Imposter syndrome affects the best of us and can be a tricky feeling to overcome. Sowing seeds of doubt despite our achievements, it’s an interestingly paradoxical feeling when you have concrete evidence of success.
We introduce you to Eleanor Reich, a Technical Lead of the CRM Page Editor team, working out of Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States. Starting her career with so much imposter syndrome that she thought she’d be fired, she’s since proceeded to achieve multiple promotions through her curiosity and determination for growth. We wanted to understand how she’s pushing through discomfort, and growing through to achieve her goals. Interested? Keep reading!
Can you tell us about your background and journey to HubSpot? I grew up in the suburbs of New York City and always loved math, music, and puzzles. I began to pursue a math major at the University of Michigan but it wasn’t clicking. My friend Diego convinced me to try Computer Science and I loved it! A friend of a friend was working as an Associate Product Manager at HubSpot and said great things. I applied for a Software Engineering Co-op position but didn’t get it. I applied for a full-time Software Engineer role a year later and got the job! I had another offer but I had no doubts about HubSpot. The things I’d read about (and heard during the interview process) about autonomy and culture had won me over.
How has a hybrid workplace played a role in your career? I work @office in Boston and love it. The physical separation of work and home makes me much more productive and having friends around to decompress makes every day fun. My team is currently spread around the world (only two of the six of us are in the office) from the West Coast to Dublin. Every time zone we add means an adjustment period while the team finds our groove, but calendar Tetris and async communication are now two more tools in my toolbelt!
Can you briefly explain your role? I’m the Technical Lead of the CRM Page Editor team. Our mission is to give admins a centralized, intuitive experience for making sure that their teams are seeing the information they need to see when and how they want to see it, starting with the record page. My job involves people management (team leadership), product planning with my PM and PD partners (product leadership), and coding (technical leadership)! A day in the life is 1. get on early and code/do investigations before meetings start, 2. meetings meetings meetings, 3. code review in between! With lots of snacks (and the occasional nap) breaks slipped in.
How did you take the driver’s seat in enabling your career growth? I had so much imposter syndrome when I first joined (in March 2020 😷) that I was convinced I was going to lose my job. I figured that I might as well get as much out of HubSpot as I could and asked questions constantly. This curiosity accelerated me into my first promotion (!), Senior Software Engineer. From there on, I was in the driver's seat, and I had a car full of colleagues cheering me on and guiding me.
What were the opportunities given to you to steer you toward your career goals? My Technical Lead would share all the features that needed building and problems that needed solving in our weekly 1:1. Eventually I was able to lead projects and had enough context to identify new features and problems. Our team grew and eventually, we were able to split and I became the Technical Lead of the new team. Cut to eight months later, a new problem space was cropping up in a nearby area that I was very interested in. I planted the seed in my manager’s head that I wanted to be a leader in the new area. Six months later, I was able to pass the Technical Lead baton and spin up a new team in this problem space.
How did your colleagues play a part in assisting your career growth? I’ve gotten endless support (including a little tough love) from more people than I can count! My mentors have given me guidance. My managers have carved a path for me to grow in. My friends have assuaged my anxieties. Dozens of strangers answered my questions.
What challenges have you faced? And how did you overcome this? A lot of imposter syndrome. Finding the balance between ambitious and enjoying the ride and letting time do its thing!
When was the last time you made a mistake and how did you grow from it?
I can give a couple of examples!
Chronologically the last time I made a mistake (that I know about 😂) was in my code; when fixing a bug I approached calculating the maximum value allowed differently than we calculated the minimum value allowed 🤦🏼it got caught in code review! The lesson here was “nothing is ever a quick fix, take time to consider your approach”.
I recently realized I wasn’t being consistent in communicating discussions happening at the leadership level to individual contributors. Sometimes I would refer to a potential project we would work on and my team would be confused. Consistency in communication is so invaluable for a team to function. I now have a recurring reminder to send out notes from the leadership meeting so that my team always knows what's on our minds.
What do you hope to achieve in the future with HubSpot? While I'm currently doubling down on growing my technical skills, my long-term goal is to grow as a manager and help other people achieve their career goals.