When the company isn’t ready for a Growth Lead, but they hire you anyway with Hillary Miller
The former Growth lead at Whimsical explains why it’s important to take time and suss out the company culture fit, whether you’re interviewing candidates or interviewing for jobs.
Hey - it's Andrew
I just got back from a bachelor party on Sebago Lake, Maine celebrating one my oldest and closest friends from high-school.
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You got the job, but it's too early for a growth team.
Hillary Miller had a nagging feeling that something wasn't right.
She was a few months into a new role when she realized that - although the job looked good on her resume – it wasn’t right for the business.
Hillary had landed a head of growth role at Whimsical, a high-volume PLG whiteboarding and collaboration tool. She was excited about the opportunity to drive the growth strategy, scale the capability, and be part of the management team.
On paper, Hillary had the right experience and the company was doing well, but things just weren’t clicking on the growth front.
“It was the lowest point of my career because I had to put my ego aside and say, ‘This isn’t working,’” she says. “We were trying to do too many things at once, and weren’t ready for a centralized growth team.
This isn’t that unusual. Many of the people I coach find themselves in this same situation — trying to get a growth team off the ground, hitting the wall, and starting a spiral of self doubt and imposter syndrome.
Typically, these challenges aren’t about skills or experience. It's the timing.
Companies often prioritize growth hires too soon. Before having product market fit and core capabilities built out. It’s a recipe for disaster.
On the latest episode of the Delivering Value pod, Hillary and I went deep on how she dealt with being in the wrong role at the wrong time.
We also talked about:
Why you shouldn’t be afraid to address the elephant in the room (even if you’re the new kid)
Why it’s really important to take time to suss out the company culture fit (whether you’re trying to land the job, or making the hiring decision)
The importance of building trust by being honest
Things to Listen for:
[03:45] Hillary’s Growth origin story
[09:04] How to overcome a failed hire
[14:50] Navigating impostor syndrome
[17:07] How being honest builds trust
[20:50] Setting your ego aside for the company’s needs
[29:23] Advice for struggling job seekers
[30:59] How to learn if a company is for you