Our “DocuSign UP Career” blog series places the spotlight on employees who tell us about their first job (how they landed it, why they chose it) and key moments in their career that lead to greater learning or career momentum. At DocuSign, we believe in the next generation of leaders and want to help them get on the right career trajectory. That’s why we started DocuSign UP (University Program).
This week we sat down with Landon in Sales based in Seattle to learn more about his career.
What do you do at DocuSign?
I’m an account executive in sales for the North America financial services team.
What was your first job after school?
I was a hall director at Arizona State University. I oversaw the first-year program for college students, helping them solidify their major and career path.
Why did you choose this job?
It was an opportunity I couldn’t refuse. It gave me the opportunity to supervise cross-functional teams and oversee events. I could do many roles and not be stuck behind a desk. Plus, it helped provide for graduate school.
Is it related to the type of work you do today? And what did you learn from it?
Absolutely. I work with many strong personalities, manage different projects with different timelines, and put on many events. I just did a cocktail reception in St. Louis, working with partners and customers to drive attendance, and had to leverage everything I learned from my work at ASU.
Tell us about a pivotal moment in your career that helped propel you to another level.
I was given an opportunity to design a student engagement model and present at a national conference in Nashville. That was groundbreaking for my career because I discovered what I could do as a motivational speaker. Although I’ve now done professional public speaking for over ten years, I used to be terrified of it — and still am to a certain degree – but it was an “a-ha” moment when I realized what I was capable of.
Have you had any important mentors in your life?
I was a first-generation college student and have been on my own since I was 15, without financial support or involvement from my parents. I’ve had a few bosses, as well as my dance professor, who were key to my development. One boss told me, “As long as you believe in yourself half as much as we all believe in you, you’re unstoppable and any job is yours.” If it weren’t for these mentors, I wouldn’t be where I am today. That’s why it’s important for me now to pay it forward, to show people their potential.
How would you describe your career and the choices you’ve made?
It’s been a bumpy, windy road, but what an adventure! If everything had gone right, I wouldn’t have the perspective and skills I have today.
What kinds of setbacks have you faced?
I had been king of the world at ASU, then moved out to San Francisco for a job, and the company went under two weeks later. I had drained my savings relocating, so had to start from scratch in a new city. But I’m a firm believer that any liability can be converted into an asset. I worked several jobs at the time just to make ends meet. I was a Ketel One Vodka ice luge guy — setting up, chiseling the ice, pouring and presenting at all their fancy events. I worked at a Kinko’s-type shipping office where I ended up meeting someone from Wells Fargo who told me about an opportunity there. It was a pretty entry-level position but I worked my way up.
Have you taken risks in your career?
I wanted to get into the tech industry but was worried about changing industries again and starting over. I had gone high up at Wells Fargo in an account executive position, but I took the gamble to step backward because of my passion for DocuSign and the hope of more long-term career growth. I’m so glad I did because it turned into an opportunity far bigger than I ever imagined.
How did you end up at DocuSign?
I’ve been a DocuSign evangelist for years ever since I trained some real estate agents in the product in Arizona. After doing research, I decided it’s where I wanted to work. I first interviewed for one job and when I didn’t get it, I was devastated. But for three years I kept knocking on the door, applying and networking within the company, until a special opportunity came up for me to start and build out a sales team in San Francisco. It all worked out, and this job has been the most rewarding experience of my life.
What advice would you give to a college junior or senior breaking into the job market?
Be fearless. Go after your dreams. Don’t get hung up on salary and job title. Research companies in a specific industry that aligns with your own personal values and principles. If you can identify a few companies that you believe in early on, then everything else will fall into place.
Any specific tips on how to actually find a job or organize a job search?
Never apply for a job without an internal referral at that company.
If you don’t know someone personally, use your college alumni association, use LinkedIn, use your friends at Facebook. Find someone, introduce yourself, see if they want to have coffee and tell them you want to hear more about the company to see if it’s a good fit. That will help set you apart from other applicants because you took the time to do that research — and it might even result in a personal referral.
If not this job, what would you be doing?
I’d be either doing public speaking or motivational speaking training.
Interested in working at DocuSign? Check out our open positions.