Troy Kyles – Career Development Mentor

From Classroom to Crafting Careers: Introducing Troy Kyles, a Career Development Mentor at Pathrise and an expert in career development hailing from the intersections of education, counseling, technology accessibility, and strategic networking.

In this week’s remote worker spotlight, we had the chance to speak to Troy Kyles’ about his remarkable remote work journey. Spanning roles as an educator, counselor, tech access provider, and a unique talent for “connecting the dots”, Troys stands as a beacon for those looking to shape and enhance their careers in our modern landscape.

Join us as we uncover Troy Kyles’ perspectives on the evolution of career development, the power of education and technology, and the vital role of strategic connections in today’s professional world. Get ready to be enlightened and armed with tools and insights that can significantly shape your own career journey, drawing from Troy’s multifaceted experiences.

Hi Troy, can you describe your remote work experience, including the types of roles you’ve held and the industries you’ve worked in?

My first remote experience was in the education sector, where I served as a College Success Instructor for over 20 gifted high school students of color. This role primarily involved facilitating a college success curriculum, leading the use of Figma for collaborative projects, and creating and maintaining a space for social justice dialogues. I also spent a brief period as an admissions manager in the higher education sector, handling cold calls and managing the pipeline of prospective MBA students. After offering direct services remotely, I transitioned to the Tech Bootcamp industry. I took on the role of Community Engagement Manager, researching and forging sustainable relationships with stakeholders, community organizers, and leaders in target markets to enhance brand awareness and support campus expansion. At present, I work as a Career Development Mentor for Pathrise, a career accelerator aiming to assist tech job seekers. My role focuses on multiple fields in tech, such as marketing, tech sales, data science, cybersecurity, and product management. I support our fellows through various career development activities and collaborate with a diverse, cross-functional team of tech leaders to ensure their success.

What strategies do you use to ensure clear and efficient communication with your colleagues, especially when there are time zone differences?

To maintain clear and efficient communication, I rely on several widely-adopted tools. A meticulously organized and color-coded calendar is fundamental for the many career coaching sessions I handle. Slack is our primary communication platform, where highlighting essential channels and updating my status is crucial. I also employ Asana and JIRA for project management and application troubleshooting.

As a remote worker and career mentor, how do you provide guidance and mentorship in a virtual environment?

I use Google Meet to conduct bi-weekly sessions with the 50+ fellows I mentor. We cover topics like job search strategies, delve deep into interview best practices, and tap into a broad network of tech professionals, all of whom offer various support levels.

Could you share a success story about how you have helped a mentee navigate their career development while working remotely?

I once mentored a fellow who epitomized confidence and consistency. Despite facing several setbacks, especially during final interview rounds, she consistently showed receptiveness to my coaching. Leveraging sessions with Application Specialists and Mock Interview Preparation, she refined her skills. A week before her fellowship’s conclusion, she secured an offer as a Digital Marketing Manager with a $140K annual salary, a $12K signing bonus, unlimited PTO, and Stock Appreciation Rights. Strategies that were particularly effective included reflecting on company/culture fit, emphasizing her portfolio of past work, maintaining open communication, and sourcing roles based on our discussions.

What is both fun and challenging about working remotely for you?

The delightful aspect of remote work for me is the chance to embody the digital nomad lifestyle—working not just from home but also other locations like coffee shops. The unlimited PTO I receive grants me immense flexibility. Conversely, the challenges include handling back-to-back sessions, team meetings, and taking on new training initiatives. I’ve structured my week to work in sprints, dedicating four days to fellow-facing activities and reserving Fridays for deep work and administrative tasks.

Lastly, what advice would you give to remote workers grappling with work-life balance and delineating boundaries between work and personal life?

It’s vital to prioritize yourself in the same way you prioritize clients or tasks. The common misconception is that remote work means lesser work. From my experience as a 10-year educator, I’ve found that I work more remotely due to the ease of access to my work. Structuring your week can be invaluable. For instance, I keep Mondays light, Tuesdays to Thursdays for the bulk of my work, and Fridays for tying up loose ends. Dedicate 30 minutes every Sunday to plan for the week ahead. Incorporate physical activity into your daily routine, and lean on your colleagues for support. Staying connected is paramount to offset the occasional feelings of isolation inherent to remote work.

Thank you Troy!

You can reach out to Troy Kyles via LinkedIn