A couple of weeks ago, my supervisor and I were talking about ways I could be useful for things our support team at Paradiselandia will do in the future. His lament was that it was hard to pick only team for me to be a part of.
Following that conversation, I thought about what makes it hard to keep me in one place. I’ve always had a main thing that I do, but rarely have I done a specific thing. The difference is that I know enough to be strategically placed almost anywhere, but for that same reason, it’s hard to leave me in only one place. That’s a product of two things.
Thing One: Time.
I’ve been at this company now for three years and that was while it was finding its footing here in the US. I’ve seen the company go from one desk to one building. In that time, I’ve also been a part of almost every role it is possible to have while growing:
- Sales? Check.
- Implementation? Check.
- Customer Sucess? Double check.
- Learning and Support? Triple check.
Not only have I been a part of these things, but also part of defining what these departments do and how they function. From there, other people have taken the reigns and things have evolved.
- Corey stepped into the Sales Director role where he continues to inspire his team.
- Chris has become a steadfast rock for the implementation team as their director.
- Patrick has become a standout leader for Learning and Support almost overnight.
It’s been beautiful and humbling to be involved in.
Thing Two: Curiosity.
I learned to play piano and use computers just because they had buttons.
My mom used to keep me in a harness as a kid to keep me from scaling buildings in Brooklyn when I was 5.
I’ve rarely seen people more surprised than when I ask them to explain what they do because they are shocked by my (admittedly intense) interest. Mostly because it’s “unrelated” to my specific job function.
It’s just that I’ve always liked to explore and roam. My first and favorite question was and remains: “Why?” because I like knowing how things work. In some cases, my curiosity can become its own crusade.
A couple of weeks back, I went to our HQ office in Milan. While I was there, I took stock of every department we had there and asked questions about what they do every day just to be aware. In that time, I talked to our UI guys, our financial controller, some of the accounting crew, and devops. Keep in mind, I work with Learning and Support.
For me, it’s just about knowing all of the parts of the puzzle and – more importantly – the people behind all of that. I’ve rarely seen people more surprised than when I ask them to explain what they do because they are shocked by my (admittedly intense) interest. Mostly because it’s “unrelated” to my specific job function.
I can’t really help that, though. It’s an itch I have to scratch and over the years, that’s taken me places. Literally.
Take These With You
I’m pretty big into legacies, so let me leave these things with you:
- For your own benefit and the betterment of the world around you – work or otherwise – develop your curiosity and sense of wonder. Poke all the boxes and find out what they do.
- Related to the previous point, think larger; “those people” in that “other department” are part of what makes your job possible, so learn to appreciate and understand them.
There’s a comment box down here and I like talking to people.
If you are so inclined, do leave me a comment or two or just talk to me on twitter.