Title Card - Thinking Outside The Box

Thinking Outside The Box

While the two main pieces of my career consisted of retail and the government, there was one piece that occurred in between that I felt was a very important part of my career development, despite it only lasting for a few months. This position was initially as a content writer at a small startup marketing and advertising company, but was quickly changed to a quality control supervisor after I had shown my skills and abilities as a critical thinker with great attention to detail.

Quality control is one of those jobs that requires broad thinking as a fundamental part of the job description. You must be able to find the issues and tests that everyone else have overlooked to ensure the product is running as smoothly as possible while providing the end users the greatest achievable experience. In this particular position, it was my job to catch all kinds of errors, from static issues like text or images in marketing materials to hidden functionality issues like improper error handling or visual bugs on websites. Usually it was good enough to point these issues out and the developers of these materials would fix the issues on their own, but I would also regularly be part of the troubleshooting process.

So why do I often focus so much on this particular position when it amounted to just a few short months on my resume? I feel like I learned a lot in that small amount of time, and I now look at problems in a whole new light because of it. When you have to imagine every possible outcome, it can sometimes feel daunting to be the main person responsible for the quality of a finished product. At the end of the day, if something comes back with issues, it is a little bit of the developer who is on the hook, but you are the one who ended up missing it before sending it out to the client.

This high-pressure environment taught me a great deal about how to catch errors and mistakes, compounding the skills I already brought to the table. It almost turned this type of situation into a puzzle, where I make it a challenge to find all the hidden issues within a page. As someone who always loved these types of puzzles for fun, doing this type of work ended up being less work and more of a mental challenge for me, which is always appreciated in any line of work.

As such, it should then be fairly obvious why I like to talk about this position in interviews. As I gain more experience and similar types of experience overshadow it, I will probably end up talking about it less often, but I do take pride in the fact that I was once the main quality control for an entire startup company, and it likely won’t be off my list of favourite things to talk about any time soon.

What about you? Do you have a favourite position that gets you pumped up to talk about? This type of passion is often a great thing in interviews and will definitely show positively for future hiring managers!