“Great companies don’t hire skilled people and motivate them, they hire already motivated people and inspire them. People are either motivated or they are not. Unless you give motivated people something to believe in, something bigger than their job to work toward, they will motivate themselves to find a new job and you’ll be stuck with whoever’s left.”
In the course of 5 years, I’ve come from having that corporate girl image into someone who wants out of that environment…pretty please. My current contract with a wonderful corporation is ending and this time, I’m not scrambling to snag another one. In comparison to my younger self, I would have been going to interviews with the next corp non-stop and being irrevocably impressed with big company names and the “prestige” they offer – which aren’t bad. But this time around, I seem to have set my eyes on something else.
Last month, I’ve met heavily with a big league start up and invested time in learning web development and design. The rush of creativity is dare I say it – exhilarating! My parents – surprised as usual started asking about these changes. Which prompted me to ask myself “Why”? What is prompting me to make such a radical change in my career path and even considering taking a pay cut for the sake of not working for the big man any more?
As it happens so often, this one small word “Why” is only the tip of the ice berg. I couldn’t produce a simple answer because my true reasons for all the changes came from deep within. Something I didn’t notice all these years because my priorities were different.
The short answer is that I am looking for inspiration. I don’t question my motivation; I’ve always had it – whether it pertains to education, my career, dating, or projects. I’m blessed to have it inherently but that’s not the issue. The issue was that I’ve always aligned myself with companies who seem like their doing great in the big picture. They have a big mission statement and vision but that for some reason isn’t enough to reach everyone – I’m assuming because of their size. And I’m on a small branch struggling for a drop of inspiration.
So what did I do, while I was waiting for the company – any company I worked for to provide that? Well, I found little ways to inspire myself. I founded SGMC, I became involved with Toronto’s Tech community, I interviewed people who are inspired – and ironically that fuelled my desperation to find my own even more.
I’m nearing 25, and more and more I see the difference of our generation from our parents’. A 401K is great but our base requirements for a fulfilling career isn’t based on just monetary any more. I credit that to our generation’s shift in priorities. We no longer hunt for positions that will be “stable” because we no longer only aspire to settle down by age 30. We want and need self actualization more than ever!
Does my input in a company even matter or am I just a number? Is what I’m doing right now going to translate into something that will yield real results or am I casting my precious life hours out into a void? Am I happy?
The previous generations may have done that and I reiterate that there isn’t anything wrong with a stable 9-5, but maybe they were in that position because they didn’t think there was another option. Nowadays we are so blessed to have disrupters like Uber, Airbnb, BitGold, etc that said, “I know the world is this way right now, but let’s try something else.” They’re prime examples that we don’t have to live in the same world that everyone else did. You don’t have to “go with the flow”. Swim upstream. Find what you need, if it’s nowhere to be found – then build it, start it, do it!
I think that’s why this time around, I prefer smaller companies specifically. I feel that the horizontal hierarchy they offer will translate into more freedom for creativity and a wider flow of ideas. I feel like I’ve been thirsty for so long and every time I put my time and effort to SGMC I feel rejuvenated. And I so desperately crave the company of people who are working towards something – hoping that may be something will rub off. It’s ridiculous. I’m ridiculous because here I am saying give me inspiration and I will give you my time, my dedication, my motivation, my hard work. Give me something to work towards, something more than a “job”.