• Ken Jee

From Warehouse Worker to Data Analyst (Sergio Ramos) - KNN Ep. 86

Updated: Feb 22


Sergio Ramos is a self-taught data analyst from Fort Worth Texas. Coming from a background of blue-collar construction and warehouse work, Sergio was fired at the beginning of the COVID pandemic and taught himself all of the prerequisite skills to become a data analyst from home with the help of his mentor In his spare time, Sergio enjoys reading non-fiction and listening to podcasts as well as strength training and boxing.


 

Transcription:


[00:00:00] Sergio: And once I got six months of SQL experience in a hot market like this, I suddenly became very, very, what is it very competent and very necessary and perfectly like exactly what people needed for data analyst roles that I wasn't ready for six months before that, which I thought was hilarious.

[00:00:26] Ken: This episode of Ken's Nearest Neighbors is powered by Z by HP. HP's high compute workstation-grade line of products and solutions. Today, I had the pleasure of interviewing Sergio Ramos. Sergio is a self-taught data analyst from Fort Worth, Texas coming from a background of blue collar construction and warehouse work, Sergio was fired at the beginning of the COVID pandemic, and he taught himself all of the prerequisite skills to become a data analyst from home, with the help of his mentor. In his spare time, Sergio enjoys reading nonfiction and listening to podcasts, as well as strength, training and boxing. In this episode, Sergio highlights how he made his impressive transition into a data analyst role from being a warehouse worker.

We also talk about how some of his life experience and more traditional blue collar jobs taught him awesome lessons that makes him better at his current technical. This was an eye opening interview for me, and I'm really glad I could share it with you. Sergio, thank you so much for coming on the Ken's Nearest Neighbors Podcast. I got introduced to you through Alex The Analyst who shared about your incredible story on LinkedIn. So for those that don't know, correct me if I'm wrong, you're working as a warehouse worker and now you've transitioned into a data analyst role. That to me is so cool.

[00:01:37] Sergio: Yeah, that's right, man. Well, thank you first of all, for having me on. I really appreciate the opportunity to come and hang out with you, man. Yeah, I was working at a warehouse before COVID hit. I had been there almost three years at that time and I was kind of doing like everything, like receiving inventory, shipping it helping out on the front counter.

I mean, like end to end. I kind of knew that place inside and out, and then as soon as COVID hit frankly, there were two of us that were pretty interchangeable, and so I was the one that was interchanged out. And so you know, that, that led me to start to try to get into data man, after a few months, I while I was there, actually I had taken a course on Google Sheets and I was really into it.

Mainly because somebody was trying to charge me a whole lot of money to do something on Google Sheet, on Excel for me. And I was like, there's no way you turned them in 20 bucks last year. It's not always a hundred dollars this year. You can't be doing anything that complicated, you know? And so I was like, you know what, I'll just take a whole course on it rather than get, this is how, you know, I'm like a child of immigrants because rather than get hustled, I was like, you know what.

I'm going to commit to taking a whole course on Excel, Google Sheets, just so you can't charge me $80 more than this is worth. And that's how I got into it. And I was like, wow, I really enjoyed that. I'd built a couple of cool things in there, like to track personal expenses and stuff. I really liked it. I really liked the nature of data where it's like, it's this record of like facts.

It's not, you don't have to rely on your memory. It's like, this is what it is. And so I knew, I liked that. I knew I didn't want to go back to. And I knew how much money I had saved and I knew how long that would buy me in time and send him home this time I had. And I was like, look, man, like with the time I have left, I need to try to find something really.

It was four boxes before I knew like what data analytics was. It was like, can I work with my head and not my. And I work from home. Can I make more per hour? Because mostly like everybody I know, right? The mentality is like work more hours. That's how you get ahead type, work yourself like silly and truth is if you're making $40 an hour, you make them, you know, rather than you can make as much in 40 hours or something.

For half an 80 hours. Right. So how can I make more an hour? And they're not harder, right? Exactly. Like some nine to five from home, make more an hour and get out of working with my hands. That was like the, I was like, if I could find something that checks those four boxes, I'm golden. And if it can involve something that is the, I didn't know what it was.

So like, if I can involve something, that's like kind of like spreadsheets that I kinda already like, and I'm interested in and it'll be engaging for me. And I won't have to hate my job. I was like, as long as I don't hate it, I'm happy. I don't have to love it. As long as it checks those four boxes and I don't absolutely hate it and load it.

That's what I need to do. And so I started just like Googling around and that's how I run into Alex The Analyst cause he has all those videos on YouTube. I was watching his like, what is a data analyst? I try to find every iteration of what is a data analyst video that he had. Cause it doesn't make any sense at first, like you don't, it's so abstract, you have to really like do it.

I was like, okay. Yeah, that makes sense. But like what do you actually do? Like when you sit down in the morning, like, what are you. And I just decided to start taking some courses and I was like, I'm either going to hit a wall or I'm going to get good enough to get a job somewhere. Like I'm either going to hit a wall.

I'm like, oh my God, I hate this. Or I suck at this or I'm going to like, get good enough. I'm like, oh, I kind of go onto the next step and start applying for jobs. And then I never hit the wall. I just kept going.

[00:04:53] Ken: I love that way of looking at it. It's like, you know, it takes this really complex idea of: Hey, I'm learning this new field and it, and it makes it concrete to yourself.

It's like, Hey, I'm either going to learn this or I'm not going to learn it. And if I don't learn it, we'll figure out what to do then, but I might as well immerse myself in it and see how far I can take it. And I really also like your first exposure to data, right. To me, that's, that's awesome that you, you described, you're doing this for your personal finance data, right.

Or, looking at expenses that's like a really tangible way to get started. Right? Like that's a really easy way to understand. Hey, data and this circumstance creates value for me. And I think more people should start with our own data. Right? Like, you care about your own data or you should care about your own data.

Like, I care if I have a, if I saved enough EAs each month to like treat myself or to put an investment so I can buy a house or whatever it is. Right. Like, those are really relevant to all of us. And I like how everything that you did was tied to something very concrete. It's like, okay, well, I want to. I want to like, not have to work with my hands.

Right. Okay. This is the path. Like these are the things that I can do to get to that outcome. So I'm really, really excited about, about that idea. That something you've described to me before is that you're a student of YouTube university. Can you, can you explain a little bit more what that, what that means and, and how you went about learning all of these?

[00:06:24] Sergio: Yeah. I, I like completely sucked at school. I was like terrible at it. I got maybe through like grade school, I'm like, okay. And then like getting into middle high school. I just like did terrible. But I always like liked learning. I just was more of a self-directed learner. Maybe I like to know why I was doing what I was doing.

I'm really big on why in school. Wasn't really big on telling you why other than where we're in charge. So that's why and so I. When I started getting into this self self-teaching was, that's why it was the most appealing to me rather than going anywhere else. And yeah, I, it there's so much information on the internet, like part of why I like get out and try to like say w how I did everything was because I got to see people like Alex who explained exactly what it is and how to do it for like completely free and a lot of information on YouTube.

That's why I say it's a university, because a lot of the supplemental learning I did along the way was like crash course series on computer science and machine learning. And Socratic guy has a really good one on SQL. You know, taking courses online, but I was supplementing it with completely free information.

Even earlier today, I was watching videos about like data engineering and what kind of people might be right for that kind of field and what you do day to day. There's this? I think the internet is like giving me such an opportunity to like progress because otherwise I might have not like, I think to myself, if I had been trying to do something like this, whatever the whatever the version of this would have been pre-internet I don't know if I would have been able to.

Because this is the way that it's made so much information, so freely available as like just, it blows my mind everyday. I'm like, I really could just pick up this little device and like Google anything and it's right there instantly for free, you know? So I, I like really highly valued internet. I think I'm like super fortunate to be alive in this time.

And excited if I can give anything back to it, to anybody who like I might resonate with in some way, who can, who can. See themselves in me a little bit and say, oh, okay. Like this dude speaking my language. This is how he went about it. This is how I can go about it.

[00:08:29] Ken: Well, to me, that is just so powerful.

The way I look at the internet, the way I look at learning data analytics, data science, is that all the information is. All right. All of it is there very likely for free on the internet. You just have to go find it and organize it. Do whatever it is. That's all in online courses is that someone has curated the information, put it into something structured and made it accessible to you.

I mean, I probably paid a lot more money than I should have for the advanced degrees that I have. Right. And I know for a fact that everything that I learned is on the internet for free. I will say that I have over time developed. Like, an understanding of school on how it works. And I look at it like a game and I was able to play that game really well and it served me well.

But do I think I needed any of that to learn the skills that I've developed? Absolutely not. And I think that that's a really like a huge paradigm shift for a lot of people. I hear everyone saying, oh, you need XYZ degree to do all of these things. And in the future, and even now for the most. If you can show that you have the skills to do these things, they don't care how you learn them.

They care how good you are going to be at the job that they're paying you money to do. Or like, I would almost always have someone who does not have a college degree and can do the work that I'm asking them to do at a very high level. Then to have someone who has all the degrees in the world and like, they just can't get the work done.

Right. Like if we're thinking about efficiency, Right,

[00:10:06] Sergio: Right. No, exactly. And I think that, like, it just, it's just getting past folks who maybe. Are in a position to, to, to bring you in the door, but are more of like checking the box and they don't understand how to work with people who don't exactly check the box in the traditional way.

Right? Because the degree is a very safe thing that you can point at and say, well, we hired him because he had this qualification, this degree, otherwise you're just saying, Oh, well we hired him. Cause he thought he was good. He didn't turn out good, but that's on you. Right. But when you, when, when you, when you play it safe and check a box, that's how you ended up in a situation where people are.

They're looking for a degree that yeah, like you said, it's not exactly necessary. And that, that was another again, went back to like, not liking to get hustled. I was like, well, do I need this much money? What I need to learn? Do I need two years and thousands of dollars or four years and thousands of dollars, or can I figure it out?

And like what I've even, and I've invested quite a bit, right? Cause like mentoring and courses. But even with that, it does, it's like nothing compared to what I would have spent on a degree and back to like being a child of immigrant parents for cheap.

[00:11:09] Ken: No, I think that that's a really important thing. And so something that sort of leads me to is how do you get around to checking the boxes? And like, how did you land your first job? Like what, what, in, in the analytics space, what did that look like for you? What was that process like?

[00:11:24] Sergio: Yeah, no. So after I had kind of gotten all the, all the courses out of the way and stuff like that I started learning how to reach out to recruiters.

So I made a LinkedIn and literally I Googled. Because Alex is like talk to recruiters talk and honestly, what does that mean? I think I asked her what exactly does that mean, dude? He's like, just call him. And so I...

[00:11:47] Ken: That's such an Alex answer.

[00:11:49] Sergio: And so I, I went on like Google Maps and I'm here. I'm in Texas and DFW and I looked for like every tech recruiter. IT recruiter, all that, all the different mixes of words that could mean the same thing. And like every office with like in the DFW, I called them up cold called them and tried to talk my way into getting a recruiter on the phone.

And so usually they'd given me some BS, like, oh, check our website. Sometimes it wouldn't answer a lot of the time they wouldn't answer. But eventually after you call enough of them, you start to get some emails and some people who are willing to Help you out. And so I would get all their emails. I would follow up with them every week.

I also went on americanstaffing.net and did the same thing. I called the same place as a couple of times on accident sometimes. And those were funny to try to get out of it's like, Oh, okay, I talked to you already. And I would just follow up every week. Hey, do you have anything new? Do you have anything?

I got to be very direct. I mean, like I'm looking for ideally, I'd like to become, you know, in junior data analyst, and I wanted like every possible person who listened to me to know that that was exactly what I was looking for and working towards. And I want it to bother them all the time. So it'd be top of mind for them.

Like I think when they thought of like, when they got this. I wanted like that annoying dude who emails them every week to be like at the top of their mind. And the first role I got was actually called an application support analyst. And that has been renamed now to engineers, something, something, something, or other, and basically it was working with SQL to access SAS data, like for the customers of a SAS company.

And you would access kind of how they configured things and what they did and when and how they messed it up or how the software was bugging out and up. But the way that I got, I had a really amazing recruiter for that gig. And she kind of helped me tie in previous experience because previous to that I'd worked in fast food.

Like I mentioned, the warehouse, I did I interfaced with customers like in almost every job I've ever had. So I had a lot of customer service experience, which was also kind of the other half of this role because you're handling support tickets. And so they said, Hey, this guy is teaching himself. He knows enough SQL.

And he has tons of customer support experience. And they just needed people, you know? And so leveraging all of that, they kind of let me in the door there. And once I got six months of SQL experience in a hot market like this, I suddenly became very, very what is it? Very competent and very necessary and perfectly.

Exactly what people needed for data analyst roles that I wasn't ready for six months before that, which I thought was hilarious.

[00:14:30] Ken: Well, I love that entire story. So something to me that that really stands out is the approach that you took to getting on people's radar was just different than what everyone else was doing.

Like you ask a hundred data analysts, how they went outreaching to recruit. I would bet maybe one or two of them called them, like actually on the phone, right. Almost everyone reach out like damn email, whatever it might be, but changing the media and being the only one in a certain medium makes you stand out.

And I think that that's unbelievably important. In addition to that, I apologize if there's some like noise in the background, but in addition to that, I think it's fascinating how, you know, you were able to pick up so many, you know, like so much credibility in a short period of time by just having that experience like landing that first job.

If you get in the door anywhere, if you're called a data analyst or called a data scientist, the next job you get. You have that social proof, someone has already vetted you. Right? And so you don't need to, to like go through all of the same things that you did to get the first one. The first one is always going to be the hardest, the proximate ones you have, that you have that on your resume, you have that attached to your name already.

And they're like I say this for data scientists. If you land a data science role, the first one. No one ever again asks you about, if you have a master's degree, right? Like it's, it's irrelevant because you have data scientists on your, on your resume. And then the last thing which I think is really cool is you're able to talk about how in your previous roles, technically like blue collar roles, there were transferable skills that made you valuable in this new role that was significantly more technical. I don't think any work experience that we have is wasted. Like there's something we can learn from it. There's something that we can take from that and apply it to whatever we're working on now. And people really need to do a better job, or at least think about that.

Like, Hey, even though this work that I'm doing seems completely unrelated to what I'm doing now, there has to be something in there that is going to be compelling or, or can add to this experience. Something that I would ask of you. And I'm curious about. From your experience working again, more traditional, like blue collar work to more hands-on technical work.

What were some of those transferable skills? What were those experiences that you might have because of working in those domains that other people in more technical, more traditional technical pathways don't have.

[00:17:04] Sergio: Sure. Yeah. I wanted to add really quick France also to the last point. Another thing that really helped with the first role was that.

It doesn't, you know, I call it like making your own experience. I like plenty of people that said some version of the same thing, which was. Every, like I made my job a lot more about SQL than it needed to be in my first role explicitly on purpose, because this is a transferable skill. And I was taking on any data analyst S project.

If someone needed some kind of data extract, even if it was really simple, I was always trying to take those on. And that way I could showcase that in the interview for the actual data analyst role, I can be like, well, I've actually worked on data analyst projects. So it was like whether or not people, and that was whether or not they were giving me those opportunities.

If I was seeing those tickets, I was taking them first and asking questions later, you know? And I was like, I always try to encourage people to do that as far as like blue collar experiences. I think there's two things that jumped to mind, which is so when I was in high school, I got a truancy ticket and for not going to class.

And my old man goes, Hey man, I didn't skip the classes you did. Here's a lawnmower. Go figure it out basically. And so I used to go door to door, mowing lawns, and I did it for like a couple of years. Cause I wasn't old enough to get an actual job yet. And I, and I did it like I would do it all afternoon after your class.

Cause I didn't do crap in school anyway. I wasn't doing any homework, so I'd go door to door and I didn't realize like how much I got used to. Like I'm pretty introverted. I didn't realize how used to. Bringing out the extroverted side of me or getting my, putting myself out there. I got until I got kind of into like the corporate world where I realized most people aren't do.

At least the ones I've encountered a lot of them. Aren't that way. Aren't willing to sell themselves or can't really put themselves out there and like, Hey man, like. You know, once you go door to door enough, it starts to become a game. Right. Cause you're like, how many nodes do I have before I get to my yes.

Or like, I used to look at it as like, there's a bag of money somewhere in this neighborhood. Like I just have to go find it. And once you, once you've been able to like, make that mental shift to be able to like embrace rejection, it like really has served me In trying to break into like the corporate world or like in Ditech or whatever.

And the other thing I would say is like, the warehouse was a smaller company, so I got a lot of exposure to kind of like the whole beast. You know what I mean? I got to kind of understand how it all worked. I got to, I was there for the dude sold like half of it while I was there. And that was his thing.

He like builds and sells and runs out the non-compete. And that kind of. Perspective has been really helpful because I, I have more kind of business oriented, I guess knowledge or, you know, firsthand experience of like seeing how the things work. Now that I'm in kind of like a smaller part of a way larger beast, if that makes sense.

[00:19:54] Ken: No. Well, I think something you said that I want to touch on the first thing you said there, like that getting used to that rejection, right? Looking at it as a positive thing, it just means you're closer to your. I think that that's something so many people get discouraged with, especially in applying for data science roles.

I don't know the exact number for data analyst roles, but the probability that you land a job, it might even be just landed an interview from a cold apply through one of these job platforms is like 2%, two and a half percent extremely low, right? If you're, you know, you believe you're a qualified data scientist, you're applying to all these things.

That rate, you're getting a lot of rejections. You're getting like 49 rejections to every one interview requests that you get that can be unbelievably discouraging for people. But if people kind of paradigm shift that and have a benchmark and they say, Hey, it's either I'm going to get one of these jobs if I keep applying.

Right. Or it's that, you know, I'm actually getting 3% interview requests rather than 2%. That's actually. Comparatively, like compared to the baseline. There's something so powerful about that. And I also think your mind adapts to not losing, but it adapts to the idea that you, you can't like win all the time, like in school or, you know, like a good student, they get A's in every class, they get A's on every paper and they're pissed if they don't that same a student when they're applying for jobs.

Data scientist jobs there that's completely inverted rather than getting 98% on all the tests. They're getting 2% on it, which, which is, it sounds terrible. Right. But you know, like I had a very fortunate background. I grew up, I played golf for a living and I played it competitively. That's a, that's a scenario where you almost never win.

There's a hundred and a hundred, some odd people in a tournament and you're constantly losing. Right. It sucks. It's so frustrating, but you get used to that and you realize that, Hey. I'm doing this so I can have that rare opportunity so I can put myself in the position to succeed rather than the expectation of succeeding all the time.

I think that there's something beautiful about like in scenarios in games like that in a game like that could be the job application process. The goal is no longer to just win every time it's to put yourself in a position to succeed as much as possible and that mental. Is something that can transform, you know, your life, your career, whatever it might be.

I mean, I, I think many more people could really benefit from developing sort of that type of mindset.

[00:22:35] Sergio: Yeah. You just need one Yes. You just need one and you can go get it. It's out there somewhere. You just don't give up. It's there for you, but you got to want to get it. And I'm like, really, like, I'm really big on.

I don't like to say I can't do anything. Like I like to like find out I can't do it. You know what I mean? I don't like to quit. I like to give out, you know, like if you work out, you know, there's like giving out and then there's, there's like working to failure. And then there's like quitting, which are two different distinct things.

At one point, your body just can't do the work. But before that you could quit. That's where you still have some that thing you, and I'm like really big on, like, there's not really anything I can do. So I'm not gonna like say I couldn't do it. I have to go out and get rejected by everybody. And then I know like, Do it, you know what I mean?

Until then? I feel like I haven't done everything I can do.

[00:23:20] Ken: Yeah. Well, so I'm a huge fan of David Goggins. I'm not sure if you're familiar. It's like, I guess he's technically a motivational speaker now, but he was like an ex-Navy seal runs all these ultra marathons. And one of the concepts he really focuses on is this idea of like you have, everyone has a self limiter.

And we're usually capable of it's either 40 or 60% more than we believe we can do. Right. So he's like doing, you know, you're doing pull-ups, it's like, okay, all I can do is 10. It's like, no, you can probably do four more if you like put everything you had into it. And the more you practice going into that territory that is beyond your belief, the more cool things to do, but also your beliefs change and your capabilities change, right? If everyone is living their life only to 60% of what it could be like, how powerful is the person that's living their life to like, even just like 80% of what it could be. I mean, that, to me, that, that, that concept and you're illustrating it really well is it's so fascinating and so cool.

And I'm glad that you could be a living example of, of something. Something associated with that.

[00:24:33] Sergio: Yeah, man know, as a coach, I really like on YouTube that teaches boxing. But he has a video. I can't remember his name. I wish I could, but he, he says he has a phrase called camp, fake the shake, which is like, when you're really working, you start shaking and you can't fake that.

And if you're not seeking, you're not working as hard as you could be. And I really liked that. I tried to keep that in mind, like, am I shaking or am I not giving this everything?

[00:24:55] Ken: This episode of Ken's Nearest Neighbors is brought to you by Z by HP. HP's high compute workstation-grade line of products and solutions. Z is specifically made for high-performance data science solutions, and I personally use the ZBook Studio and the Z4 Workstation. I really love that the Z line who comes standard with Linux and they also can be configured with the data science software stack. With this software stack, you can get right into the work of doing data science on day 1 without the overhead of having to completely reconfigure your new machine.

Now, back to our show. Let's talk a little bit about boxing because you know, you've been doing boxing. I've been training at jujitsu for a little while now. And I think that there's something so powerful about about sport, particularly combat sports, right? Because one it's like unbelievably, physically tested.

But the philosophy and the mentality of it is really effectively putting yourself in danger, right? Like nothing that I'm doing when I'm coding could put myself through physical fear. I love that I'm doing what I'm, when I'm on the mat or when I'm, you know, when you're boxing or something like that. What, what role has that played in your life?

And is there any way that you can actually relate that to data? The stuff that you were working on, on the quantitative technical.

[00:26:14] Sergio: I'm sure if you give me enough time, I could like talk my way into like I think like, even before that, like time going back and then getting there, I think like something huge to helping that I didn't know I was doing until I looked back was like the whole time I was at the warehouse gig.

It was like, I got, cause before that I had been in construction and other kind of gigs where it was less. And my eye overall was less stable. And when I got here over the course of those three years, I started to getting into kind of a groove and a routine, which I found is really good for me. And cause it was a steady like you're in at this time, you're out at this time, these days, that's it.

And over time. I was able to kind of start adopting healthier habits. I was able to quit smoking. I used to smoke. I was able to start eating healthier. I was able to start working out. I started actually dieting and losing weight. And I started listening to all kinds of like, you know, because when you're driving all day, you have nothing better to do.

Anyway. I would like listen to all kinds of like the power of habit and stuff like that. I will teach you to be rich, which is a really awesome personal finance book. I started working on my credit and all kinds of stuff. Right. And I had established. That's when I first got into boxing while I was still working at this warehouse.

And when I got fired, I was able to not really go off the rails because I had something else to kind of like steady me besides the job. I was able to tie a routine around. Okay, well, if I go to the gym at this time then my whole kind of day needs to be planned around that. That means I need to be up at this time, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

And these are the hours that I can work on, you know, the next thing. And so having learned like, you know, healthier coping mechanisms for myself and. Learning you know, kind of that stability in that routine and getting in good health sleeping. Well, that is all really, really good. Like as a base layer foundation for trying to do something like pivoting and learning like a whole new field because you're, you know, I'm, I'm a dude with a lot of nervous energy.

I go to the gym about four times a week. At working out four times a week at as jumpy as I am now, I could only imagine how I would act if I didn't go ever. And so that, without that, without that always like, you know, constant work and routine, I don't know what I would have done. And then I think for boxing more specifically there's something just also about like, you're never there, like you never arrive anywhere we boxing, right?

The whole point is like, every time you go, you're working on something. You know what I mean? It's like, what is it? There's a fancy term for it. It's like a growth mindset or something like that. That a lot of people like to throw around. It's every day you show up, you're there to work on something, right?

You're not there to show off how bad ass you are. You know you cause you never get there. Never that great. Never arrived, no matter how bad you are, there's someone always in the gym better than you. And so I think that tweak also is helpful because it allowed me to always just be focusing on, okay, what can I be improving on next?

Or what could I be working on? Rather than trying to look too far ahead. Right? Cause you don't, you're not going to go from like brand new to like pro overnight. It's going to take, you know, consistent, constant effort over a long period of time. And so I think that, that, that just on the site, psychological side in the mental health side, and as well as the like mindset side, those both really helped me because that's the ability.

And that mindset helped me, like apply myself the rest of the day and just get after it. And it helps you get your mind off of things. You know, I think we talked about this once. It helps you have something else outside of work to do, because if you just tied to work all day, like you are that job, it's not a good place to be.

At least you can, you can hang up your coat or hat for a few hours and go be a boxer for awhile. A terrible one may be at least I am, but at least my whole identity isn't sunk into one thing because I can take that away from me at anytime. You know what I mean? And so it's good to have other interests outside of it.

It's good to have something else that you could think about. Take your mind off of the thing you've been working on all day, because you're not going to solve that problem, thinking about it for 12 hours instead of 11. You know what I mean? It's just not going to get any easier. You have to take breaks from problems, especially in work. That's so mentally demanding as what we do. You have to like, let your mind breathe and step away from things. For them to click, a lot of things usually clicked for me from the day before the next morning.

[00:30:35] Ken: Yeah. Well, to me, one of the most powerful things about any combat. Is that when you're there, you literally cannot think about work, right?

You can't think about the other things going on because one it's too physically demanding. No. One's like giving everything they have physically and being like, oh my goodness, I have these reports tomorrow. Like no in fight or flight, you, you have to focus on what you're doing now. Or you get choked out or you get, you know, your training and the multiple call it.

The one bag hits that sort of.

And I mean, the other thing that I think is very powerful about this is that discipline, right? I don't think discipline is something that is specific to a task. Like we build discipline from doing things that we don't want to, or doing things that are difficult and the lowest hanging. The place that everyone can feel disciplined first is through the physical body.

Like you build discipline in your body and it eventually transfers over to everything that you do. And you can also build discipline and coding tasks or sitting there, or whatever it is, but the lowest hanging like the most human, the most natural way to build discipline is by doing something hard physically.

And I'm a huge believer that if I, if I didn't have experience where I was doing difficult things, physically spending time in the gym not so much running, but, but you know, doing a lot of those things, I wouldn't be able to achieve almost everything that I've had that I've achieved using just my mind.

And like, absolutely. There are people that, that have done things without ever setting foot in a gym or, or, or using their physical body as much. But to me, there's something so incredible. And it's the only way that I've been able to get out of my. Right. Like the only ways that I found aside from like, I've been experimenting a lot with meditation.

But the only times I find that complete inner silence is when I'm immersing myself in a physical task. And I would, yeah, I'd recommend everyone to try and find a task or something physical or something, not physical, where you can get out of your own head. There's so, so powerful.

[00:32:53] Sergio: Yeah, no, I think that's awesome.

I've been doing meditation for a couple of years, myself also. And I think it's, it's been a huge help because it's like intentionally practicing, focusing and focusing is not my strong suit. I'm very like, I was, I want to try everything. So practicing that, what I'm sure it's had some effect. I can't measure what it's been, but I'm sure it's helped.

And I think something else about the gym is like, you get to have a place to go where every day that you're in there, there are, you're surrounded by people who are working there at. And there's something about that environment that just has this like energy that rubs off on you. Right? Because you can't, if you slack in the gym, like they, at least the boxing gym I go to, if you're in there slack and like you see everybody else around you working, you kind of, can you kind of pick it up just out of like peer pressure, you got to pick it up a little bit.

You got to at least look like you're trying. And I think that like stays with you a little bit, you know, I think you kind of carry that energy with you a little bit.

[00:33:47] Ken: Yeah. Well, I think that there's something really powerful too about it depends what gym you go to, right? If you go to a good gym, this is they shouldn't chase you there, but there's like stat status signaling.

And a lot of those other things, when you go into like an office, when you're applying to jobs, when you're talking to people in more traditional like roles. At least when you do sport, when are you going to the gym? Like everyone respects that you're working hard. Like that's the currency there.

It's not necessarily how like strong you are a big, you are how good you are. Like you respect the guy that shows up every day and grinds, even if they're not like not talented, right? Like that type of currency. I think isn't as much appreciated in, in like the workplace or something like. But that's the type of currency that makes people successful or not successful.

And it's like very plain black and white and say, everything's like stripped away when you're in the gym or when you're in, when you're doing sport or when you're doing one of these physical activities. I could probably talk about my love for this whole day, but I do want to touch on one other thing, kind of going back into the data realm.

And that is a little bit about. Like landing the job and, and also like being yourself at work, like showing your personality. I think that that's something people are really afraid to do, but as we've talked about before offline, that's something I think that really helped you and is creating more opportunities for you.

Is that, am I correct in that?

[00:35:30] Sergio: Yeah, no, I think that I think we also talked about. I feel like there's, there's a certain level competence that you have to, you have to, okay. You have to be able to do whatever they're putting in your answer to do. But then everything beyond that in my personal opinion is like, just completely up to like, does this person like you and do you rub them the right way?

And will you be a good hang for them? Right. Like, do they want to work with you? And so when I like was looking into just meeting people and working with people, I honestly just can't keep up with like, trying to please everybody, like it's too much. On my part, you know, so I just, I would have to call people and just be myself cause otherwise I'd be exhausted. I don't have it in me. And I like the way I look at it is, I mean, it's, especially now that everything is so global, there are too many places out there that you can go. For all of them, for you to rub everybody the wrong way. Eventually you're going to run into somebody who you guys are like in sync and you click and y'all's communication styles are like, you know whatever is a match.

And, if you're going around being, you know, yourself and people aren't reacting to it, well, they're not, or they're not liking you because of your personality. You might not want to have worked with them anyway. And so, you know, I prefer to just kind of go into conversations with. Normally speak and, you know, I'm passionate about what I'm passionate about and, you know, let it kind of work itself out.

You know, everybody isn't going to like you and that's fine. And I try to like lean into that. And additionally, I found that like a lot of times, a lot of times the team. The teams I've been on to the team I enjoy being on the most, so far has been like the one where everybody kind of at least got along.

We would kind of have small talk and banter and it made working together so much easier because there's a level of comfort that is kind of like a prerequisite for. For you to be able to get work done or go to somebody with a problem. Right. Because if you don't have a rapport, you kind of don't want to hit this person up because what if they're going to use me being stuck as like munition for, I don't know what ruining my life somehow.

Right. But when you kind of talk to people and you recognize that they're just humans, like you just trying to do their job and there's things, they know that you don't and vice versa, you know, and you know about their dog or what. It just makes it working together a lot easier because it, once you start to take those walls down, it makes it easier to just say, Hey man, I'm stuck.

You know, I got this going on. I don't know how the hell to do this and stack overflow. Doesn't either. So now I'm here. You know what I mean?

[00:37:53] Ken: Yeah. Well, you know, no one says work doesn't, you know, like it doesn't have to be fun, right? No one says that you can't be friends with your coworkers. No, one's eager spending so much time with these people.

It probably would be better if you had a good relationship with them. Right. And some people like to completely distance work where people from their personal lives and culturally, that's very different, you know, in a bunch of different cultures as well. But I think at least for me, that's been a very powerful thing.

I've made really good friends at work and that's made work a lot more fun for me, like content creation, right. A lot of the people on YouTube, I become unbelievably good friends with like some of my best friends and that makes it fun to create videos with them. It makes it fun to, you know, everyone I have on the podcast, I've talked with them for at least an hour and a half every time.

Like, I would hope that I become friends with them or daily at least enjoy the conversations, right. To that point, I think more specific to the job search. Something that I want to highlight is. I think the job search is asymmetric. It's an inbound system, right? Your goal is to land a one or two jobs, right?

Your goal is to just get in the door with a couple of them. It's not necessarily feasible to do like to land every single job you apply for it. There's going to be other candidates. I think it'd be really hard unless you had some weird, magical ability to have. Specific subject expertise that everything you apply to, maybe that's possible, but a lot of people approach the job process.

Like, Hey, I want to do good in every interview. I want to be in like the 70th percentile. That's not going to get you a job. You're going to get a job if you're one of the best candidates. So we should actually be optimizing to be one of the best candidates in few jobs, rather than just like a good candidate in many cases.

And sometimes that is injecting your personality into the process or, or into the into the actual, like, reach out, right. If someone likes you and, you know, they really resonate with you and things like that, then perhaps that's actually going to go really well. And who cares if a couple of people don't like you them, you doing good in an interview?

And not getting the job and you doing awful in the interview and not getting the job exact same outcome. They are equal. Right. And no one realizes that who cares. Like if you look at those bad ones as learning experiences like, like you have with a lot of the rejections, actually you doing data in an interview like offline in an interview, it might be better for you because of feedback than if you did just good in an interview and they didn't hire you.

So there's so many things about this whole process that I think with some introspection and with some understanding they're not quite as they seem, right.

[00:40:37] Sergio: Yeah. I think that it makes you more memorable. Even if they don't like you or they like you, whatever it is, at least they know who you are. And it's a lot easier to remember the guy that, that you know, who they are versus the prison that just says hello.

I'm very excited to work at insert position at insert company and make this company a ton more money. Please hire me. Like everybody says that, right? Like everybody says what they're supposed to say. And it's just so much easier to just be yourself. And it's so much more memorable whether they like you or not.

Like you said, I agree with that. It's better to just, you're just trying to let. You just, that's all you need. And it's really about convincing somebody like it's not about being competent enough, but then being able to convince somebody, you can do whatever they need done. That matters a whole lot more than if you're better than the other candidates, because after a certain threshold of competency, it's all about who can convince the hiring manager that they're a good hang and that there'll be able to get the work done, convince them not actually like necessarily have to be able to do it.

Just, can you convince them that. My opinion, especially in entry level.

[00:41:40] Ken: Oh yeah. Awesome. Those are all the questions I had. I think something that I'm interested in is what do you, what do you have going on next? Is there anything you'd like to share? I'll obviously give Alex The Analyst and another plug because he helped so much with your journey.

But grudgingly, we still have a little beef going on, but...

[00:42:01] Sergio: I was just looking over at the bullet points. He had them all look at you, dude. Killing it. No, man, I appreciate you having me on, I don't, I don't know. I don't have, like, there is, I don't really have a YouTube channel or any content or any merge, so maybe I should at some point, but I don't really, I'm not really trying to like chill anything.

I'm just here to like, try to give back any information. Cause I had a hard time finding anybody who didn't speak like a corporate robot when I was first trying to get in here. I had trouble finding anybody who would just like speak like a normal human being when I met recruiters and hiring managers and people who would cover.

I dunno why cursing was the benchmark of like people I like, but when people would curse on the phone, me I'd get so excited and to get giddy like, oh, they just curse. They're like real people, you know, who talk smack. This is awesome. And so a lot of it is just me wanting to like, just put my voice out there.

Cause I really. It can be hard to know that there's other people who aren't like totally I'm like Smiths from the matrix. I feel like when I got into corporate America and met a bunch of Smiths from the matrix, and it like was really like a drag man. So I'm just here trying to give information back to the internet.

And just like, you know, be somebody, if anybody can resonate with the way I speak or carry myself you know, hopefully me putting it in my words can help them out.

[00:43:21] Ken: I love that. Can people reach out to you on LinkedIn? Is that totally fine? If so, I'll link it in the description below. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

[00:43:28] Sergio: Hit me up on LinkedIn. I have a video up on my profile to where I like answer like my FAQ's. So I'll probably send you that before I answer anything else, but I'm always happy to like, answer more specific stuff and like just chat and keep up with cooler up to.

[00:43:42] Ken: Great stuff, Sergio, thank you so much for coming on the show.

I greatly enjoyed it. Until next time.

[00:43:48] Sergio: Yeah, man, had a great time talking to you, man. Thank you.


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