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A day in the life at Equinix

Jules Johnston, Senior Vice President, Global Channel Sales

What attracted you to Equinix? 

First and foremost, the people and the company culture. Equinix is very serious about developing and maintaining a positive, supportive, inclusive culture. It’s not just a placard in a break room. What we call the “Magic of Equinix” is something you feel and see here for real.  Equinix also gave me the unique opportunity to be part of building the channel, very startup-like, but within an already well-respected IT powerhouse. It was an amazing opportunity to have the best of both entrepreneurial spirit and established credibility with the muscle to put  behind channel so we can seriously scale.

Describe a typical day

I'm an early riser. I like to use the first hours to organize myself, my day and my to-do list, all over a big cup of coffee. Any given work day is a blend of small and large forum meetings, some 1:1s with people in my team or peers, and external meetings with partners. Leading a global team means that many days can feel like a “wall of calls,” a virtual meeting marathon.  Fortunately, Equinix encourages us to strive to end meetings earlier than the hour mark and provide each other space to breathe throughout the day, which I need as much as anyone else.  Equinix promotes “Better Way Wednesdays,” where we strive to schedule few/no meetings and give ourselves time to focus on big deliverables. On a good day, I’ve built “think time” into the calendar, and I try not to go more than a few days in a row without some blocks where I can really slow down and think.

How are you managing family and work during this pandemic?

A dear friend of mine upgraded the phrase “work-life balance” to “work-life Jenga,” and I love that visual. I confess I’m guilty of trying to fit too much in, always. It helps though that I’m a planner at my core and a huge fan of routines. I’ve always liked to get up in the mornings before the rest of my family. I use that time for both personal and work obligations—everything from paying a bill to prepping a dinner for that night to doing laundry to reviewing a presentation I have to give later that day. My morning solo quiet time keeps me sane, so that when my husband and daughter wake up, most times I can flip the switch to them. On weekends, I keep the switch flipped to family as much as I possibly can, and I’ve spent a lot of pandemic weekends getting settled in and decorating our new house. On weekdays, I help my daughter get ready for school to be present with her at the start of her day, and then switch back to work mode. I treasure dinner with my family and make it a point to ensure that happens every night I possibly can. Since the pandemic has cut my travel to almost nothing, I’ve loved being able to have a dependable nightly dinner routine. And while I might go back to work after dinner occasionally, I definitely stop and step away to be with them as much as I can.

What are your tips for navigating promotion?

It's always a good idea to do an honest self-assessment before trying for a promotion, identifying areas both where you shine and any potential areas of perceived weakness. It’s important preparation for questions that will likely arise in the process, and I recommend asking people you trust to confirm your self-assessment. I also genuinely believe investing in relationships with cross-functional leaders in and beyond your immediate orbit is both important for your current role and valuable for future ones. Establishing those connections in your present role will help you be more effective in the immediate arena, and later, when you end up going for a promotion, it will help that you’ve already built a brand broader than just your immediate team. For jobs that are strategic in nature, I suggest doing the work to document your vision and your plan for execution. I find that exercise doesn’t just help you get the job, but it’s a huge help in how you’ll organize your start when you get it. 

What advice do you have for someone thinking about a career change? 

For anyone thinking about changing jobs or reaching for the next rung, don’t believe that you must meet every single bullet point in the job description. If you have the core skills and competencies, and if you believe you can drive the outcomes they’re looking for, go for it, even if it isn't a perfect fit at first glance. You may find new ways to apply your strengths to the role and end up with a position better suited to who you are as an individual, and you’ll grow.

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