If you’d told me a year ago that I’d be living in Las Vegas and working for Zappos as a technical recruiter, I would have probably laughed and muttered under my breath that “YOU’RE CRAZY.” Truth be told, as I sit here and write this, I still can’t believe that this is my reality. You see, I’ve always been a bit of a free spirit at heart with a sense of wanderlust and big dreams for my life and I’d even refer to one of my favorite quotes – “Fate loves the fearless” – as my mantra. However, it wasn’t until last fall that I really started embodying my wanderlust and fearless spirit. The day I actually boarded my flight from San Francisco to Las Vegas to interview with Zappos is when my fearless spirit ignited.
Even though I’ve only been with Zappos a little over 5 months, my serendipitous collision with this company started in the small town of Chico, CA almost twelve years ago when I was attending college and working full time at a women’s boutique downtown in customer service. I worked long hours putting together amazing outfits for the locals and one day, as I was walking to work, I noticed a new store a few doors down from us opening up--ZAPPOS. “Hmmm… funny name,” I thought to myself. I peered inside the window and noticed an amazing selection of shoes. This will be the perfect place to send all my customers to complete their outfits!
I was startled as a sales associate came outside of the store and greeted me and coaxed me in. She explained the Zappos business model and how they mostly sold shoes online and if there was any time they didn’t have a shoe size in the store stock, they could order it and have it the next day. “WOW,” I thought to myself. This seems like a crazy idea. Shoes, online? Next day shipping? So began my intrigue with this Zappos company.
I loved having them as neighbors, and then one day, I noticed a sign that they would be closing. I immediately ran inside to protest this. “Everyone here loves Zappos… what is going on?!,” I asked. The employees explained that actually, business was amazing – so amazing that the strategy to move the company to a full eCommerce site was what they were about to embark upon, as well as move the company and employees to Las Vegas. I was shocked. What a big risk. “You guys are CRAZY…,” I muttered under my breath. I wished them well and it truly was a sad day when they closed their doors in our small little town.
Over the last 12 years, I continued to follow Zappos in the news (as well as buy shoes from them) and admired the culture, the technology and Tony Hsieh’s vision from afar. Fast forward to fall of last year. I was needing a new challenge after spending the last eight years in San Francisco. The moment I boarded that plane for my interview, my life was forever changed. Everything I observed over the years was living and breathing in Downtown Las Vegas. The campus was alive with passionate people, the culture was really everything you hear it is and everyone is truly a family.
As a technical recruiter for Zappos, I am fortunate to work alongside the tech teams that are working on the CRAZY ideas and innovations that continue to set us apart from any other eCommerce company. I think of myself as more of a storyteller than a recruiter, as I get to share stories of our amazing company and culture with candidates starting their journey with us.
This was the career opportunity fate was telling me to take… and to be fearless. So when I told everyone I was moving to Las Vegas to work for Zappos, I started getting the “you’re CRAZY” comments from friends and family. But that’s the thing… the best ideas, the best business moves, the best adventures are the CRAZY ones.