Female, TXFebruary 21, 2023

I am a 24F Technical Talent Scout, based out of Houston, TX making $105,000/year 


My transition into the industry of technology has been nothing short of a whirlwind. I started out as a Biology teacher with no intention to leave the world of academia until I was faced with one of the most traumatic situations of my life. One random day, a group of students decided to create a fake Photoshopped explicit picture of me and send it through the school I worked in. It wasn’t until the place I cultivated to be a safe space for my students became a place of trauma for me. So I decided to get a job at the place that created Photoshop! I reached out to a former Director and asked for a job and landed the job!

About Me:

Current job title: Technical Talent Scout

Current location:  Houston, TX

Age: 24

Years of Experience: 1

Total Comp: 105,000

  • Salary: 95,000
  • Bonus 10% of salary
  • Benefits 401k match, remote work (depending on manager), great healthcare/vision/dental benefits, Wellness Wednesdays (No meeting after 12pm), Global Wellness Days, unlimited PTO
  • Perks: $10,000 Education Fund, $600 Wellness Fund, $1,000 Professional Development Learning Fund

Brief description of your current position: The role of the Technical Talent Scout is to help find qualified candidates for open job requisitions and conduct the initial screening call.

Do you feel adequately compensated?: Yes


How I Got Here


  • If so, are they applicable to your current position? At the time I was hired, I was near the end of my Masters program and that was most definitely a helping factor in me getting hired. But in terms of certifications you don’t need any certifications to be a Talent Scout, but it’s good to know the basic functions of tech stack like Java, JavaScript, CSS, etc and what type of developers use what tech stack!
  • Was there an expectation for higher ed? You need a minimum of an undergraduate degree to be a Talent Scout. Your degree doesn’t need to be in any particular area, my undergraduate degree is in Agriculture with a concentration in Animal and Food Science.
  • How did you pay for degrees/certs? I didn’t pay for any degrees or certs BUT I did graduate with my Masters program and received a $10,000 New Hire Tuition Reimbursement  because I graduated during my employment.

Jobs leading up to your current position:

  • My journey working in tech is very untraditional. I was a 9th grade Biology and Art teacher before I worked in tech!
  1. Talent Scout (contract): 35.000 per hour, 41.00 per hour
  2. Biology Teacher Salary: 52,000/year
  3. Graduate Teaching Fellow: 30,000/year
  4. Research Lab Assistant: $12.75 per hour
  5. PF Chang’s Waitress: $2.15 + tips
  6. Hooters Waitress: $2.15 +tips (When you work at Hooters you get tuition reimbursement)
  • Mention if you negotiated for pay raises/promotions:When I was working on contract I realized I was being severely underpaid. I started out at $35.00 per hour and some of my coworkers were making $50-55 per hour! A couple weeks later my leadership changed and I immediately asked for a raise and negotiated to $41.00 per hour. If I can give anyone and everyone advice when it comes to salary and pay raises it would be to always ask for the compensation budget for the role you’re interviewing for and DO NOT BE SCARED TO NEGOTIATE!


What resources were most beneficial on your journey? NETWORKING IS THE MOST BENEFICIAL TOOL THAT HELPED MY JOURNEY. I didn’t know a soul that worked in tech. I created a LinkedIn account and simply started asking Executive Directors and VPs of companies if they were hiring and at the time most of them were. Don’t be afraid to simply just ask for what you want, you’ll be surprised who is willing to help you get to where you want to be.


What advice would you give yourself as a HS Senior? If I could give my HS Senior self advice, I would actually thank her for building the foundation of inner trust and trusting my inner voice. The sacredness and wisdom of discernment is going to take you so far, but discernment isn’t enough! You need to take risks and have faith to know that something greater (even if you can’t see it now) is always looking out for you.


It’s also important that present You is creating a safe foundation for future You. Save money now so in the future You will have a safety net. Cultivate the things that bring you intense joy. Love has been and will always be your foundation.


What’s next? So as I am writing this I found out that I got laid off 4 days ago. Honestly I don’t know what is next but I want to work in philanthropy and social impact. I’m deeply passionate about education, community, and advocacy so I will aim to land a job in that realm. I will say the world of Talent Acquisition is “first to hire, first to be let go.”(depending on the company)  but you learn SO much about how the business is ran and what different roles require.


Overall reflections/thoughts to share/advice:

I’m currently in a deep reflection state and going through the various emotions that come with being laid off and the past year working in tech has taught me. These are the few things I would love to share:


  1. Everything happens for a reason. I know this is so cliche to say and sometimes tiresome to hear but this age old advice still rings true. I know that my life’s purpose is to help the community and be an advocate for those that look like me, being a Technical Talent Scout provided me A LOT of the tools I need to get to where I want to go but I knew in my heart this wasn’t my forever, just as I knew teaching wasn’t my forever. This is where trust in yourself and having blind faith, even if it’s the size of a mustard seed becomes vital.
  2. Building community is so important. Networking and having a community that advocates for you is a major pillar in your professional success. You can’t get to where you want to be alone, you need a tribe of people that can advocate for you and speak on your behalf.
  3. You can plan everything out perfectly and things can still not go your way. Be flexible and get comfortable with being able to pivot at any moment. Before I found out I was laid off I planned this entire year out by the month to hold myself accountable for my career goals but at any second things can change. You’re going to have to pivot at the most unexpected times, so you might as well become best friend’s with adaptability.
  4. Be sure to rest. Rest your heart, mind, body, and spirit. The money is great, the career plans and goals are fantastic, and the fancy perks/benefits are phenomenal. But don’t get your ego caught in the merit of all the shiny bells and whistles. It’s important to make intentional time for what your heart, mind, and soul needs. That should always be a priority!