I can only imagine what it feels like to go hang gliding. Standing there at the end of a massive drop off of some kind; with the world open ahead and below you. While you have every intention of soaring into the sky and having the ride of your life, there is a very real possibility you may plummet and crash. Tonight is the eve of my new job. I’ve started new jobs before and this one is actually easier than the ones before it, but it is still filled with anxiety and emotion. The possibility and potential with any new opportunity is awesome and inspiring but there is a very real possibility of screwing things up. I think I worried a lot more about screwing things up when I joined other organizations, but I think I’ve got that part under control right now. So the horizon is ahead of me with every intention of having the ride of my life! But I want to go over some of the things that got me to this point – specifically what I learned from my other jobs.
I think what makes this opportunity a little more secure and exciting is that I really took the time to figure out what I like to do and what environment I thrive in. The easy part is what I like to do, lots of stuff. I have a strong computer background with almost a decade of experience, I love to do business process improvement, and I really like to get stuff done. Kind of vague but it gets me pointed in the right direction – I am not in finance, HR or engineering. I also had to narrow down the computer stuff a little since I am not a good programmer. Don’t get me wrong, I had to write code for my undergraduate degree but at this point 12 year olds program better than I do.
The much bigger (and more important) aspect for me to figure out was what kind of environment I thrive in. What I mean by this is what kind of organizational culture, workplace structure and team interaction makes me happy. I did not give this aspect of my professional life any consideration before but I can tell you that it is number one on my list of what I look for in an employer today. Work is work. For the most part, it is all similar with challenges, expectations, up and downs. I found out that the true distinction is the culture of the company. Do people come to work just to get a paycheck and work just enough not to get fired or is there true cohesion and focus with the team? Are the people who love their jobs only at the top of the heap or does the person on the bottom of the ladder also enjoy coming to work each day? This is actually important stuff!
When you are in a work environment that is not a good fit culturally, it makes going to work painful. Since we spend a majority of our waking day at our jobs, being happy or at least satisfied pretty darned important. I took these lessons learned from my own personal experience and made that my deciding factor going forward. I can say that my new company has an awesome culture and I don’t even work there yet! It energizes me just to think that I get to be a part of it! That is my overall point, because my new opportunity is so awesome I am anxious tonight but I am not afraid. I am on the edge of a new adventure but I believe that I am going to soar because I am so ready to jump off and not worry about the potential downfalls.