Summary of The Secrets to Designing a Curiosity-Driven Career

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The Secrets to Designing a Curiosity-Driven Career summary
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  • Applicable
  • Engaging
  • Inspiring


Do you see your career as a painting, or a ladder? If you ask Zainab Ghadiyali, product lead at Airbnb, she’ll encourage you to pick up the paintbrush and get to work covering your canvas. Envisioning your career as a painting allows you to seek “omnidirectional growth,” ultimately providing a broader foundation for eventual vertical climbing. She also recommends letting curiosity be your guide to better – albeit less conventional – career decisions. While most interviews with Silicon Valley successes are crawling over themselves to be “inspirational,” Ghadiyali’s story and advice can actually lay claim to the title.

About the Author

First Round Capital is a Philadelphia, PA venture capital firm that specializes in seed-stage funding for technology firms.



Like most hungry grad school students, Zainab Ghadiyali was on the lookout for campus events that promised free food. So, when she stumbled into a hackathon sponsored by Facebook, the plan was to duck in, get a plate of Chinese food, then duck out before getting noticed, thus adding some variety to her extant all-pizza diet. But her plan backfired when a Facebook recruiter asked which team she belonged to. Sheepishly, Ghadiyali took the only open seat, which happened to be at the table containing the team who would eventually win. She knew nothing about coding, but was still offered the same reward that all the winning team members enjoyed: an interview with...

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