Reflecting on 7 professional years

Originally posted on LinkedIn

Jan 13, 2016

I’m celebrating my 7th anniversary at EXL today and I heard from a lot of colleagues with good wishes. This made me pause to reflect briefly on what has contributed to a successful work environment for me over the past seven years.

  1. People: This is the biggest influence on my own work satisfaction. I work with smart people. They are all honest as the day is long, and all looking out for the common good and the best results for our clients, long before our own skins. I personally am a horrible player of politics, so an environment with minimal games and no backstabbing is key for me. Based on my experience over the years, this kind of environment isn’t just luck of the draw; it is developed by paying attention to the culture of an organization and nurturing the qualities which are important. My executive management are all real people — available and easy to approach. My peers and clients are my friends. Our staff is bright and driven.
  2. Work life balance: While I spend a lot of time on the road, I work from home whenever I can. This offers me a big advantage in balance and allows me a lot of control over my own schedule. I’m lucky to have a fairly manageable work life balance right now in which I feel like I am giving proper attention to my clients, my family, and myself. I hope my kids benefit from my being around for real quality time when I am in town, rather than just floating in late each night and on weekends. 
    Take care of yourself: When you don’t sleep, eat crap, don’t exercise, and are living off adrenaline for too long, your performance suffers. Your decisions suffer. Your company suffers. Love those close to you: Failure of your company is not failure in life. Failure in your relationship is.” ―Ev Williams, co-founder of Medium and Twitter
  3. Ability to get things done: I work in an environment that presents me with issues (daily!) and I have to resolve them. My clients and my teams rely on me to get things done and I’m properly empowered to affect change. That’s a really rewarding feeling.
  4. Client impact: My clients are smart folks and they solve the easy stuff themselves. They give us the hard issues and our success has real impact to our clients’ own business relationships. The things that my clients rely on me for are really important to them — often mission critical. My deliverables impact my clients’ businesses. This gives a real sense of purpose to my work.
  5. Personal growth: I get to learn new things every day. I always learn the most from clients who share their business issues to me. I get to dive deep into their industry, management issues, and process inefficiencies. Most of my clients are in industries which are very dynamic and facing threats and disruption from a variety of competitors and technologies. There is no bigger inspiration for creative thinking.

Here’s to a great eighth year with my colleagues and clients!

What brings you satisfaction at work?