Google Stories

If you are doing it for free…

Inês Paler, Coach, Mom, Traveler

Doing it for free

I change my whole life for a job that didn’t exist. Ooops

So there I was, just landed in Dublin, embracing my new reality and completely in love with Google. I hadn’t given up on doing Marketing, though. 

After a while, I went to my manager with a Marketing plan for Portugal. It had a ridiculously small budget so he couldn’t say money was an issue. But it was ambitious and unheard of.

He read it and couldn’t gather the courage to outright say no. I looked like a kid glowing with the expectation of getting started. Instead, he told me to pick one small part of it, that could help our team, and then we’d talk again.

I picked a training program for the main advertising customers in Portugal. It was a bit disappointing but I wasn’t discouraged.

It was a great timing as the Spanish Marketing Manager was coming to Dublin to visit his team. My manager talked to him and I was invited to join a meeting and pitch my project. It turns out he was the Marketing Manager for Spain and Portugal – he had just found out.

I put together a proposal with Pros and Cons, budget, calendar, the whole thing. All we needed: his permission and a few Euros. He was surprised and impressed “I wish my team put the same effort and came up with such thought out proposals”. I was in heaven.


I wish my team put the same effort and came up with such thought out proposals.

Making it happen

Now, this was fun. Making a big event to top customers with little time and money requires a few things. For starters, lots of passion, coordination and, of course, great help. I brought in the best volunteers you can imagine and soon we had a team ready to go.

The big jump

I gathered the results of the event: change in investment, attendants feedback, real vs estimated costs, estimated return on investment by the end of the year… And, of course, some nice photos and anecdotes to share.

“If you are doing this for free you might as well do it for real. How do you feel about being the Marketing person for Portugal?”

If you are doing it for free

The Marketing Manager got my report and smiled. He was definitely happy about the whole project.

Shortly after he reached out to me and asked me why I had done it. I said it was because I loved it and I was a marketeer, that’s what I do. He said “If you are doing this for free, in your spare time… you might as well do it for real. How do you feel about being the Marketing person for Portugal?”

And that is how I became the Product Marketing Manager for Google Portugal.

Of course, there was no office there at the time, so I moved there and worked from home. But that’s another story.

Lesson Learnt

Being resilient means more than accepting your reality. You get to adapt and shape things so they fit you.

Following what you love means hard work but it might well be worth the extra effort.

As a manager, it’s your privilege to help your team excel at what they are good at. It’s a big win for everyone if you are a good listener and open doors to ease their potential.

As a manager, spot that eager talent, give them the fuel they need and… get out of the way to let them thrive. 

Knowing how to delegate and invest in people is an art. But it can be learned and the results reach far beyond your own work and propagate into other people’s achievements.

If you want to revamp your life and career, I would love to work with you. Visit me at Coaching for Me or email me at

If you are a manager and want to make sure you bring your teams to their best, visit me at Coaching for Work for coaching, team initiatives and Professional Assessments. You can also just email me at