How theSkimm's Very First Employee Got Her Amazing Job
Imagine reaching Sunday evening and feeling a rush of excitement about going to work on Monday morning—not sinking dread.
Imagine wrapping up your workday and feeling a little sad that it’s already over—not bolting for the exit door.
That’s the ultimate dream for most people: a job that’s fun, interesting, and exciting, work that truly makes you happy. It's a role and company that make you think, “Seriously, is it Monday yet?” That’s the Holy Grail, and that’s why we’re always so excited when we find people who’ve found it.
Take theSkimm's Community Manager Kaylin Marcotte as a perfect example. As the startup’s very first employee, Marcotte is nothing if not a go-getter. She read theSkimm (an email newsletter that breaks down the biggest news stories) every morning and was familiar with the company’s mission and unique communication style—which gave her a leg up when she reached out to the founders. Impressed with her skills and the fact that she was also already a big fan of their product, they made Marcotte their very first hire.
She spoke with me recently not only about why she loves her job, but also what her morning routine looks like, her secrets for staying happy and productive at work, and her best advice for job hunters who want a job like hers.
Tell us about your job!
I run social media and Skimm'bassadors at theSkimm. This includes our brand ambassador program, Skimm’bassadors, and all theSkimm’s social channels: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and our blog.
How did you get it?
I cold-emailed the co-founders of theSkimm in November 2013, when they were just closing a seed round of funding and starting to bring on a team. There was no office yet, so I met them at Café Cluny, a restaurant in the West Village. I officially started as their first employee in January 2014.
What did the beginning of your career look like, and do you think there’s any connection between that and where you are now?
Before theSkimm I was doing management consulting with IBM. I’d say strategic, client-facing roles are applicable to almost anything.
Can you tell us a bit about your morning routine?
Wake up, read theSkimm, check email, check Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, then walk to the office listening to TED Radio Hour or This American Life.
Name three things you get to do at work that make you feel really happy and pumped up.
Interacting with Skimm readers and our most engaged ones, Skimm’bassadors. Creating content for our social media presence. Brainstorming with the team (and watching it grow—from two to 17 in the past couple years!).
What’s one thing you have to do at work that you wish you could hand off to someone else?
Office chores. We are a small team in an office we’re outgrowing, and we have rotating office chores.
Do you ever forget to eat lunch?
No. I don’t understand when people say this. I may be too busy to run out and grab something, but it’s never because I forgot.
Name one thing thing that inspired you this year.
I haven’t stopped listening to the Hamilton soundtrack since I saw it last month and have stalked Lin-Manuel Miranda to the depths of the internet. His story and talent are inspiring.
How do you turn a bad workday around?
Take a walk. Take over office DJ and play music that I can’t help bopping to. Call my mom—perspective is everything, and she helps put everything in perspective.
If someone wanted to work at theSkimm, how could an interviewee impress you?
Do your homework! Show you’ve given this some thought, have ideas ready, and send a thank you note.
If you could do anything—other than what you do right now—what would it be?
Space walking from the ISS. When I grow up, I want to be an astronaut.
Coffee or tea?
Coffee—iced red eye.
Digital notes or pen and paper?
Pen and paper! Still use a daily planner too.
Standing or sitting desk?
I get antsy sitting, but we don’t have standing desks, so I bounce around the office standing at the conference table, etc.
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat?
Insta! My brother works at Facebook, but ever since they bought Instagram, it’s been OK to say that.
Earbuds or big headphones?
Morning person or night owl?
Natural night owl, but aspiring morning person.
Marcotte’s career story is an example of how you can transfer skills from one industry to another. We talk a lot about career changing here at The Muse (because we know that’s on a lot of your agendas), and we believe in it. One of the ways to make a transition is to take what you know and have learned throughout your professional life and apply it to whatever you do next. Marcotte’s proactive, confident actions led her to theSkimm, where Monday mornings are something to look forward to.
Photo courtesy of theSkimm.
Ellen Fondiler has worked as a death penalty attorney, a baker, a documentary filmmaker, an award-winning landscape designer, and a nonprofit director and fundraiser who raised millions. Today, she works as a career and business strategist—helping people move through feelings of stuckness and confusion and find work that they love. Ellen has helped job-hopefuls land dream positions at Facebook, led workshops on job-hunting and creative networking at Stanford University, edited resumes that led to major promotions, and helped countless people to reach their goals. Her workbook series and insightful career advice can be found at EllenFondiler.com. Book one-on-one coaching sessions with Ellen on The Muse's Coach Connect.More from this Author