe me — the rest of our team is just as badass. I can't wait to introduce you to everyone, and I'm excited to reveal all of the spectacular things we're about to do in the professional space that will not only blow your minds, but definitely get you ahead of the competition when it comes to landing an awesome job and improving your work life.
If you want to keep up with Identified, be sure to follow us on Twitter, circle us on Google+, and like us on Facebook. Again, we'll be bringing you all of the latest news on the job market, giving you tips and tricks for how to improve your Identified score, and doing all of the hard work around gathering information to help you build your career — all so you don't have to. We love what we do, we have fun doing it, and we're here to help.
Don't be shy.
Reach out to us! We're listening.
About Sherilynn “Cheri” Macale: Cheri is a 24-year-old San Francisco transplant and is Identified’s resident “Career Blogging Wizard”. She is perhaps best known for her 10+ year background in Lifestyle Blogging, and most recently for her role with The Next Web as its lead Social Media News Editor (among other professional endeavours). When she’s not rubbing elbows with the tech and gaming saturated community of Silicon Valley, you’ll most likely find her tucked away in her apartment blogging, playing video games, or immersing herself in geek culture. You can follow her on Twitter, subscribe to her on Facebook, circle her on Google+, or shoot her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.