My career journey:David in Content

This Super Dad’s career path is a captivating tale of dreams realized and new callings embraced.

David, Director of Content

Meet David

I came to ExpressVPN in 2018 after a long career in newspapers. A whole constellation of factors contributed to my changing paths, but one of the biggest was a desire to expand the possibilities for me and my family.

My desk essentials are family pictures (to remind me who I do it all for), and Lego sets (to remind me not to take anything too seriously).

My favorite pantry snack is a handful of nuts, salted.

When I was a kid I wanted to be a journalist. I honestly never even contemplated anything else. For a middle-class kid who loved words, it was probably the most practical, logical choice out there. It was like a craft, a trade. I wasn’t adventurous enough to dream of being a novelist or a playwright or anything like that, let alone an astronaut or a marine biologist or whatever.

Can you share your career journey so far?

I spent more than two decades in newspapers. My speciality was copy editing, which focuses on things like clarity, brevity, accuracy, fairness, and grammar. Copy editors also write the headlines. All of this is pretty directly applicable to working for a place like ExpressVPN, which produces all kinds of different content and expects it all to be as clear and accessible as possible.

Newspapers are also a famously contracting business, growing more and more concentrated in a shrinking number of companies and cities. But tech is everywhere, always growing. And I was already an ExpressVPN customer. All my correspondent friends relied on it in order to do their jobs in censorship countries. So it seemed like a smart bet.

I joined ExpressVPN in 2018 as a senior content manager, and I was the first content manager with the company. I led a small squad, which has since grown dramatically. Now I mostly manage other content managers, but I still get my hands dirty with the writing and editing whenever I can. Old loves die hard.

What are some career highlights from your time at ExpressVPN?

I’m most proud of the team I’ve been able to build. It’s a remarkable assortment of talents from different backgrounds, with different strengths and styles; we teach one another things, and we’re all stronger for it. More personally, I’ve overseen efforts to bring tons of old legacy content—literally hundreds and hundreds of URLs—into line with our current standards and branding. It was hard work, but necessary and satisfying.

What is your favorite aspect of working at ExpressVPN?

Everyone says the people, and I can’t disagree: They’re No. 1. But for the sake of variety, I’ll say the emphasis ExpressVPN places on training, development, and personal re-invention. You’re not pigeonholed here. Sure, if you have a specialty and you like it, you can keep on polishing it as long as you like. But if you want to grow or try something new, this is a place that wants you to do that, that makes it possible. People switch tracks all the time. As someone who made a pretty drastic switch fairly deep into my career, I can’t overstate how important this openness to change really is.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done in a job?

Playing a game-show host in a company video. A lot of hair gel was involved.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I’m a dad to two small kids, so I have to pick hobbies compatible with that. My son loves trains—all kinds of mass transit, really, but trains especially—so he and I visited every subway station in Hong Kong over the course of a year. It was my substitute for the travel I couldn’t do during the pandemic. My daughter’s not quite old enough for the same adventures yet, but she’s getting there. They both love Lego and wooden trains and reading books and singing Disney songs, and so do I, so we get along great. Between the tantrums, anyway.

Ping zhu illustration for changing locations.

Could your career journey lead to ExpressVPN?

We'd love to hear about your career journey, and find out if there's a place for you at ExpressVPN. Read more about our culture and how we support career growth, and check out our current job openings to find the best fit for you. Then get in touch with us!