Who says that you can’t find your future career while trying to find the best cupcake in New York? That’s how Anuj E.’s sugar craving helped him step away from his temp job lifestyle and dive head first into the Yelp Sales Development Program (YSDP). Read on to learn more about how this stellar employee has found success in helping local businesses.
What did you do before coming to Yelp?
After graduating from a Liberal Arts school in rural Ohio, I decided it was time for a change so I moved to the Big Apple to see what city dwelling was all about. Since the move, I’ve worked a variety of jobs, anything from working in an office to perfecting the art of burger flipping. I started at a small political consulting firm but found out within the first week that it wasn’t the right work-life balance for me. After that, I did what most Liberal Arts graduates do after school: sit in a coffee shop and surf Craigslist for temp jobs.
How did you first hear about Yelp and the job opening?
I’m sure you have heard the saying, “The moment you stop looking for something, is when you find it.” Well, funny story: I had been doing the whole job-hunting thing for awhile and was finally so exasperated by the process one day that I gave myself the afternoon off. I decided I would treat myself to a cupcake and visited Yelp to find a bakery nearby. As I was scrolling down the list of bakeries I noticed the “Yelp Careers” link at the bottom of the page. And the rest is history!
What's your title at Yelp and how long have you been with the company?
I started in late September of 2012 and I’m blown away by the growth I’ve seen! My official title is Yelp Account Executive, but not for long... my next YSDP promotion is only a month or two away.
What comprises a typical day for you?
After the short subway ride to Union Square, I get into the office and fuel up with coffee and some breakfast (courtesy of the Yelp kitchen). I usually attend or help run a team meeting before strategizing my work day from top to bottom. I start with organizing my pipeline and creating a list of businesses I want to call. My full pipeline consists of a variety of businesses, ranging from restaurant franchises, carpet cleaners, doctors, lawyers and anything in between. I conduct intro calls with businesses, who I believe can benefit from Yelp and set up phone appointments with the ones interested in Yelp Ads. Hopefully, I’m closing deals, big and small, while having fun and finding time to not take myself too seriously. At some point during the day, I reach out to business owners I have been building a relationship with and update them on any relevant Yelp news. I also found that it’s important to do some research on what’s new in our industry, especially if a business owner mentions a company I haven't heard of, I will devote some time in my day to look them up and be versed on them the next time around. I end my day by sending out reminder emails to the businesses that I am scheduled to speak with the next day.
What's the best part of working for Yelp?
I feel lucky to to be a part of such an amazing work environment and have the opportunity to work with amazing people, some of whom have become my best friends. I love that even though each Account Executive works with independence and purpose towards a goal, there’s no sense of singular focus among the reps. We make a point to work hard towards the goal but have fun along the way, which is easy because we’re all a team.
What is your favorite perk at Yelp?
My parent’s favorite Yelp perk is certainly the full health and dental insurance (your family’s happiness is a factor that you shouldn’t ignore!). Personally, the fact that the gym subsidy allows me to afford one of the swankiest gyms in NYC is the best perk. The frosting on top: it’s around the corner from the office so I get to workout at lunch.
What has been your favorite memory at Yelp?
Aside from closing my first deal, most of my best memories come from being on the phone.
Hands down the best day for me at Yelp was after leading the NYC office in revenue for a fiscal quarter, I was commemorated with a life-size poster of myself at a Monday Morning Meeting (see above). However, the real fun happened that evening, when the top performers in the office went out for a night on the town.
What separates Yelp from other places you've worked?
The commitment Yelp leadership has to your personal success and the furtherment of your career is astounding.
Finally, what would be your one piece of advice for someone interested in your role?
Know that success comes from happiness and not the other way around. If you can figure out how to be happy when you are working, you will be successful at Yelp.