Why I moved to Salt Lake City to work at Lucid Software

Ruturaj Eksambekar

Reading time: about 7 min

Topics:

  • Career
  • UX
View from the Lucid Lounge

 

The first time I heard about Lucid

 

My graduation date was approaching. I had some offers in hand, but none I was really passionate about. I was looking for a company where I could learn fast and where I could have an impact. I wanted to be able to own my projects, while still receiving guidance and mentorship. Most importantly, I wanted to work somewhere with a good culture, where I was excited to go into work every morning. If you're reading this, you're probably looking for many of the same things. And if you're worried about relocating to somewhere like Salt Lake, let me tell you my experience.

The first time I heard about Lucid it was on Instagram. It was from a high school friend, Aditya’s, Instagram story from last summer. He had his thumbs up, racing along on a jet-ski, and it was captioned “Company retreat! Gotta love Lucid!” Well, that certainly seemed like a place with good work-life balance and felt like somewhere I would be excited to go into work.

I thought back on it again. When we talked last summer, Aditya had described an internship that was pretty much exactly what I wanted. Learning a lot and having a strong impact, even in just a few months. I reached out and he let me know that he was signing on full-time at Lucid. That was it. I just had to know if it was really as good as he said it was, so I applied.

 

The Interview process begins

 

Right after helping to set up the initial interview, the recruiter asked me to take a personality test. Any company can say that they’re interested in learning who their employees are as individuals, but here, Lucid was taking action to back it up, seeking information beyond my resume.

Lucid’s eagerness to learn more about me as a person along, as well a professional, carried throughout the interview process. Everyone was friendly and genuinely cared about me—when I had to reschedule an interview because of a trip, everyone (including the head of UX) made a point to ask how my trip had gone. These were small gestures, but they mattered to me.

 

Visiting onsite in Utah

 

My first trip to Utah was super bumpy—turbulent, perhaps—as my flight got cancelled and I didn’t reach my hotel until 5.5 hours after I was supposed to. My recruiting coordinator was incredibly helpful throughout the process, even staying up until 1 AM to make sure I got in safe!

Lucid made sure that I got plenty of time to interact with the wide range of stakeholders that I would be working with on a daily basis, familiarizing me with the product development process here. Both UX and product executive leaders took time out of their busy schedules to talk to me and make sure all my questions were answered. Most importantly, they honestly conveyed both where the company currently is and where they want to be in the coming years. 

The fact that they conveyed their vision to an interviewee indicated that they wanted me to help shape it. I could clearly see how much Lucid values UX and  how approachable and non-egocentric the leadership team is. The onsite visit made me realize that UX truly has a place at the table at Lucid, on equal footing with PMs. 

On the culture front, I could tell that this was a creative and supportive space, where employees were happy to be. The bouldering wall from the website (what I had assumed to be a gimmick) was actually being used! There was loud laughter coming from one of the many gaming rooms, and I could tell they were playing Smash. I left the office with a feeling that I would contribute to this culture very easily. 

Lucid had also arranged a real-estate agent to show me around Salt Lake City for potential housing options. For a company to do this during the onsite was surprising to me, but I was grateful—relocation is extremely stressful and I was scared to find a place in a new city. While I was in Utah for the onsite, I also took this as an opportunity to explore the Salt Lake City area and check out some of the neighborhoods recommended by Lucidites. Coming from Atlanta, I was stunned by the breathtaking views of mountains and the outdoors culture. I left for home excited and ready to see what came next. 

 

Decision time

 

Lucid extended an offer to me about a week after this onsite visit. The head of UX made himself available for all of my questions, even during their company retreat! I had questions about the product development process at Lucid, individual responsibilities, growth opportunities, compensation, mentorship and the overall design community in Salt Lake City to name a few. I’m extremely grateful for his patience as he addressed all of my concerns and created an environment where I could freely ask all those questions. 

Everyone went above and beyond to ensure I had all the information needed to make the best decision. Every step of the way, from first contact until now, Lucid had made clear to me that they saw me and cared what I did next. I decided to accept. 

 

But, why Salt Lake City?

 

This city was unlike any other place I had been to. Most of my friends were baffled that I was considering a smaller city in the mountain west when I also could have pursued jobs in cities like Boston or Los Angeles. I won’t lie, instinctively I did want to go to a bigger, hipper, more famous city. But I found something about Salt Lake City to be captivating and I had to know more.

Here’s the thing: Salt Lake City is a growing technology hub. Many companies are moving to Silicon Slopes and bringing a design community with them. Beyond business opportunities, the culture and evolution of downtown is also growing—the food scene here is booming. Surprisingly, despite (perhaps because of) stereotypes around Utah being a “teetotaler” state, it has some incredible local breweries and bars. It’s a great place to come to as it’s starting a tech and social boom. I have been able to meet people from other tech companies quite easily. It feels like a tight knit community in a big city. Despite all these perks, it still has a low cost of living and I absolutely can’t complain about my commute.  

Also, I mentioned those mountains earlier. My hometown in India is mountainous, and after living for 2 years in Atlanta, the striking view from the valley floor felt like I had returned home. I love nature, so the fact that I was driving distance from at least five of America’s best national parks was another selling point. I had never tried skiing or snowboarding, but I was interested in giving that a shot as a bunch of my co-workers had offered to teach me. 

 

6 months after joining Lucid

 

Lucid has fulfilled all that I was looking for in a job and has made numerous personal and professional opportunities available to me. I’m really happy with the level of ownership I have over the product and the impact I am having here. 

I’ve already launched my first product in less than 6 months of joining here. I went on my first recruitment trip to the University of Washington, Seattle less than 3 months after joining and, shortly after that, went back to recruit at my alma mater, Georgia Tech. I really enjoy the collaboration and involvement in the overall UX team—I’m not restricted to just my team. I’ve had a lot of opportunities to grow alongside other teams and individuals too. I am learning at such a rapid pace, and obviously making a lot of mistakes while working, but thankfully that’s something that is definitely encouraged here.

While I’m becoming more accustomed to my new work life, I’m becoming more fond of my new home too. For example,  I scored some super nice Utah Jazz tickets from Lucid for my good performance. I’ve helped organize Lucid Libations every month, which is Lucid’s happy hour and board game night. I’ve picked up skiing and have been hitting up the slopes almost every weekend this season. I have visited two national parks nearby, with only three more to go! 

I’m super grateful to Lucid for the surprises, for the community, for the guidance from our leadership, and for the opportunities these past months have brought me. 

About Lucid

Lucid Software is a pioneer and leader in visual collaboration dedicated to helping teams build the future. With its products—Lucidchart, Lucidspark, and Lucidscale—teams are supported from ideation to execution and are empowered to align around a shared vision, clarify complexity, and collaborate visually, no matter where they are. Lucid is proud to serve top businesses around the world, including customers such as Google, GE, and NBC Universal, and 99% of the Fortune 500. Lucid partners with industry leaders, including Google, Atlassian, and Microsoft. Since its founding, Lucid has received numerous awards for its products, business, and workplace culture. For more information, visit lucid.co.

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