Joshua Steinberg is a communications specialist who spent almost ten years advancing his career at Google, until one day he decided to quit in order to travel all the way across Asia and Europe while pursuing opportunities in the emerging blockchain industry.
How did Joshua advance his corporate career, and why did he abandon it all in order to take a leap of faith into uncharted territory?
How Being Open to Opportunities Can Lead You to a Successful Career
Joshua has always been interested in crafting narratives and interacting with people, thus he chose to study media and communications.
At first, he thought he would graduate and work in traditional media. He even did an internship with the media company Hearst, where he was working on advancing the brands of big companies, like Pfizer or Verizon.
But at one point Google came to the campus at his local university for a hiring event. “I did not know much about digital media back then, and Google’s job descriptions were notoriously vague at that time” – Joshua says. However, he decided that there was little to lose and applied… and this is how he got his job at Google!
Joshua started immediately after finishing studies. He moved to Michigan and starter working as a Sales Account Manager. His job consisted of managing accounts for Google Adwords customers.
He did the job for three years, and, after having learned the ins and outs of search advertising, Joshua decided it was time to move on and seized the opportunity to move to Google’s main office in San Francisco, California.
“This was an exciting time” – Joshua says – “Google had recently acquired Doubleclick, and things were developing very rapidly.” DoubleClick was the online advertising company that specialized in display advertisement, which became a major revenue growth stream for Google. It also proved to be a great work stream for Joshua.
Joshua started working in a new position as a Technical Account Manager. There, he was managing technical matters for Google’s new Ad Exchange customers in the Americas. The new job taught Joshua a lot about how things work from the technical side, as well as letting him interact with lots of customers from different spheres of business.
However, another major promotion was awaiting Joshua. He was promoted to be Head of Google’s new Sales Account Management Team in Tokyo – a promotion that Joshua accepted with great enthusiasm, as he was excited both about Japan and his new duties.
Joshua humbly says: “I was a part of the launch team for Google’s marketing technology business in Japan.” He was responsible for hiring, training and managing people for the Sales and Account Management team, as well as doing all the necessary business communication to help bring Google’s DoubleClick marketing tech platform to Google’s largest partners in the Asia-Pacific region. His team eventually grew Google’s new business from zero to $100 million in annual sales.
Never Be Afraid of Pursuing New Opportunities
Joshua’s career was going very well – however, he decided to take a step back and do something he really wanted to do for a long time but could never find enough time for: travel.
In January 2017, Joshua left his job at Google. He and his girlfriend embarked on a new adventure: a six-month trip across Asia and Europe.
Joshua says that a special characteristic of the trip was that they did not fly for the entire six months, going to Shangai and coastal China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar, Mongolia, taking the Transiberian railway through Russia, traveling in Scandinavia, Germany, France, Spain, and eventually ending their trip in Lisbon, Portugal.
They also did a lot of fun side projects during the trip: for example, they tried setting up a small gig selling sandwiches in Southeast Asia after having found space at a local flee market.
Joshua says it was a lot of fun!
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Why Blockchain Is a Huge New Opportunity
Joshua’s trip was not only a good laugh – he also used it to land a position in a new blockchain startup called Wysker.
While Joshua had been interested in blockchain for a while, his new opportunity came quite incidentally: he was traveling through Berlin when he decided to meet up and reconnect with an old friend…This friend told him how he started a company called Wysker – a blockchain powered mobile shopping platform that puts users in charge of how their data is used.
Joshua got excited and offered to help.
This landed him a job advising Wysker and helping them develop a sales narrative for the platform. Joshua has been helping Wysker with its initial coin offering, as well as positioning the company and presenting it to potential business connections in Japan.
Joshua says he is now very interested in helping companies understand the opportunities presented by the Internet, and he’s particularly excited about the blockchain space. Joshua thinks that the blockchain industry presents endless opportunities for creative uses.
However, there’s a challenge: since blockchain is very new, it is still pretty esoteric. It is hard for consumers to understand how it works, and there is a huge knowledge gap about consumer-facing applications of blockchain. Luckily, that is a gap that Joshua is all too happy to help close.
Interested in Following Joshua’s Footsteps?
When it comes to finding a job, Joshua advises that you put yourself out there, reach out to friends and have conversations.
If you are interested in the finance and blockchain space, he also recommends you have a look at these resources:
- Matt Levine’s articles on Bloomberg, especially in the Money Talks section – Joshua thinks that Matt Levine provides a great perspective on blockchain from someone who focuses on investment banking;
- Money Matters podcast – a podcast on markets, technology and investing – according to Joshua, it’s a must-listen to anyone seriously interested in managing finance.
If you are interested in learning more about blockchain in general, these online courses should help you cover both the technical and non-technical bases:
- Blockchain and Bitcoin Fundamentals
- Getting Started with Ethereum Solidity Development
- Ethereum Blockchain Developer: Build Projects Using Solidity