Voices of GoTo: In this series we highlight the people that make flexible work, work: our employees! GoTo is a global company with more than 4000 employees around the world, these are their stories.
Lindsay Juley is an Account Executive at GoTo. She makes other companies' lives easier by giving them the tools to succeed. Originally from Wisconsin, she loves to travel and explore the great outdoors, which she believes everyone can help protect in their own way (no matter how small). She is new to GoTo and the Global Green Team, our employee-led sustainability group. In honor of Earth Month, I sat down with Lindsay to talk about her story, passions, and how we can all go greener.
Lindsay, tell me about yourself and your history.
I grew up in a small suburb of Milwaukee. My mom was a stay-at-home mom for most of my childhood and my dad worked for the newspaper in Milwaukee. Because my dad worked long hours, we cherished our family vacations, which consisted of camping or visiting lakes and beaches. I think those experiences formulated my love for the outdoors. Even though the winters are brutal here in the Midwest, people still love to go outside.
Because I previously worked in the travel industry, I was able to see how much other cultures and countries focus on sustainability, typically not by choice but rather by necessity. They conserve water and manage their resources differently because they must preserve their way of life. It opened my eyes to the sustainability movement here at home.
It seems like you do have a deep love for travel. What made you leave the travel industry and pursue a tech career?
I loved my former travel company, where we had a small team, and everyone wore multiple hats. I was constantly trying to find ways to improve our processes to make us more efficient through different technology, but we didn’t have the resources for it. I also was never just focused on one job, and I thought, how can I transfer my skillset? I was in sales and managing the relationships of our travel agent partners, which I felt could easily translate to an account executive role. I knew it would be a big learning curve, after being in the travel industry for 13 years. Ultimately, I wanted to try something new and try to challenge myself.
I love interacting with others, and I want to formulate that same sense of community while working remotely. At GoTo I try to get to know people on a personal level, which elicits trust.
What are you most proud of?
I’m proud of my ability to say yes to new experiences! Whether it’s going to live halfway across the world, trying something new (like the tech industry or interesting food), or doing adventurous activities. I have always gone for the story. I could say no, and not do something that scares me, or I could say yes and potentially create a fantastic memory. Even if I fail, there is something to gain. Looking back on my life, I’d say most of my favorite memories have come out of me being open to experiences. It can be scary to do but can end up being life changing. Don’t be afraid.
I love the encouragement of “don’t be afraid.” Some people who didn’t grow up exploring the outdoors might feel intimidated by outdoor activities, like hiking or camping. How would you motivate others to appreciate the great outdoors?
My boyfriend and I consider ourselves “soft adventurous.” We’re not the type to do anything intense in the outdoors. The best part of the outdoors is that there is something for everyone. It doesn’t make you less of an outdoorsy person to car camp (that’s what we like to do). Others want to backpack because they can get more remote and truly immerse themselves in nature. Some of us prefer the creature comforts, like an easily accessible bathroom; I know I do. You can even try it in your backyard. I’m sure everybody has trails around them that are rated easier than others. An app called AllTrails lets you filter by difficulty and distance. It makes it super accessible to people with different levels of background in hiking.
If you can go for a walk, you can find a comparable hike. Even walking is excellent. You don’t need to be hardcore by any means. We’re not in a race; we’re here to have fun and enjoy nature and what the world can offer. Take as many breaks as you need, and pack water and snacks.
I feel like when you challenge yourself, the payoff is so much better. Sometimes it’s tough, but then you never regret it.
What can we all do to be a little more earth-friendly?
The pandemic, for me, put a real hyper-focus on sustainability — almost in a negative way. When I walk down the street, I see a ton of disposable masks on the ground. Single-use products have risen. I don’t blame people for wanting to be safe. I think that now we can help turn it around for the better. For example, I found a company which will take used masks and recycle them for you. I use reusable towels instead of paper towels when I can (I’m definitely not perfect). Those are quick changes, and big-box stores now have reusable products. It’s exciting because it’s much more accessible now than it has ever been, in my opinion. So, if you can replace one single-use item with something else, that’s a win. And you may even notice it’s better quality than a single-use product would be.
You can also find companies that have some sustainable focus or can help you become more sustainable.
Environmental issues can seem insurmountable. What gives you hope for the future?
Honestly, Gen Z gives me so much hope. I feel like high school and now college students or people in that age group are getting more involved. Look at Greta Thunberg, for example. People are passionate about it because they are the ones who will likely have to live in a very different world. I see them participating more than my generation. It could also be that there’s just more visibility now with social media and viral content. There are so many more platforms for people to have their voices heard. It’s an easy way to spread the word quickly.
The hardest part of going down the sustainability path was getting started and knowing that you won’t be perfect no matter what you do. In my mid-30s, I decided to balance not feeling guilty for certain things vs. thinking, what changes can I realistically make and stick to? This is what I can do, and if I don’t do this perfectly, that’s okay because doing anything is better than nothing.
I always emphasize that anything you can do, it’s just as easy to do sustainably. Just thinking about where and how you’re spending your money and taking that extra moment to pause before you buy something to research first can make a big difference. Ask yourself, “What’s their sustainability policy? What are they doing? Is there something similar I could get that has a more sustainable focus?” Those changes can add up if everyone took that moment to pause.
Everybody has their passions and what they’re excited about, and you can easily leverage those passions to go down your sustainable mobility path.
Is that why you joined the green team?
I heard about the Global Green Team before I joined. I did feel like I could jump right in because I had that background, and my friend was heavily involved and had a great experience with it. So, although I haven’t contributed much yet, I’m excited to be somewhere that keeps us accountable. The easiest way to make a more significant impact is getting people involved, even in our own company. And doing fun things, low-pressure things. Getting people more invested makes me excited.
Any parting words?
We can only control our own actions, and your sustainability choices will be different from mine, and that’s okay! For example, I take lunch break walks and try to pick up trash along the way if I see it. That little action is something, and someone might see that and be inspired. That is enough sometimes. Those small changes do add up. I’d also like to encourage others to travel and see how other people worldwide live. Stay in local accommodations and participate in local culture. I know it has given me a deeper understanding of others, and how much they appreciate nature and the outdoors.
We work where we like, which is why we like where we work. We think you will, too. Interested in joining our team? Look at our opportunities.
Learn more about our ESG efforts
Connect with Lindsay on LinkedIn