Patagonia’s CCO, Doug Freeman, Did A Reddit “Ask Me Anything” – And I Learned 4 Lessons About Finding Work

Doug Freeman is an avid cyclist and the COO of Patagonia. Yesterday afternoon, he showed up on the “Ask Me Anything” subreddit. As a supporter and admirer of Patagonia, I explored the conversation.

Freeman’s transparent conversations led me to discover what’s going on within Patagonia, what plansdoug they have for the future, and what personally led Freeman to where he stands now. (Read the full thread here).

His first job at Patagonia? Answering phones in 1985.

The CCO’s all-time favorite piece of Patagonia apparel? It’s this jacket.

Are there any open positions within the company? Yes, TONS.

Is Patagonia ever going to make new clothing fits for tall people? Thank. Goodness. Yes.

But this question in particular stood out to me:

“Hey Doug, As a young person about to graduate from college and looking to enter the outdoors industry, what advice do you have?”

I related to this question so closely, because, well, finding a job is hard. Finding a job you love seems near impossible. Which is why Freeman’s response to this question is worth a read for anyone stuck in a work-rut.

In his short reply, Doug Freeman doesn’t mention resume tips or recommend that you attend a networking event and “just put yourself out there!”. He actually just gives an honest and practical answer. On top of this and all the other questions he answered, he seems like a really cool person to work for.

Here are 4 lessons I learned about finding work from Patagonia’s Doug Freeman:

1. List the values in your life that are most important, and find a company that represents them.

“My advice would be to find those companies that share your values, and that really speak to your heart, and what drives you personally.”

 2. Stay humble. Think big. Work hard.

“Find a company you’re interested in – and if you find them, find your way through the door, and persevere – be willing to answer the phone, file things, no matter how low a level that might be.”

 3. Listen to your intuition. The rest will follow.

 “If your heart’s in it, and you’re in it for the right reason, the path forward becomes more evident.”

4. If you work at a company that inspires you, one who’s mission you’re truly proud of, there’s a good chance you’ll stop hating your job so much.

“Finding the companies you can really be proud of really engages you in your work.”

All in all: Don’t sell yourself short. Find out what makes you tick, and find a way to bring that into your life.

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