What's in a Name?

Nonbinary Oct 5, 2019

I applied to a job recently. It was my first time mentioning I'm disabled and using my actual name Cakelin. My legal/birth name is Kaitlin. Like most things, I wasn't sure what to do. I ended up submitting my resume with my legal name and signing my cover letter with Cakelin.

Thank you for your time & consideration,
Cakelin* Marquardt

*I am non-binary. My legal name is Kaitlin, but I prefer Cakelin and they/them pronouns. Thanks!

I was so pumped that I got asked to interview, I initially missed that the email was addressed to Kaitlin.


How pumped? This pumped. Yeah, that's the actual GIF I sent as a response to the interview invite. It's the main character Bastian from The Neverending Story fist pumping while riding his dog dragon Falkor.

I talked to a friend about it and he said he puts the name he prefers to be called on his resume. I was momentarily confused because I actually forgot he had another name. Mine is listed as Cakelin almost everywhere, LinkedIn included. Except Facebook, which wants my drivers license to verify but that's another story.

Anywho... HERE'S MY RESUME Y'ALL (made with Enhancv). Yes, I did list recent books I've read on my resume. Enhancv also has a cool feature where you can ask other people to vote on your strengths and then list them in the resume. I'm sorry for the friction of clicking the link to see it, I unfortunately can't embed a PDF in a Ghost post and have talked myself out of getting distracted enough to figure it out. Someday I'll have an interactive data driven resume to show ya! 🤠

This is sort of a reverse job listing, but I'm looking for the following things:

  • Making things that increase access to tech, I like the amplification this provides
  • Teaching & learning - That's it, all of it
  • Remote culture, with kind people
  • Generalist/flexible role where I can do a little of a lot of different things
  • Machine learning or research of some kind would be neat AF
  • $$$, I'm aiming for 150k for my next role. Ashley Quinto Powell said the number should make ya feel a bit sick and to go for it anyways.

If you're looking for the meaning of life, err I mean a new gig, I found this neato tool called Key Values. It provides questions to ask interviewers based on what you're looking for. I heard the founder Lynne Tye on an Indie Hackers podcast.

Key Values quiz. Daily Routines, Team Values, Personal Health, Engineering, Career Growth and Strategy categories. Each has their own color, icon and list of values. Several of the values are checked in each box. 

These were some of my recommended questions that stuck out to me:

  • What project will I first work on, and what metrics will determine success?
  • Who within the company do you find to be the most inspiring, and why?
  • What is the process like for trying out different projects, or working on different teams?

Something that I always ask each interviewer is what they are looking to learn. I specify it doesn't have to be work related. It's interesting to hear the variety of people's responses. I think you can somewhat gauge team closeness and psychological safety with this question if you are being interviewed by more than 1 person at a time. Are they surprised by each other's answers?

I also ask this of the other people in my life. Maybe that's why my crowd-sourced strength that my friends and close colleagues agreed on most was empowerment. Empowering others is exactly what I'm dedicating my life to. It was a heartwarming moment to see that recognized.


Cakelin Fable

Polygon gargoyle. Spicy scientist, engineer, artist, and entrepreneur. Disabled, nonbinary, and bisexual. Host of Defective Detective podcast. Buddhist into books. Service dog pup Pepper Ann.

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