Career Q&A with Luke Mocke, Co-Founder and CEO at Mentorli (#12)

The next Career Q&A is with Luke Mocke. Luke offers great insight into overcoming setbacks, why your job search is NOT a numbers game, the downside of the LinkedIn cafe (!!), and why he decided to start Mentorli.

Luke Mocke is a South African born entrepreneur. After years in the Bay Area at LinkedIn, he cofounded the #GetHired Summit to combat unemployment during the pandemic, and Mentorli to equal the playing field for underrepresented talent. Prior to his career in talent, Luke was a rugby player, winning 3 national championships with BYU and representing the United States as an All-American. He now lives with his family in Lehi and plays an integral part in the Silicon Slopes startup ecosystem. 

Was there an experience you had before age 21 that shaped who you are? What was it? 

After growing up in South Africa, I played a season of rugby in the US. I was 19 and up until that point hadn’t thought much about my future – certainly didn’t have big dreams or ambitions. Seeing how people lived here and how people from my community had come over and done incredible things opened my eyes to life’s possibilities and my potential. Also happened to meet my wife on that trip – fortunately punched way above my weight category with a strong foreign accent 😉 

How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a “favorite failure” of yours? 

I was lucky to play on a fantastic rugby team in college – we won the national championship for my first three seasons only losing one game. We were on track to do the same in my senior season and ended up losing in a gut wrenching final where Berkeley came from behind to snatch it. I was wrecked for weeks. Although I would still choose to win that game, I’m grateful for the humble pie I was dished. It helped me roll with the punches and step into my role at LinkedIn post-graduation with more meekness. I had a growth mindset that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. 

What’s a book that has influenced your career or life, and why? 

David & Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell. I was fascinated by his perspective of weakness and success.

What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the “real world”? What advice should they ignore? 

Anyone telling you your job search is a numbers game doesn’t know what they’re talking about. Run for the hills when you hear this – then decide what’s most important to you and look at opportunities with that lens. Go deep. 

If you could go back in time to when you were entering the workforce and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be? 

Don’t eat so much at the LinkedIn lunch buffet. 

Since entering the workforce, how have you changed or transformed? 

It was all about me at the beginning. I’ve realized that I’m most happy serving others so I’ve shifted my efforts to helping as many people as I can. It’s far more fulfilling and I believe this mindset breeds success too. If I’m not financially successful in the end, well hey – I’ve been able to help tons of people and that feels great! 

So what is Mentorli?

If you want to land a job at Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, or at a fast growing startup like Podium, Lucid, or Doordash, you NEED someone on the inside to refer you to open positions and champion you to hiring managers. Mentorli connects top diverse talent to employees that mentor, refer, and champion throughout the process. Backed by RevRoad and BUILD Impact Fund, Mentorli is pioneering the most effective methods to create an equal playing field in recruiting. 

Why did you decide to start a company?

From my great grandfather building a farm literally from nothing, to both my parents owning their own small businesses at various times while I was growing up – creating is just a part of me. It’s in my blood. A better question is why did I start THIS company. I started Mentorli because I care deeply about helping others improve their career. New worlds have been opened to me by way of my mentors so, knowing what I know now, I want to use my experience to level the playing field for folks looking for their next play. 

What habit or practice helps you manage stress? 

Stress never affected me negatively until I started a company. Then it came like a wave could never have expected. Planning nightly for the following day has helped me feel less overwhelmed about the day and being outside every day has been a game-changer. That seems crazy to say but I went through stages where I wouldn’t leave the house because I was working so much. Now, as a rule, I exercise every morning or take a walk outside every day – helps a ton! 

For more Career Q&As, click here, or you can check out my monthly newsletter and podcast.

10 LinkedIn Influencers That’ll Instantly Make Your News Feed Worth Looking At

For those who think LinkedIn is just a place to post your resume and send connection requests, think again. Pulse, the platform’s publishing hub, has turned into a place where influential thought leaders share their thoughts on various industries, the latest news, best hiring practices, and so much much more.

Yes, that means these heavy hitters, or Influencers, as they’re known on the platform, are doling out free advice to you—all you have to do is follow them. As an avid reader of Pulse, and an employee at LinkedIn, I’ve identified the top 10 Influencers to follow, based on what you’re hoping to learn.

1. If You’re Interested in Introverts, Follow Susan Cain

Susan Cain is the author of the New York Times’ bestselling book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. She argues that introverts aren’t as clearly understood or highly valued as they should be. She started her career in corporate law and consulting, and later decided to become a writer. Cain focuses her articles on introversion and how anyone can unlock the value that introverts bring to the workplace.

Click here to view the full article on The Muse.

 

LinkedIn, Microsoft, and the Never-Ending Need to Adapt

Two months ago I was invited to speak at a career conference in Provo, Utah. I was excited to return to my alma mater and teach career advisors how to help college students thrive in today’s workplace. I concluded my remarks with a quote that one of my undergraduate professors kept posted outside his door:

It is not the strongest that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.

I remember walking by his office, reading the quote, and wondering why he put it there. But a few months after graduation, when the company I joined declared bankruptcy and I was struggling to find work, I realized why my professor felt so strongly about the need to adapt.

Like many people in their career, I planned on one thing, but events outside of my control forced me to pivot. I think Mike Tyson said it best: “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”

On Monday I woke up to the announcement that LinkedIn had been acquired by Microsoft. Like many of my west coast colleagues, I heard the news through a flurry of text messages and emails. Experiencing a range of emotions, I couldn’t help but think back to the presentation I had recently given on the need to continually adapt. Now I had to practice what I preached.

Having had a few days to process what this all means for LinkedIn and our future, I am genuinely excited for the acquisition. Of course, having worked in M&A, I know that acquisitions are never easy—the devil is always in the details. But I’m optimistic about how this new partnership can help LinkedIn realize its vision of creating economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce.

Shortly after the deal announcement, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner addressed the company. After discussing the opportunities that lie ahead, he shared a story about Mike Krzyzewski (Coach K) of the Duke Blue Devils. In Jeff’s words:

“Every time (Duke) goes up and down the court and they complete a sequence, offense or defense, Coach K yells out the exact same thing, every time. He yells out “next play,” because he doesn’t want the team lingering too long on what just took place. He doesn’t want them celebrating that incredible alley-oop dunk, and he doesn’t want them lamenting the fact that the opposing team just stole the ball and had a fast break that led to an easy layup. You can take a moment to reflect on what just happened, and you probably should, but you shouldn’t linger too long on it…”

When change happens, we must be willing to adapt. We can’t dwell obsessively on what once was or what might have been. We must look forward.

The past is to be learned from, but not lived in.

Next play.

This post was originally published on LinkedIn.

 

How to Write a LinkedIn Article if You’re Not a Writer

Want to write for the same publication as Richard Branson, Jack Welch, and Arianna Huffington? Good news, you can.

LinkedIn launched its publishing platform in 2012 by inviting 150 of the most influential thought leaders to write original content. Today, all members can use Pulse to share their unique knowledge and professional insights with the 433+ million members who interact there.

At the same time that it’s exciting, it’s also a bit intimidating—especially for non-writers. While you might see the potential to strengthen your brand and build out your profile, you also want to go about it the right way. The last thing you want is for people to roll their eyes when they see the subject you chose or approach you took.

Well, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to write an effective article, even if writing’s not “your thing.”

Click here to view the full article on The Muse.

Five Ways the LinkedIn Internship Exceeded My Expectations

This article was originally published on LinkedIn. 

I recently hit the halfway point of my summer internship with LinkedIn and I’ve been reflecting on how the experience compared to my expectations.

The difficult part about making an internship decision is that regardless of the steps taken to learn about a company, it’s really difficult to gauge what a company is like until you actually get there. This is my first time working at a tech company, and although I had many LinkedIn employees telling me it was an awesome place to work, my experience at past companies has left me somewhat skeptical.

In short, I hoped for the best, but wondered how different it would be from prior companies. Thankfully, it’s been an awesome experience. Here are five ways interning at LinkedIn has surpassed my expectations.

Exposure to Executives

Despite having over 5,000 employees, LinkedIn still feels relatively small. Since joining I’ve been able to meet both our CEO (Jeff Weiner) and co-founder/chairman (Reid Hoffman). I’ve heard them speak on multiple occasions, and they are very approachable. Our head of Talent (HR), Pat Wadors, has made it a priority to get to know the interns and even took a selfie with us at our most recent All Hands meeting.

Needless to say, the executives don’t take themselves too seriously.

The Food

It’s amazing. I really don’t know what to say other than that. Having a central café brings people together and I get to meet new people and interact with colleagues outside of my workspace.

Passion for the Company

While on the subject of food, I’ve had lunch with a number of people throughout the company. When asked how they like working at LinkedIn, they inevitably respond enthusiastically saying that they love it here. The passion my co-workers have for LinkedIn makes it a really fun place to work. They seem genuinely happy and that happiness has become infectious.

Relationships

One of LinkedIn’s values is Relationships Matter, and I quickly learned that this isn’t some trite expression. The importance of relationships is visible in how my manager interacts with me, and how employees work with one another.

The campus recruiting team has put together a lot of cool activities to facilitate networking among the interns and we’ve quickly bonded as a group. Last week I was on my way out when I started chatting with a few of the other interns. We ended up talking for almost two hours.

While I’ve only been here a short time, I’ve built real relationships with great individuals.

Impact

LinkedIn is a fast growing company with a relatively flat org structure. Because of that, intern projects make an immediate impact. Last week I presented to nine HR leaders and shared a tool that I’ve been developing. I was told by the head of the group that my project is critical for the organization. There’s still a lot to be done over the next six weeks, but knowing that what I do has real value keeps me motivated to deliver quality work.

Most companies say they provide interns with big, meaty projects, and they probably do. I can only speak for LinkedIn and the impact I’m having at the company. I love it.

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