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If You Ever Wanted to Work at Facebook, Here’s Your Primer

Source | LinkedIn : By John Battelle

Lori Goler has helped the company scale from 500 to 15,000+ people

One simple question drove a sharp pivot in Lori Goler’s already enviablecareer: “How can I help you?” Of course, when the question is asked of Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, the chances are better such a detour might follow. “What’s your biggest business obstacle,” Goler remembers asking Sandberg in 2007, early in Facebook’s startup days. “How can I help?” Sandberg’s instant reply: “Recruitment.”

A seasoned marketing executive, Goler nevertheless took the challenge, and has since helped Facebook scale from 500 employees to more than 15,000. Along the way she’s implemented industry-leading approaches to parental leave, long-term contracts (Facebook doesn’t do them), and career management (the company encourages ‘individual contributors’ as a career choice, to avoid the trap of management being the only way to advance inside the company).

We spoke to Goler at the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center studios late last year, what follows is a text transcript and video interview, both edited for length and clarity.

John Battelle: You have a great story about how you ended up at Facebook. Can you tell us that story?

Lori Goler: Sure. I’ve worked in tech for a while…I was working in a marketing role prior to coming to Facebook. One morning on my commute to work, heard an interview of Mark talking about the mission of Facebook. Of course, I knew Facebook because it was a great way for us to reach — at that time — the college audience.

What year was this?

That was in 2007. I thought, “That sounds really interesting. I love the social mission of Facebook, it sounds really interesting.” I tucked it away in the back of my head, if there were ever an opportunity. The following spring, Sheryl Sandberg said that she was headed to Facebook.

I noticed and I thought, “Well, that must mean that they’re turning attention towards the business side. Maybe I’ll just give her a call and see what they need.” I called and asked her what her biggest issue was on the business side, and whether there was anything I might be able to help with.

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