When you wake up every morning, do you exhale in relief or frustration that your day is upon you? This is where my story starts; I used to wake up every morning dreading the day and the events ahead. Today, I had the epiphany that I love what I do all day, every day when I found myself not wanting to stop working. I know you must think I’m hitting the crack pipe, but I want to explain why I love what I do (and why you should, too).
6:15AM – “Buzz, Buzz, Buzz!”
… Goes the exclamation of my alarm to remind me of my time commitments ahead. As I daze into the LEDs, I remind myself about how grateful I am that I will be clothing myself for such an awesome company with spectacular people. Modest, no; but authentic. There are not many places that I’ve been paid by that I can wake up every day feeling excited, empowered and connected to the values and interests of a company.
This is because, those companies are only found in dreams. You know, like the stereotypical American dream, it doesn’t come true. I contend that while I don’t own a house, have offspring, a boat, I am living the American dream. It’s the dream of the owner that employees actually give a damn about the mission statements; it’s a dream of the employees that leadership and colleagues give a damn about them.
Enough of that fluff, here’s the substance.
During my time at AOL, I found myself caught up in the excitement of working for a large, scathing, cold corporation focused solely on revenue. I admit, I was naive and I drank the Kool-Aid as much as I could and it got me where I wanted to go. Soon, my creativity and passion was systematically lobotomized all in a quarter’s amount of time. When I realized that employee number #04727 was simply a line item on a spreadsheet that a business owner deleted to reap an impressive five digit savings, I saw the big picture. Despite being jaded today, I’m incredibly thankful for the experience I’ve gained in the process. As they say, I was smart enough to be dangerous. Once I realized that a company would willfully offer a relocation package, offer semi-competitive pay, and issue such employees unfettered access into customer, corporate and financial records, only to push them out with no consideration, I confirmed that I will never work for corporate America. (That is, any company that’s listed on Consumerist.)
It was only a few weeks until a recruiter from Infusionsoft found me on Facebook and we struck up a discussion. I saw the company Web site where at the time the CEO was on video talking about his passion for small business and his nutty support for entrepreneurs. I was curious and even a bit skeptical. So what would any prospective employee do? Call into customer support and see how upfront and honest they are.
When I did, I was surprised to find that the phone system lacked an automated IVR or an endless tree of options. Instead, I waited on hold no more than 30 seconds and was connected to a technical support representative. The fellow was nice about answering questions and was not pressured by a call time or anything mundane. No scripted remarks or lame corporate statements, I was quite impressed a prospective employee.
Fast forward to now. I manage social media and evangelize it throughout the company. I find myself to be at the epicenter of moving a traditional marketing software company forward to embrace and leverage social media to their advantage. It comes with its baggage, I won’t lie – constant repetition about the world of social media, challenges communicating the needs of social media, and as expected the justification for rapid decisions to the business. I manage the responsibilities and duties of my ‘job’ because I have an excellent manager who gives me the right amount of flexibility to empower me to do what I need to do in order to run a tight ship with respect to social media and internet marketing.
This entry has been in draft for a while, only because I wanted to give it the right amount of time to sit on the stove of great ideas to see how it evolves in my mind. Right now, I’m writing from the road, missing my girlfriend; I assisted the Business Development team accomplish a cross-country tour. I love meeting new people and sharing the message about the company I love.
I end this entry off with a question. Is there a great company that you enjoy working for? If so, what do you love about what you do?