Work-Life Balance: Hit by a Bus Theory

Bridie Slater | Recruiter in London, UK

I spent much of my youth living by the ‘You could get hit by a bus tomorrow’ theory. As wonderful as this theory is, reality set in when my dad sat me down and said, “But what happens if you never get hit by a bus?”. It is not that I hadn’t considered surviving more than the next 24 hours, or that I had some ingrained fear of buses, my fear was the impossible task that is achieving work-life balance.

Meme from Mean Girls movie (Regina George being hit by bus)

Growing up, my parents had an average commute time of 10 minutes (and that was cycling), 90% of the time they were both home by 6pm, and not once did I see a laptop or work phone on a family holiday. Yet they both managed, and continue, to prosper in their careers. I know it was rare then, but today that sounds impossible to many of us. So how do we strike a true balance?

I was inspired to write this after hearing Mark Okerstrom answer the question, “What tips would you give for maintaining a work-life balance?”. His answer left me thinking; if the CEO of one of the world’s largest travel platforms can maintain a balance, then so can we.

I have stolen some of the below from Mark’s response (sorry Mark!) but I wanted to share some advice on how it can be achieved.

Go hard, or then go home 

As a wise colleague once said to me,

“When you are here, you are very here. When you go, you are very good at going.”.

Whether it was meant as one or not, I took this as a compliment. Give your all at work, then give your all at home. It is about the quality you give at work not the quantity of time you are there. Eliminate multitasking, the key is being present.

WORK LIFE spelled in scrabble pieces

Aim for an Existential Balance

Unfortunately, the reality of the modern world is that a daily work-life balance is hard to achieve and not always the best option. Instead of aiming to only work ‘9 to 5’, focus on the bigger picture of getting a balance throughout your existence. You will have months in certain roles where you work crazy hours. Don’t get caught up on these months. In other months, do not feel guilty to take time back. Give yourself a reason to take the time back.

Photo of women sitting on desk with win next to the captain '9 to 5'

Trust Yourself

If you are reading this I am assuming you consider yourself a ‘good worker’ and are committed (sometimes too much) to your work. Your employer trusts you to get the job done. So, now it is time to trust yourself to know when it is okay to switch off. You hear so many excuses about managers, stakeholders or colleagues being the cause of a poor work-life balance. Take responsibility, you are in control and only you can change it.

Meme of trust fall

Build Your Boundaries

In relationships, you have boundaries that, if crossed, would damage them. This should be no different for the relationship between your work and your life. Put blockers in place that, no matter what, stay in place. Have constants in your life such as gym classes, days you get a certain train or work from home. Not only does this mean your colleagues will work around them, but it is also a good measure to judge if your work-life balance is getting out of control. Work will always be there tomorrow, friends may not.

Meme saying 'I'm on vacation. We need to have boundaries'

Comprehend Consequences

I have heard on so many occasions the fear in people about losing their jobs. Yet, rarely do people mention the fear of losing elements of their life. The consequences of a poor work-life balance on your personal life can be so much greater. If you were to spend an extra 10 hours a week on seeing friends, doing activities, or sleeping in, do you think your manager would put up with it? Yet we expect our loved ones, our hobbies, and ourselves to be okay with working an extra 10 hours per week. Think about the consequences of putting work first for your family, friends and even your health. Is it worth the risk of damaging any of those?

Quote "For every action, there is a reaction" - Albert Einstein

There will always be the people who want to work their way through life, let them. None of this is revolutionary, and although attempting to have a work-life balance can be a full-time job, it is actually pretty simple. Ask yourself, “If not now, when?” will you put life first.

So hopefully, I will not get hit by a bus tomorrow, but on a serious note, the damage from a poor work-life balance can be nearly as irreversible. And as someone somewhere once said…

“You can always make more money, but you can never make more time”

9 Things You Didn’t Know About Working at HomeAway

Kayla Chance | Employer Brand Digital Media Specialist, HomeAway in Austin, Texas

1. HomeAway is actually part of Expedia Group. By working here, you get the best of both worlds – access to lots of data AND the opportunity to directly impact the vacation rental marketplace.

Employees of Expedia GroupPhoto taken outside of Expedia Group HQ Office

2. Our “Domain Free” Slack channel is the most happening place to be. Employees offer up free lunch and other goodies. It’s always a race to see who can snatch them up first.

Photo of cupcakesPhoto of cookies

3. We’re scientific AND creative. Our UX and Product Design teams practice the creative process of user-led design thinking to continuously improve the HomeAway app and website.

4. We’re very passionate about diversity. Women are represented in leadership across all functions of the company, including Tina Weyand, our Chief Product Officer and Katrina Riehl, Director of Global Data Science.

Photo of HomeAway employeesPhoto of Tina Weyand, Mark Okerstrom, and John Kim

5. With offices around the world, employees frequently pop in to visit HomeAway in other countries to say hi and to take a few photos.

Picture of Golden Doodle dog in HomeAway officeHomeAway employees standing in front of Christmas TreeHomeAway employees eating a meal

6. Giving back to our local communities around the world means a lot to us. Team HomeAway is encouraged to use two paid days a year to get out and spend time with the charity of their choice.

HomeAway employee posing with a childHomeAway employees volunteering

7. We like being active as much as we enjoy coding and creating. HomeAway Runners, HomeAway Hoops, and our cricket team are just a few ways we break a sweat.

HomeAway employees playing volleyballHomeAway employees running marathon

8. No matter which team you’re on, you’ll be implementing tests. We love to test and learn then iterate so there’s always something new happening.

9. Our Penn Field office in Austin houses the Wagon Queen Family Truckster from National Lampoon’s Vacation. It makes for a great Instagram pic!

 

Want to join Team HomeAway or check out other cool perks we offer? Visit our careers page!

Follow Life at HomeAway on social media

Monolith to Micro-service and Beyond…

Anurag Banka | Software Development Engineer II in Gurgaon, India

Anurag Banka smilingIn this post, I would like to give a glimpse of a practical application of micro-service on a monolith product which leads to better team productivity, customer experience, and product scalability.

Monolith are services; which are not easy to scale, hard to maintain, and can become a bottleneck for the growth of the product. Rapidly changing customer demand and business circumstances need a flexible and scalable system where new ideas can be introduced at a fast pace. Most of the monolithic services have a fixed release cycle of bi-weekly or monthly due to the cumbersome nature of testing and tight coupling of the domain.

By breaking a complex monolith architecture into a micro-service architecture, based on the different responsibilities of product, creates a solution for scaling both system and business. Articles from Martine Fowler and Chris Richardson are a great source of learning to bring best of micro-service practice in your domain. A typical transition from monolith to micro-service looks like below.

If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” – Albert Einstein

The above statement is very well applicable for monolith service. It’s applicable to all big and small organizations. With a rapidly changing product requirement and team members, it’s a challenge to retain domain knowledge – and existing test framework was never sufficient enough to cover each expects of a system under test.

Micro-services are definitely a solution to a problem faced in monolith but it’s no silver bullet and several challenges occur to reach in a state of micro-services. Some big challenges to face while applying micro-service architectural reform in a billion $ system are

  • Defining testing strategy for a new stack
  • Defining new monitoring methods
  • Ensuring high uptime of a system
  • Collective domain knowledge

Knowing your domain is key to success for breaking any monolith system into Micro-service, but it’s never the case –  you know all your domain and dependencies via any testing framework may cover most of it but some corner cases might be missing.

Known risk can’t be taken for a live running system if you have a slight doubt on your domain understanding or testing suite. Black box testing (shadow testing) is a solution for building a new system in parity with the old one.

A three-front testing framework to ensure parity at upstream, downstream and database can help in building confidence in migration to the new stack. A typical orchestration of such black box testing would look like the below when at every external end parity will be ensured.

Following the above strategy, it was easy to catch approx. 500 bugs in the new stack. Also, the same framework resulted as a bridge between old and new stack for easy migration. It provided both system performance and business performance metrics to measure the success rate of the new system.

Every change for making the system better should be measured in terms of success metrics of the system and some of the metrics we achieved in the last 6 months are:

  • More than 1% improvement in success rate, direct impact on revenue
  • Easy scalability of functionality
  • Easy rollout and rollback, N releases in a day vs once a month release
  • Cloud Native solution
  • Faster and Better customer support

At Expedia Group, we practice in keeping our product as simple as possible. It helps in taking fast business requirement adoption and building an internal open source culture where a team can collaborate and speed up delivery of new ideas.

Every new system comes with a new set of challenges, now you have thousands of services and a ton of data to make a better business decision for new success stories. This is just the beginning of a technology shift, we are on our journey of cloud, machine learning…

Come and join us in our journey of “Bringing the world within reach” through the power of technology.

Career Check-In with Angela Page

Angela Page | e-Commerce Manager, Wotif in Sydney, Australia

Angela Page smilingWhat does your typical workday look like?

What I love about my role is that a typical workday doesn’t exist. In eCommerce, we are responsible for the performance of our point of sale (POS) and interact many teams. As a result, I could spend the day working on test and learn opportunities, developing and implementing our POS strategies, helping the channels drive traffic and conversion, or work through a problem or issue on site to pinpoint what’s happening and then work to get resolved. Prioritization in my role is key.

What have you enjoyed most about working at Expedia Group?

Expedia Group has given me such an incredible opportunity to move to different teams and learn new skill sets, into roles with more responsibility, and to new regions. But above all else, I love the people and culture at Expedia Group.

What makes your team unique?

We are a team that wears many hats and touches many teams, yet we have very few buttons that we push. We are the team that is responsible for insights and working with the right teams to act on the opportunities we surface.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

As Area Manager of the Sydney market and after going through the migration with Wotif (a very crazy time that stretched us all), I received the 2015 Area Manager of the Year award in APAC. It was very unexpected but it was a very encouraging moment for me since I was a fairly new people manager at the time.

Who has influenced you the most?

When it comes to how I approach my career, my husband has influenced me the most. I used to struggle to take the time to shut off from work and I would often work around the clock. He has helped me to take a break and rest in the evenings and on weekends – which leaves me refreshed and ready to tackle each day ahead. He also helps me work and pray through each next opportunity. His advice is always sound.

How and where do you find inspiration?

Half the ideas and opportunities I run with came from someone else. I am only one brain, but the collective team (and those in different parts of the organization) have incredible ideas. I am inspired by those around me! We hire well. 😊

How did you learn to embrace failure?

Failing your way to success is such a common cliché but it is so true. Each time I fail, I do a personal post-mortem to outline where I went wrong, what I could have done differently, and the impact of my mistake. My performance has not suffered from the mistakes I have made, but rather has excelled.

Side note: We have great people around us – don’t be afraid to reach out to vet an idea or to get advice if something is not going to plan!

What is your favorite piece of career advice?

Never be afraid to forego moving up (or getting a promotion) to take a lateral move to learn and grow instead. After having been in Lodging Partner Solutions (LPS) for 5 years, I was hungry to learn the demand side of our business. As a result, I am a more well-rounded professional and am excited about what potential opportunities will unfold as a result in the future.

Tell us about your favorite vacation?

It’s so hard to pick just one! Last year I scored 7-night package deal in a 4-star hotel to Beijing for my husband and myself for under $1000 AUD (SCORE!!!!!). We explored the city as locals, ate lots of yummy street food, and did a private tour covering untouched parts of the Great Wall of China. Was such a fun week of immersion in a new culture.

What is your favorite weekend getaway?

My favourite weekend getaway is heading to one of the many beautiful coastal beaches north or south of Sydney for a camping weekend. Nothing better on a restful weekend than crystal clear waters and hanging out under the stars.

Expedia Group Is Not A Travel Company, We’re A Technology Company Dealing In Travel

Kate Bascombe | Software Development Engineer II in Brisbane, Australia

A great manager of mine once explained to me the difference between a ‘Travel Company’ and a ‘Technology Company that deals in Travel’.

He used a pizza metaphor to help illustrate, comparing Pizza Hut and Dominos. Pizza Hut is a fine company offering pizza to their customers. Domino’s is a technology company that uses technology to offer their product to their customer, and that product happens to be pizza. See the difference?

Dominos Pizza memeWhile Pizza Hut cooks and delivers pizza as they’ve always done, Domino’s has invested in technology such as Google Glasses for the pizza makers, drones for delivery, GPS tracking for the drivers, and I’m sure much more. Pizza Hut is a pizza company, but Domino’s is a technology company that sells pizza! That’s one key difference to why Domino’s dominates the market while Pizza Hut is falling behind.

So why am I talking about pizza? Well, it’s the same principle for Travel.

I’m here to share with you the benefits of working for Expedia Group, a company that truly does value technology and the engineers who keep us relevant in today’s tech-driven world.

Expedia Group is a company who understands the value of technology and that it’s not only good for the company but it’s good for the employees as well. As an engineer at Expedia Group, I know my contributions are listened to, valued, and are making a difference to ‘help people go places’.

Expedia Group listens when an employee has an idea they want to try. The annual 3-day Hackathons are a great avenue to propose an innovative idea and have it implemented. This year, myself and a couple of co-workers had our Hackathon project make it to the finals, and even though the idea didn’t win, the grand prize ($3,000 travel award by the way) encouraged us to develop the idea further, run it in an A/B Test, and share our learnings. And we did.

Toy Story meme about Innovation "There's a whole ne world out there. Don't be afraid to explore it."This was literally an idea 3 engineers came up with over lunch, decided to develop, test in production, and release to all our users (if it was a winner). How much more empowered to innovate can you get?

And this is not just once a year during Hackathon, we’re encouraged to bring our ideas to the table every single day. The work we do as engineers is not handed down from a Product Manager somewhere up the line. We work with Product, UX, Analytics, and Engineering throughout the lifecycle of an idea.

It’s our ideas and execution that are valued, not our job titles. I’ve contributed to content strategies, UX design, data analyzation, and product development, and my ideas have been welcomed in each discipline as an equal no matter my skillset or background.

I’ve seen co-workers send a quick message to our CEO because they had an opinion on a topic they wanted to talk about. Expedia Group treats feedback as a gift and welcomes it with open arms at all levels and across disciplines.

Those are a few of the cultural benefits of working in a company that values people in technology. But what about the tangible benefits?

Because Expedia Group values technology so highly, we try our best to attract the best talent in the technology industry. As a female in my early 30’s working in Australia, the standout benefits and perks to me are:

  • Annual Travel allowance, this year helping me attend my brother’s wedding in Hawaii
  • Health Insurance, not normally offered in Australia
  • Annual Wellness allowance, helping me build out a quality home gym
  • Free coffees, teas, fruit, breakfast foods, and snacks any time in the office
  • Friday drinks with catered food
  • Flexible work hours
  • Ability to work from home, I choose to work from home at least one day every week
  • Day Of Caring volunteer days
  • Competitive Salary
  • Stock options
  • Annual bonus, always appreciated in the after Christmas period
  • Access to training and conferences, even internationally
  • Top-of-the-range computing equipment, I love my Macbook Pro!
  • Creative and inspiring office fit-outs

Web designer wearing no pants says "So, you want to be a web designer like me. Is it because you like my work?" Other man says "No, it's because I don't want to wear pants to work."You can see a full list of the benefits we offer on https://lifeatexpedia.com/ with many more in-depth benefits aimed at everyone.

Expedia Group makes the effort to attract talented people with benefits, small and large. These are becoming the norm in the Tech Industry. Engineers should accept that we earn and deserve these benefits because of the bottom-line we generate… and Expedia Group recognizes that.

At the end of the day, I want to feel appreciated by the company I dedicate my time and efforts to. I’m not going to say that’s all the compensation I need but it’s a big one 😉

So let me ask you, is the company you work for a ‘pizza’ company or a Technology Company that sells ‘pizza’? Which one would you prefer to work for?

Career Check-In with Elin Mendola

Elin Mendola | Senior Market Manager in Sweden

Elin Mendola posing with a group of people outside in the sunWhat does your typical workday look like?

I’m an early starter so I’m usually the first one in the office. Knowing that coffee is a big part in the office, I always load the coffee machine so that it’s ready when the team starts their day. From there, all my days are different – but the one thing they all have in common is that I spend a lot of time with my team, coaching and supporting them.  I also spend time going through and analyzing numbers and results making sure we are pacing at the right speed compared to our goals.

What have you enjoyed most about working at Expedia Group?

I believe that the core values and culture within the company is very grounded and this is what makes the company so great. The constant change and the opportunity to grow and develop has been very important to me. I like that I have the opportunity to put myself into new situations and keep developing. I love working with people and to see them grow in their role and grow into new roles.

What makes your team unique?

Within my team, there is such a great commitment and cooperativeness from everyone. The team travels a lot but we stay in contact during the weeks and check in with each other often. We cheer each other on when it’s going really well and support each other on the tougher days. I see the support and the great communication my team members have with each other when reaching out for help or support. We also have a great time together both at work and outside of work.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

Being that I am more of an introvert, I was a little bit stuck with this question… so I asked my husband. He said, “Raising two kids (one actual kid and one adult kid) while working full time”. Not the first thing that came to my mind, but we had a good laugh about it.

One of my greatest accomplishments came from when I was working at a hotel in Stockholm as a Sales and Marketing Manager. I accepted this role with some hesitation, not being convinced I would be able to do a great job. Imposter Syndrome definitely crept into my thoughts. Well, I decided to make it a mission to not only prove to myself that I could do this job but also do it excellently. When targets where given, I set up goals and steps for myself on how I was going to reach those targets.

After implementing short-term and long-term goals, I found myself consistently meeting or exceeding monthly and annual sales targets. I achieved sales growth in excess of market growth by at least four percentage points each year and I increased the number of room nights on corporate agreements by 12% during my first year with the hotel.

Who has influenced you the most?

I would say my husband who decided to not move on to be a partner at a big company but instead started as CFO for an e-commerce start-up company. Looking back on my career and the choices I have made for the last eight years, he has been very encouraging and supportive in my decisions. For many years, I was of the belief that you need to be 100% ready for a role and be able to know how to do that role. I remember when I applied for one specific job as a Sales and Marketing Manager that I doubted myself throughout the interview process. Even when I was offered the job, I wasn’t sure I was going to live up to the expectations of the company. But my husband believed in me and reminded me that I had the qualifications to learn and master this job. I took it, and as it turns out, I was really good at it! He has always pushed me a little bit outside my comfort zone and made me more comfortable with taking on new challenges.

How and where do you find inspiration?

This question really got me thinking. For me, finding inspiration is a continuous path. I don’t tend to search or look for inspiration, it’s just a part of my daily life. I find inspiration from different people, my family, podcasts, books, yoga, and meditation. This summer I read a lot of books and listened to podcasts. I think what is important when finding inspiration is having an open mind.

How did you learn to embrace failure?

I think we are wired to view a failure as something negative. Embracing failure does not come easy and I think it’s something you learn over the years. I grew up spending a lot of time in the stable with my horse and was very competitive from a young age, so I competed in show jumping. Being competitive, I went in with the mindset that I was going to win or at least do a flawless round. Did I win all the time and did I do it flawlessly? Of course not. I failed so many times both on training and in the competitions. I had a little bit of a temper as well and was not happy with my results all the time. I remember talking to my trainer and she said to me that failure is a stepping stone to success. If you learn to embrace the mistakes you make on the track and look at how you can be better, you will be successful. It took me a while to accept failure as something positive and to turn it around to something useful in my development.

This summer I listened to a podcast called Master of Scales where Reid Hoffman (Co-founder of LinkedIn) interviewed Barry Diller. In this interview, he said,

“If a person is not learning on the job, that means he simply can’t do his job”.

Failure is a part of learning and I believe that good things come from failure if you just acknowledge it and grow from it. I believe that failure teaches you things that nothing else can teach you.

What is your favorite piece of career advice?

If you don’t love what you are doing, leave it. We spend too much time at work and we do our best when we love what we are doing. Life is too short. Another advice is that sometimes we get blinded and caught up with needing or deserving a promotion/new title. I would say that they only way up on the career ladder might not be a step up, it might be a lateral move or even backward.

Tell us about your favorite vacation?

I’ve had a lot of great vacations over the years. The one that is really memorable is the one I made with my husband and friends to San Francisco and Sonoma Valley in California during the summer of 2011. We started in San Francisco for a couple of days doing some of the stuff you need to do as a first-time visitor (Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf and Golden Gate Park). Then we headed up to Sonoma Valley. We stayed at different vineyards during the first week in Sonoma and enjoyed great wine and food. One place that we really loved was Healdsburg. It became so memorable that we decided to get married there 2 years later.

What is your favorite weekend getaway?

Spending time with my family. Going to the countryside outside Stockholm to a place that has activities for kids, great food, and a spa. There are a lot of great options just a short drive from Stockholm.

Expedia Group’s Month of Giving: Changing people’s lives

Wan Nur Farihin Wan Rosli | Lodging Partner Associate II in Kula Lumpur, Malaysia

“Non nobis solum nati sumus.
(Not for ourselves alone are we born.)”
― Marcus Tullius Cicero

Nongovernmental organization called Positive Living Community (PLC).I have always believed that by simply helping others it can boost up your mood. I have also always believed that we are living – not just for ourselves but for others.

At Expedia Group, I have found the best platform to do exactly that. I have been on the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) committee for almost a year now and there is not a single day that I find mundane. From trying to promote conserving energy at the office to encouraging recycling, or even switching the snacks at the pantry from individual packaging to where we keep snacks in jars.

Last month, Expedia Group held the annual Month of Giving and Day of Caring. I would love to share how the CSR committee offered an opportunity for Expedians to spend their Sunday with elderly men living with HIV. They are being cared for by an amazing nongovernmental organization called Positive Living Community (PLC).

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Volunteering at a nongovernmental organization called Positive Living Community (PLC).It was inspiring to see a group of people who voluntarily run this place and care for this group of people who have been rejected by their families or have become displaced due to their illness. The thing that touched my heart the most was to see how all these men work together to maintain their houses by cleaning, cooking, looking after their backyard tea garden, and taking care of a small lake where they rear ducks and goats. We were informed that they sell the tea leaves in an effort to self-sustain their organization while the ducks and goats are there to cater food for themselves.

Volunteers smile for group photo with residentsAs an organization that has almost MYR 20, 000 monthly operational cost, PLC has been surviving only on voluntary donations and a small portion of profit from the health tea plant (Orthosiphon aristatus). I sensed a lot of love and sincerity from the residents, volunteers, and managers. Our group of 30 people from the Kuala Lumpur office came by a chartered bus and helped them by clearing out their tea garden for the day. We also went to visit a few of the houses where disabled residents were staying at and listened to their life stories. At the end of the day, the visit ended with a closing speech by the organization’s manager, Sabina Arokia. Sabina mentioned how we have helped a lot in clearing out their garden and how happy the residents were to have visitors who listened to their stories and interacted with them.

Volunteers pose for photo with sombrero hatsExpedia Group supports charity and volunteer work to help vulnerable groups, social movements, and/or environmental causes by matching our donations and volunteer hours. In one day, we were able to make a substantial difference, both in our volunteer hours and the money that Expedia Group donated to the organization. I am excited to see what our future plans in the CSR committee are to help this organization more!

sombrero hatAlthough a day seemed too short to be visiting this place, we returned to the office late that evening feeling satisfied and excited to do more with our lives. We hope that with our meager effort in helping and visiting them, we made a change in their lives.

In the end, it felt amazing to bring smiles to people’s face.

Three principles to apply in your professional journey

Adriana Segovia | Area Manager, LPS in Cancun, Mexico

Employees posing in front of MEXICO signOver my professional career, I have taken several professional development courses and received advice from many people but there’s nothing more important than these three fundamentals I have learned: 1) Be now the person you aspire to be, 2) Challenge the Status Quo, and 3) Own your Career.

Adriana Segovia posing with coworkersI have worked in the Travel industry for about 6 years before joining a group of entrepreneurs in one of the first Online Travel Agency (OTA) in Mexico. This adventure took me to be part of the founding team and the first female General Manager (GM) for PriceTravel.com, a Mexican Online Travel Agent specialized in Domestic Travelers.

Years later, I met Expedia. During the recruitment process, one of the recurring questions from my interviews was “Why would you move from being a GM with people management and projects responsibilities into an individual contributor role?” My response was always simple “I want to be part of Expedia”.

I joined Expedia Group as a Market Coordinator for the Mexico and Central America markets in the Cancun, Mexico office in 2006. Cancun had been the first office opened in Latin America in 2004. At the time, we had only 8 people handling the Latin America Region, including a Director, Market Managers and a Market Coordinator.  Since then, the LATAM team has grown to 16 offices in 8 countries (Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, DR, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico) and 157 market management members. In these 12 years, I’ve had roles in Mexico, Central America, and South America markets and relocated twice with my family.  As result of my performance, I have been awarded Latin America Market Coordinator of the Year in 2008, Market Manager of the Year in 2013, and Area Manager of the Year in 2016. My newest project is Area Manager of Regional Chains for Latin America Resorts and I love it!

Adriana Segovia posing with large group of employeesHere are the three principles I have applied during my career at Expedia Group. These fundamentals were instrumental in me receiving numerous awards and being promoted on four separate occasions:

1) Be now the person you aspire to be

  • Don’t wait to be promoted to take ownership. If there’s a role you’re interested in, ask your manager how you can start developing skills to prepare you for that role.
  • Do raise your hand and be proactive. Participate in projects and build best practices.
  • Don’t limit your network to your market or region. Surround yourself by great people.
  • Do the best version of you. Persevere and be a team player who is honest, respectful, humble, and positive. Work hard and have fun.

2) Challenge the Status Quo

  • Don’t assume all is correct and there is no room for improvement or change. Take risks.
  • Do raise the question for how a current process can be improved or executed faster.
  • Don’t be afraid to fail. Learn from your mistakes.
  • Do evolve, adapt, and embrace change. Don’t stay in the past.
  • Don’t accept “No” for an answer. Don’t let people tell you it’s not possible.

3) Own your Career

  • Don’t expect your manager to tell you what your development plan is. YOU control your professional and personal growth.
  • Do define where you want to be and how you plan to achieve it.
  • Do use many sources available to work on improving your competencies. For example, LinkedIn Learnings and Ted Ideas are great resources.

Adriana Segovia and coworkers in Halloween costumes. Expedia gives you the opportunity to keep learning all the time, which is why I love working here. Challenge yourself and you will amaze yourself with what you can accomplish. It’s contagious too! I am surrounded by super smart people with the best attitude, which brings out the best in me and could bring out the best in you too.

An Expat Living the Dream in Dallas Office

Joao Carlos Campos | Manager, Lodging Operations in Dallas, TX

Joao Carlos Campos smilingAfter a year and a half working for Expedia out of Sao Paulo office, I had the pleasure of being relocated to the US to work with the Dallas team. Other than getting used to a dishwasher and picking up a new favorite brand of soap and olive oil, I knew I would have way more new things ahead of me. Like a great friend told me once: it’s the pleasure of doing things for the first time. But I would never imagine what a type of experience that it would become.

One of Expedia Group’s Guiding Principles is to Be Open and Honest. Writing about being open and honest is not an easy task. My intent here would be to share how this principle helped me grow professionally and as a person.

As an expatriate, I needed to get used to new rules, new regulations, new ways of behavior, and new ways of communication. Learning was something that became part of my daily routine. In the office, I felt I was living in a side universe: new metrics, new concepts, new team, new colleagues. And again, I needed to learn. I realized that the best way to learn would be asking questions. Even when I did not want to sound stupid or naïve. I just needed to ask.

A few times I did not ask. A few times I wanted to show no vulnerability. And it was so wrong. I made mistakes with my team. I made mistakes with my boss. But what I did best was to accept, work on a fix, learn, and move on.

Being open and honest showed me that it’s okay not to know how a metric is calculated. It showed me that it’s okay not to know how a heater or A/C works. Being honest taught me that building trust it is hard but it cannot be done under a Superman cape. Being vulnerable just makes of you a better person and pushes you to live a real life, both in and out of work.

If you get that “I-have-no-idea-of-what-you-are-talking-about” look in your face while talking to your more experienced peers, let me tell you that it’s OKAY! Just ask what you need to. Do not pretend you know it all. With time, you see that this genuine behavior helps to build relationships.

At this point, I’m really thankful to the generous boss (and “grand-boss”) I have. I’m so thankful to the understanding team of associates I have. And also, very thankful to the great colleagues and friends I made since I started my new life.

My biggest and most legit advice: Be open. Be honest. Be transparent. It’s so worthy!!!

Celebrating Education in Tech: DojoCon 2018

Every year the CoderDojo community gathers for their global conference, DojoCon, and this year the event will take place in Kilkenny, Ireland. The CoderDojo foundation reviews bids submitted by clubs around the world and selects one of the clubs to host the conference. On behalf of her local club in Kilkenny, Expedia Group’s Margaret Ahearne put through a proposal and her submission was successful. She and the team in Kilkenny CoderDojo have spent the last 12 months planning a bumper weekend.

DojoCon 2018 is a celebration of education in tech and will have representation from over 14 different countries. On Saturday, October 20th delegates can sit and watch the main stage speakers, which will cover topics from virtual reality, game design, inclusion in tech, augmented reality, and women in STEM. Representing Expedia Group on the main stage will include Kristy Nicholas, who will be sitting on a Women in Tech panel. Nasreen AbdulJaleel and Connor Culleton will share the stage with Dr. Norah Patten, who is currently training to be Ireland’s first person in space, to discuss travel tech from global travel to outer space.

There are also 5 workshops covering design, creativity, coding, community inclusion, and robotics. Teachers and CoderDojo volunteers will leave the conference with the tools to educate and support their students.

From the get-go, it was non-negotiable to have 50% female representation of speakers and presenters, and the DojoCon team are proud to have lived up to this promise. Making technology accessible to all children was also a key, so having Nasreen and Connor representing the Expedia Group accessibility efforts was an ideal fit.

The conference will end with a hackathon on the Sunday for 7 – 17-year-olds.

Perfectly in line with what Expedia Group stands for, it was a no-brainer for us to get behind DojoCon and support the initiative as the main sponsor. Expedia Group is proud to have employees worldwide volunteering and mentoring in CoderDojo clubs.

The full DojoCon program can be viewed here.