How To Know You’ve Landed the Perfect Job

There is a saying in the startup world that goes “you can have the perfect company, the perfect role, or the perfect team, but you can only have two.”

Whoops, turns out that is wrong!

I just wrapped up my first week on the Trello Marketing team. It goes without saying that everyone is awesome (nice, smart, chill, hard working, introspective, etc.) and extremely excited about Trello. But it’s the little touches that tell you you’re home.

People were excited that I joined the team. I mean really excited. Kinda weirdly excited. Remember, I’m from Boston where if someone says hi, you assume they’re crazy or a Greenpeace Volunteer (they usually are).

Everyone’s emails said something like “hey, so excited to have you joining the team!” But it wasn’t a one-off. It was the recruiter who I worked with. It was my future boss. It was the office manager I met on my first day. It was random people I’d meet in HQ. Everyone was gushing welcomeness. Wow, did it make me feel welcome and awesome inside!

My personal and professional values aligned. Later my first day, as our head of people was going over our values, she said, “one of our core values is: don’t do nothing.” Don’t. Do. Nothing. I almost jumped onto the table and danced. For those of you that know my “Get Shit Done” mug (kudos to StartupVitamins), you’ll know I’m a big proponent of action. Just do the right thing now, don’t wait.

There was karaoke. On my second day I learned a few folks were going to karaoke. KARAOKE!! Oh man, karaoke. So I love karaoke, I think it’s a fun way to be silly with friends, let your guard down, and relive some of your favorite tunes. No one cares how well you sing, just that you have fun. I love it so much I almost considered writing a “karaoke clause” into my contract (basically that my team needs to do a karaoke outing within 12 months, or I quit). I didn’t end up writing it in, because I didn’t need to.

As the days past I kept having these little aha moments that further confirmed I was at the right place for me.

There are people who share your interests. As I was leaving on my third day our TechOps guy walked up to me and complimented me on the “Planet Express” decal I rock on my backpack. I’ve been paying homage to Futurama for the past 6 months and I only had one friend notice. And now in the span of 5 days I had many people notice and appreciate this little detail.

People are wired like you’re wired. It wasn’t all silly things that showed me this the right place for me. Over lunch one day a conversation started about “imposter syndrome.” I’ll be very honest for a minute, I’ve experienced imposter syndrome off and on for 15 years since my first day at Brown University. There I was just feeling that I got in by accident and admissions would realize their mistake any day. I felt that way on my first day of Google. And again, I felt that way on my first day of Trello. My biggest fear accepting my offer — people love Trello, what if I -ef it up? But I wasn’t alone. Here were some of my peers, some of the best marketers in the world laying it out there, and echoing my experience.

People have a sense of humor. For the company to better get to know me I decided to spend two hours writing a Trello parody of one of my all-time favorite songs “I’m On a Boat” by The Lonely Island and then put it up for all to see. (Parody music video coming soon.)

I was blown away by the reaction. People actually thought it was funny. People had my sense of humor.

In the last five days there have been so many other signs that I made the right choice, but I’ll just wrap up by encouraging people to be deliberate about their career choices. Take your time. You’re smart and talented, and the right place for you is there.

Sam, out.

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