Ever wonder what it’d be like to ditch your day job and live on a tropical island? A recruiter for the wireless tech giant Qualcomm, Jacky Goodwin did just that when she moved to Guam for two years with her boyfriend. While she was there, she traveled all over Asia, taught English in Cambodia, and started competing in—and winning—triathlons. Today, she’s back at Qualcomm’s San Diego headquarters finding the engineers who make our smartphones do crazy-cool things and, on the side, whipping her friends into top shape with her boot camp classes. Here, she shares must-read tips for landing your next job, how to find volunteer opportunities, and what she learned from her island time.
Tell us about what you do at Qualcomm.
I recruit engineers from all over the world. Currently, I support Qualcomm’s Raleigh office, which is the home of Snapdragon. If you’re not a techie, Snapdragon is a processor—chances are it’s running your phone.
You must see a lot of resumes. Can you share any tips for looking good on paper?
Don’t overcomplicate it. Your resume should be concise, relevant, and easy to read, meaning I can find everything I need to know about you in relation to the job in 15 seconds or less. If you are not on LinkedIn, stop reading this and go create a profile! Even if you’re not looking to make a change right now, it’s important to maintain a strong professional network. You never know—there could be a recruiter with your dream job searching for you right now. Know the buzzwords in your industry, and make sure that they are included on your resume and LinkedIn profile in a relevant way; this will increase your chances of getting picked up in a keyword search. Also, don’t be afraid to show a little bit of who you are in your personal life. I’ve interviewed two adult men in the last few weeks who listed Legos as an interest on their resumes. Just make sure your affection for Legos comes after your ability to perform the basic job requirements.
You took two years off work to live on an island. What’s something you learned from your time away from a desk?
My boyfriend and I moved to Guam so that we could use it as a home base to travel throughout the Pacific and Southeast Asia. He got a job there, and I planned to take a couple years off of work—what fun! I assumed my life would be perfect the moment I shut my computer down and landed on the tropical runway, but it took me a long time to adjust to my new routine—or lack thereof. Since I wasn’t working, I felt like I had no excuse for not working out everyday, reading all of the books I’d never had time for, or finally learning how to use my DSLR camera. I actually had moments between trips to Vietnam and Thailand where I looked at other people’s Instagram lives and was jealous of whatever fun activity they were doing. It took some time, but I finally fell into a routine and stopped beating myself up for staying the same old me, albeit unemployed and on a beautiful island. I’m grateful for the time that I had off, and I’m also grateful that I was able to return to a job that I have a new appreciation for. In short, I learned to appreciate the day to day, whatever that day looks like.
During that time, you spent a month in Cambodia teaching English, and you’ve also worked at an orphanage in Africa. What advice do you have for someone who’s interested in volunteering but doesn’t know where to start?
First things first, define your passion. Decide what type of organizations or causes are closest to your heart, then start doing your research. The first time I volunteered abroad, I went through a volunteer organization. It was an organized and smooth process, but it was also very expensive. Today, I recommend using social media to network with people and find opportunities. Post on Facebook, “I love animals and really want to get involved!” You probably already have a few friends who walk dogs at the SPCA and will help you get started.
Switching gears here, you’re a triathlete, and I can vouch from personal experience that you teach a mean boot camp class. What’s your workout routine like?
I try to run at least twice a week and then mix it up the rest of the time. I also have a few friends who are kind enough to let me boss them around in a boot camp class a couple of times a week. I have a short attention span, so I like to subject them to circuit workouts. My favorite circuits involve a tough cardio portion, like running hills or stairs, with rounds of exercises in between targeting a specific muscle group. Since I’ve been back in San Diego, I think I’ve purchased every gym deal on Groupon or LivingSocial. Trying new gyms gives me great ideas for things to do on my own.
When you’re not in workout gear, what are you wearing?
Lululemon doesn’t count exclusively as workout gear, right? My Wunder Unders and Lulu tanks work triple overtime at all occasions that do not require an actual outfit. If I do have to dress up, my go-to store is Anthropologie. I can always find something there that’s comfortable, feminine, and just slightly edgy. I’m also very partial to whatever my friends are wearing. I’m completely shameless about asking where you got your top, then showing up in it the following weekend.
You’ve mastered the effortlessly wavy mane. What’s your secret?
I promise you, it’s not effortless. When I wake up in the morning, my boyfriend loves to ask me when the “Lion King on Ice” tryouts are on account of my frizzy, lioness mane. A good friend introduced me to the Sultra Bombshell Curling Iron in November, and my locks are forever changed. And by forever, I mean one to two times per week when they’re not in a disheveled bun.
Last question: If you could only keep one pair of shoes in your closet, which would you chose and why?
I am tempted to pick one of my more stylish shoes, likely purchased after eyeing them on a friend, but it would feel like a betrayal to my Rainbows. I live in San Diego and work at a casual tech company; it’s rare that I find occasion to wear anything but flip flops.