I’m super excited to announce that after almost 5 months since finishing up at Baptist World Aid and moving to San Francisco I finally have a job and I’m starting tomorrow!!! It’s a strange feeling staring down the barrel of a new job and potentially new career direction after a long season of freedom and forced unemployment but this day definitely couldn’t have come sooner!
Job hunting certainly hasn’t been easy for a variety of reasons including being a foreigner (you can read my Linkedin post about some of the differences here!) and living in one of the most competitive cities in the USA but mostly it’s been difficult because I have been SO spoilt with my career up until now. I don’t think I could’ve found two jobs I’d be more passionate about – from managing international student leadership programs at UTS to being a part of the global movement to end poverty with Baptist World Aid Australia, it’s always been pretty easy to leap out of bed in the morning with a clear purpose, motivation and genuine passion for work each day. I’ve definitely never taken this for granted and knew it’d be hard to find a role here that I’d be equally enthusiastic about.
That’s why it may come as a little surprise to you to learn about the company I’ll be joining tomorrow: Kuna – a home security technology start-up. (If you already have Hakuna Matata in your head I feel your pain… it’s my new theme song ;)) Yes, it has nothing to do with poverty alleviation or student leadership but I have no doubt I’m going to be just as excited to jump out of bed and face each new day of challenges. So, I wanted to share what I’ll be doing with Kuna, what Kuna actually is and finally two big reasons why I accepted the offer.
Firstly, I’ll be Kuna’s Product Marketing Manager – a role that I’m discovering is going to mean A LOT of things a) because I’m their first full-time marketing hire and b) because the start-up world is synonymous for wearing MANY hats. I’ll be looking after everything from their digital presence in email campaigns, managing their social media community and coordinating their online advertising, to nutting out our packaging and promotion for when we hit the retail space. Hopefully as we grow I’ll be finding gaps that I can fill through recruiting other people to our marketing team that I look forward to leading and training in the future. As someone who feels like they’ve accidentally found themselves in marketing through a series of people trusting and believing in me probably more than I deserve, I’m both incredibly excited and insanely nervous for my new role but one thing I know for sure is I’m ready to do everything I can to hit a home run for Kuna 🙂
Secondly – what the heck is Kuna?! Kuna is a smart WIFI webcam and intercom built into an outdoor light fixture that has the power to prevent break-ins before they happen. It can replace your original light fixture and within 15 minutes you’re connected to an app that allows you to see video of who’s at your door, talk to them directly and even sound an alarm if necessary. The best part is you receive alerts when someone is at your door, even when you’re at work or on holidays. I’m super excited by the potential of this technology (and can see it being huge in Australia!!) but like any product, I’d love to hear the things that you don’t like about it so we can make it better. Check out their website and watch the video to see how it works and then hit me with your feedback! The more people I talk to about Kuna, the better I’ll become at sharing the Kuna story!
And finally why did I decide to take this job?!
1. To learn, experiment, fail and succeed in a start-up culture
We had a couple of options for our location when Navin applied for a secondment last year, and when I heard that San Francisco was an option I just knew that’s where we had to be. As a digital marketer and massive technology geek nothing excited me more than the thought of living in the global hub of innovation where companies like Facebook, Google and Apple live and breathe and where newcomers like Uber and Airbnb are totally changing the pace of innovation and technology. After having interviews at Twitter and Airbnb this past week, it’s easy to see why this city and working for these companies is so captivating – the perks are endless with inspiring workspaces, free food, unlimited vacation policy and even allowing anyone to bring their dogs to work. I decided to join Kuna because it’s a small start-up at the brink of something I find truly exciting. With only 6 people on team, we’re super tiny but have endless opportunities to learn, experiment, fail and succeed. In the last two weeks of interviews and meetings with the Kuna team I feel like I’ve been through start-up bootcamp 101 learning about funding rounds, stock options and angel investors for the first time (though I’ll admit.. my binge watching of Shark Tank over the last couple of months has definitely helped!) But most importantly, I felt like I was given the space to interview Kuna while they were interviewing me. I shared my excitement, my concerns and my vision for how we could work together while feeling complete confidence in our founder as he allowed me to ask countless stupid questions and valued my input on what I’d need to succeed in the role. While statistics tell us that 75% of start-ups fail, I’m looking forward to being a part of the exceptionally fast-paced, dynamic and crazy rollercoaster of the start-up world, and will give it absolutely everything I’ve got!
2. To challenge myself as a marketer
I’ve been pretty comfortable telling the Baptist World Aid or UTS BUiLD program stories in the past, so much so that I’d be trying to convert people to become sponsors or students within our program without even realising. My love for these two workplaces and their vision for the world was infectious and I couldn’t help but ooze with their message everywhere I went. Light fixtures and home security on the other hand? Not so much. I’m all for being safe and having peace of mind at home but to be honest it’s something I haven’t really thought much about until now. That’s what I’m excited to start this role because I’ll be marketing something completely new to a brand new audience, but you know me, I love a good challenge! I’m already starting to think of ways we can encourage people to get out into their community and meet their neighbors (sorry letter U.. I’ve gotta spell like an American now!) and share Kuna in the process 🙂
Tomorrow marks the beginning of an exciting new direction and season of learning in my career and I can’t wait to take you along for the ride. Thanks so much for all the well wishes and encouragement over the last week – I’m definitely ready to kick some butt!!
PS – Don’t blame me if Hakuna Matata does become our official theme song.. home security, means no worries.. right? 😉