How often do you find yourself wondering if you’re at your dream workplace? What do you tell people about your job when they ask and what is the vibe you share? How do you keep your motivation during stressful periods and what makes you smile everyday you walk into your office? Why working at mReady is my dream job?
I have been a part of mReady team since it started growing and have been loving it since the first day! Being part of a rising company is a great opportunity and adventure that eventually becomes addictive. The road is paved with stress, doubts and struggles, but the lessons you learn, the small rewards and achievements you come across fill you up with all the energy you need to keep going and motivate you to constantly improve both yourself and the surrounding place.
Working with a continuously developing team needs a lot of energy and optimism which I try to share with everyone. So why would you choose a startup or a small company instead of a stable, predictable, mature company?
First of all, you learn fast. Working in a loose environment, that does not have the rigidity of a big corporation, gives you the space needed to experiment, fail, get feedback and eventually get better at what you do. When I first started at mReady I was a 2nd year Computer Science student and I was learning to write organized, bug-free production code. The constant feedback I received from my colleagues has helped me improve my coding and technical skills at a much faster pace than it would have happened in a corporation.
After getting over the basics, you get to play a lot. Small companies and startups usually need the same roles as great firms do. They just don’t have them written on badges: the same people need to take on various responsibilities and discover how to do them right. Even if you’re just an iOS Developer, you can get a glimpse of what a Software Architect, a Project Manager, a Team Leader, a Recruiting Expert, a Community Manager, an Office Manager, or a Programme Manager are. During the years I spent at mReady I developed over 30 iOS apps; I’ve been working with Android, PHP, Python, and other technologies that have no connection with iOS; I have maintained communication with clients; conducted hiring interviews; mentored younger colleagues; lead developer teams; organised parties and team buildings; planned two internship programmes that have helped the team grow, bond and evolve; attended a lot of conferences and have represented our company at various tech and recruiting events.
The best part of working in a startup is that you discover yourself. While tackling with so many challenges and roles you inevitably find yourself surrounded by a lot of dilemmas. Sometimes you find yourself having to take decisions on subjects nobody else has experience on and all the support you have is based solely on opinions or online articles. The way you handle these problems can influence the whole company and it brings up challenges like becoming better and always striving to get the best out of everything you do.
Don’t forget you are never alone. Everyone else will be there to support your initiative, help you see it through and facilitate the necessary resources. At the end of the day the whole team is here to celebrate the success of your idea or support you with a kind word and feedback on unexpected outcomes.
You make a difference. You have a great say in the shape of the company and it has a major impact on your personality. Everything you do (the initiatives you have, the tasks you take on, the people you mentor) takes a part of your personality and is defined by your own values and ways of doing things. In the end your company will be the sum of the team’s combined personalities and everyone will identify with the company’s values.
As cool as everything sounds, working in a rising company isn’t always fun and games. All the responsibilities, roles, failures and context switches gather up in stress. Sometimes you will find yourself wondering where does everything lead? Is it worth all the stress, thoughts and time? Will you ever manage to pull it off? You get confused and you start questioning everything including yourself and the cool things we’re a part of.
I have thought at times about my friends that work in stable corporations. It seems they have it all figured out: their role in the company, the tasks they have, their daily schedule, promotion rules and salary packages. They generally know how their whole professional life will evolve. Some of them even know the exact timeline of it all.
So why doesn’t everyone take the easy way out? After struggling some time with this question, talking with a lot of different friends that work in various fields and positions I have reached an obvious conclusion: people are different. The things they prioritise in life define them as human beings. Although it’s not rocket science, the fact that people are different helped me realise why I don’t work in a corporation: I would get bored of doing the same things every day, having my role clearly sorted out. I, for one, love the challenges that arise in a growing company, the uncertainty, the people you interact with and the way things shape out.
When you feel your motivation could not get any lower, you start seeing the results of your hard work: people remind you how cool is the company you created, what a great job you do and how you have influenced their lives. You start thinking about the clients that you helped develop ideas and about your mentees that will always bear in mind the values you taught and will be grateful for the skills they obtained.
One of the most important lessons I learnt during the past years is how important individuals are in a team. Investing in people and helping them overcome themselves is one of our core values and it made me realize that passing on knowledge and trust is one of the most rewarding activities you can do as part of a growing team. Your personality gets to shape future generations: it can motivate and inspire them or it can do just the opposite. Discovering how to interact with people in order to have a positive influence in each other’s lives is a constant challenge which gets the best out of you.
The reason I wrote this article is the feedback we got from our summer interns: Carmen, Adela and Mihai, who have shared their impressions with us. Seeing what a great contribution we had in their lives makes me look forward, keeps me wanting more and better for myself and the company I am part of.
All the enthusiasm that surrounds us and the fact that everyone comes to work joyful make me proud and grateful I am taking part in the evolution of our team. People strive to put in their best, they want to discover and explore, they identify themselves with the team’s values and that keeps my everyday smile.