Bringing Your Authentic Self To Work: Meghan Prichard’s Job Search Success Story

Everyone’s job search story is different, but each individual story can inspire and empower others who are on their own unique path. We love to hear how our readers have found rewarding careers in Portland, and we want to share these stories with you to inspire you in your job search and to help us all better understand the local job market! In this Success Story, Meghan Prichard shares how to bring your authentic self to the application process, and to your future job. Meghan is the Marketing Strategist at Ride Report.

What do you do for a career? Who do you work for?

Up until my current job, I worked exclusively at and with nonprofit organizations doing digital marketing. I’ve written for and managed websites, social media accounts, SEO, email campaigns, and everything in between.

I still do all of that (and more), but now I’m at a mission-driven technology startup called Ride Report. We’re focused on making transportation better for all community members. 

How long did it take you to find this job?

I had been looking casually for a few months, but this job is the first one where I felt compelled to actually apply. 

How did you find your job? What resources did you use? What tool or tactic helped the most?

I attended my first PDX Women in Tech event in November and left feeling really empowered. It’s not something I normally would’ve gone to since I consider myself a marketing person and not a tech person. But I met so many generous people! A few weeks later, I was scrolling through the PDXWIT Slack channel when I came across the listing, which was posted by my current boss.

Reading the position description, which explicitly outlined the desired skill set and outcomes of the first few months of employment, spoke to the strategist in me. The culture they described in the open source employee guide — and throughout the interview process — spoke to the advocate in me. The fit just felt right; I relied heavily on my gut feeling during this process. 

What was the most difficult part of your job search? How did you overcome this challenge?

I’ve become increasingly frustrated by places that advertise their transparency and equity efforts while continuing to list salaries as “based on experience.” There is adequate evidence that not listing salaries perpetuates inequality. I wanted to see transparency from the start, so I decided not to apply for any of those roles, which definitely reduced my options. I also recognize the privilege inherent in being picky. 

What is the single best piece of advice you would offer other job-seekers?

If you want to be able to bring your authentic self to your work, bring it to your application process, too. For a long time I had a cupcake on my resume because I was also a baker, which was a fun icebreaker for potential employers. During my interview at Ride Report, I shared a silly childhood photo of myself that I had captioned “#1 girl of the world.” 10-year-old Meghan ended up sealing the deal for adult Meghan.

Why do you love your job?

I love my job because I get to contribute to a reimagining of public spaces that are more sustainable, efficient, and people-friendly. Given the state of the world, it’s exciting to channel my energy into something that’s actionable and important. I also feel appreciated and supported as both an employee and a person with a life outside of work.