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Leveraging the Jungle Gym Career Path – Organic Growth Brings Forth Invaluable Insight

There has long been a false claim that career success requires hyper-specialization and a linear path. In this webinar, we share how the generalist can succeed in the modern workplace and the growing popularity of the jungle gym career path. Hear Jeanne Achille from the Devon  Group interview AllyO’s very own Product and Customer Marketing Manager Marie Hastreiter.


A different path to success and happiness

Many of us choose our field of study based on what subject matter interests us and gets us excited to learn; Marie earned her bachelor’s degree studying psychology and international affairs. However, environment can’t be ignored. Graduating during The Great Recession, and living in Washington D.C., she decided to study law and work as a paralegal based on opportunity and job security. During this time, Marie paid close attention to what activities and subjects energized her, and what she found stressful or made time move slowly. She realized that her passions aligned with employment law, but her personality didn’t lend well to litigation. This is what ultimately brought her to HR. 

Marie, like many others, is proof that your career doesn’t need to be linear. And the best fit for a job may not be the person with the most years of experience, but with the right passions and skillset. Marie’s advice is to take your personality and natural skillset into consideration when choosing your career path and studies. 

For fellow HR professionals, Marie says the most important thing you can do is truly understand your company brand, culture, and values. If you can achieve this, nine times out of ten you’ll hire the right people. She recommends challenging the status quo. “Best practice” may not be the best practice. Marie looks to the likes of Patty McCord, the Chief Talent Officer at Netflix who set the foundation for how other companies in Silicon Valley and beyond manage and motivate their workforce.  


Passion for a mission

Marie’s jungle gym career path didn’t end at HR. Through a friend, she was connected with AllyO to review the software, and instantly “geeked out” over the technology. She implemented an ATS at her previous employer, Joyride, and overall was really happy with her ATS selection. But, she noticed some gaps in functionality that AllyO was able to fill. Her passion for the company and experience in the industry is what ultimately led her to take a job as Product and Customer Marketing Manager at AllyO. 

Marie feels energized working for AllyO, and is excited about playing a hand in revolutionizing HR and recruiting through automation. 

“There are so many incredible things happening for our customers thanks to AllyO and the pain points that it’s been able to solve for them… I often share some of the success story metrics of our customers and people almost can’t believe it. I have to actually say, ‘no seriously we didn’t believe it either but this is what we’re finding.’ Your life can be easier, your time to hire can be better. I love helping customers feel proud of what they’ve been able to accomplish in being innovative and pioneering taking on this new type of technology and sharing that news so we can help more businesses and more HR professionals and candidates.”

So this one is for all the innovators, explorers, and changers. Keep playing in the jungle gym career path, and let us know how we can help. 


More resources

Want to learn more? Here are a few recommended resources:


Title: Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead
Author: Sheryl Sandberg
Why: Sheryl Sandberg coins the metaphor of a jungle gym to describe modern career progressions in this book, and explains that sometimes lateral movement is as needed and beneficial to a person’s professional development as moving up another rung. This international bestseller speaks to women in the workplace using personal stories and data. 

Title: Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World
Author: David Epstein
Why: David Epstein backs the brilliance of being a jack of all trades and gaining a range of experiences in this well-researched, #1 New York Times bestseller. This book argues there is no single path to excellence, and in a world that increasingly values specialization, there is a case to be made for breadth and late starters. 

Title: Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility
Author: Patty McCord
Why: As mentioned earlier, Patty McCord disrupted HR and company culture for the better at Netflix. This book shares what she learned working in Silicon Valley and a fresh take on creating a culture of high performance and profitability. 


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