How I Went From Firefighting to Business Development

Our mission here at The Muse is simple: to help you find your dream job. So, there’s nothing we love more than hearing about it when you do!

Today, we chatted with Alex Lin, who successfully made a career shift into the startup world. Not only did he land the job by doing extensive research on the industry, but he found a place where he feels valued, appreciated, and comfortable talking to anyone at the company.

Read below to learn more about his story, then check out Rainforest QA’s offices and see how you can land a great new gig of your own.

Tell us about yourself!

I recently made the decision to make a career change after seven years as a firefighter and paramedic to the startup tech industry. I wanted to see what the hype was all about, so I decided to pack up my truck (shout out to Big Bertha!) and move up to San Francisco. I’m grateful and excited to be joining Rainforest QA!

What does your role entail as a business development representative?

My role is to be the first contact and face of Rainforest to other companies. As a startup with a new way of doing QA, our job is to also educate the market by showing them the value in using our product.

What were you looking for in a job?

I was looking for a startup company with a great product and an awesome company culture. Luckily, Rainforest QA has both!

What’s your favorite part so far about working at Rainforest QA?

My favorite part is the team environment and open collaboration. For example, I can (and do) regularly walk up to our founders and executive team to ask them any questions I may have. I also appreciate the fact that my work is contributing to the overall success of Rainforest. Another thing I love is that our values aren’t written on a random wall in the office, but they’re lived by everyone here every day. We have three: No B.S., Always Be Caring, and Be Weirdly Passionate.

Is there anything in particular you did during your application process that you think helped you stand out and land the job?

I did extensive research during my job search that included studying the QA industry, competitors, and customers, as well as the people working at Rainforest. I used LinkedIn to connect with people in the tech industry and Rainforest’s website to get a better perspective of the job and the industry as a whole. Coming from a completely different field, I knew I needed to go above and beyond to try to understand the tech space as much as I could before applying.

Learn More About Working at Rainforest QA


What advice would you have for someone who wants a job like yours?

Network! Read and study every article or blog post you can find on being a business development representative or sales development representative. Have a clear understanding of the expectations, and do whatever it takes to meet and exceed those expectations.

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About Richard Moy

Richard Moy
Richard Moy is a Content Marketing Writer at Stack Overflow. He has spent the majority of his career in talent management, including a stint as a full-cycle recruiter and hiring manager. In addition to the career advice he contributes to The Muse, he also writes test prep and higher education marketing content for The Economist. Say hi on Twitter @rich_moy.

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