Nathan Tanner
January 2018

Back in 2011, I was an investment banking analyst living and working in San Francisco. I worked 80+ hours a week building financial models and creating pitch books for tech companies looking to raise capital or make an acquisition. I was extremely busy and learning at an insane pace. 

That all changed one day when several senior bankers were laid off. As a result, my workload was drastically reduced. During this lull, I joined a meeting with a venture capital firm that had recently invested in Bleacher Report, a publishing platform that allowed sports fans to write articles.

Despite having literally no writing experience, I decided to give it a try. I wasn't fully engaged at work and wanted to try something new. A few days after submitting a sample article about how the Angels would win the World Series that year (I know, total homer...), I got an email notifying me that my application had been accepted.  

That piece, though far from exceptional in retrospect, was the first time I'd ever been published. I went on to write 50+ articles, several of which went viral. Eventually, work got busy again and the satisfaction of writing was overcome by competing priorities.   

I started this newsletter a year and a half ago. At the time I was working at LinkedIn and was spending a decent chunk of time outside of work both speaking and writing about how to successfully launch a career. The goal of the monthly email was to share the best career-related books and articles. While that has always been true, if I'm being completely honest with myself, I also started the newsletter out of boredom. I liked my day job, but I wasn't being pushed as hard as I wanted. Much like when I wrote for Bleacher Report, I was coming home from work with the feeling that my creativity wasn't being fully utilized. 

That all changed about a year ago when I was hired to build out the people team at DoorDash, a food delivery company that now operates in more than 55 major cities. There were 290 employees when I joined and we have 600+ today. We're in hyper-growth mode and I love the work I do. I'm regularly doing things I haven't done before. Every day is a new challenge because the needs of our company evolve as we scale. I'm continually stretched beyond my limits. 

Regular readers of the newsletter may have noticed a gradual change over the last few months. More non-career books have been included and I don't write as many articles as I used to. To be candid, this newsletter in its current format has become less interesting to me. While I don't plan to shut it down, there will likely be some tweaks. I’m not entirely sure what it will look like going forward, but I hope we find a format that is interesting for me to write and engaging for you to read. I welcome any feedback you have. We'll see how this goes.


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