Over the past five years, I have taken quite a few professional risks, namely bouncing from company to company trying to find the perfect fit. Every time I make a move, my friends and family say I’m crazy – that I should just stay put and tough it out like the rest of America. But that’s not me. If I don’t like the scenery, I change it. So, I recently changed it and now I’m here at Elasticity as the resident public relations strategist.
And at the risk of sounding like Goldilocks, I think I finally got it just right.
Having worked in multiple different business environments, I gained a unique perspective on the “perfect job” and the “perfect company.” With every new position I accepted and eventually left, I was able to expand my list of what I was looking for and what I wasn’t looking for. Some would argue the latter is more important.
I quickly learned that staff size doesn’t matter to me. I can thrive on a team of five just as well as on a team of 40. I discovered that I prefer a gender-balanced team. As a woman I feel comfortable saying that women are fantastic, but experience has taught me that the healthiest team is one with equal representation.
Along the way, I figured out I need flexibility. After my husband and I welcomed our first child, life got hectic and working nine-to-five was a struggle. A must-have for me became a company that would allow me to arrive early in the morning and leave well before five. I also wanted the opportunity to work remotely from time to time. It’s a treat to stay in your pajamas all day and truthfully, I do some of my best writing in my bed.
I need a challenge, room to grow and coworkers who won’t chastise me for swearing. I need to feel important – like my contributions directly impact the success of the team.
What I don’t need is a boss that micromanages me or coworkers who aren’t passionate about our cause or clients. I don’t need extreme office politics or a culture so hung up on titles that “lower-level” ideas aren’t even brought to the table. I don’t need to work for a boss that is so attached to how things were done in the past that new ideas aren’t entertained for the future.
Does it sound like I’m asking for too much? At times I thought I was. I promise it’s a two-way street. When I feel valued and balanced, I produce my best work, which benefits everyone.
When I realized it was time to move on from my last role, I started my job search by taking a hard look at other agencies in the area. That was another thing I learned – I love agency life. I tapped into my PR network and started asking my connections about where they worked and why. Nothing grabbed me.
Then I made my way to Elasticity’s website. It was brilliant and ridiculous at the same time. I saw they had two positions open and one in particular seemed great. The requirements included advanced Hungry, Hungry Hippo skills and good hair. Intrigued as ever, I stepped outside of my comfort zone and hoped for the best.
I decided to take a different approach with the interview process. Instead of putting on my nicest blazer and asking the standard, “What does a typical day look like,” I laid everything out there – what I was looking for, what I wasn’t looking for, where I hoped to be in five years, – and I did it all while wearing a casual dress. I was myself. I was honest. And they were honest right back.
During the course of our meetings, I was able to check-off every must-have and must-have-not from my little list. It was incredible, really. For a while there I was feeling discouraged, like maybe the perfect job didn’t exist. But here it was – a company that was growing, flexible, fun, collaborative and really only cared about quality work.
When I accepted this role, I had a distinct feeling this was going to be it for me. And now that I’m almost two months in, I still feel the same way.