Hi blog readers! It has been a while! Like a long while, oops. My life has been pretty ordinary lately. I work, I sleep, I eat, and I haven’t done a bunch of traveling or cool new things. HOWEVER, today is a bit of a milestone, and people have asked me to start writing a bit, so here I am! This title is a bit of a pun, you’re welcome.
Today is my one year anniversary of working my permanent job at Growth Australia. It’s hard to believe that an entire year has gone by. I have learned so much, gained so much, and continue to reap the blessings of this job. For the first time in my life it’s not a “job” but a career, a family. This whole post might be extremely cliché, but I thought in honour of this anniversary, I would outline a few of the things I have learned along the way.
Small Businesses are Where It’s At
When I was in business school, I always imagined myself working in a huge corporation, climbing the corporate ladder. I came from a small town that rewarded initiative, and landed pretty great summer and part time jobs because of this. I thought that the corporate world would also reward me like this, and ultimately I would become successful. Obviously my experience in a corporate job didn’t work out, and the experience led me here to Australia (yeah, it was that bad). When I started at Growth, they had just celebrated the company’s first birthday. I was the seventh employee (I think), and every single win was celebrated big. We worked really hard, and I was thrown into the deep end. I learned that in small company, you have a voice, and you’re not just a cog in a huge machine. Every time I wanted to learn something new, or took the initiative to implement a new idea, I was part of the success of the business. My experience and knowledge helped the team, and I was given the opportunity to learn a lot REALLY quick. I have had the opportunity to learn more about the industry, myself, my skills and general business knowledge than I could’ve in years in a corporate environment.
We Win and Lose Together
Living on the other side of the world comes with many challenges. One of the major challenges is being away from my family, and 14+ hours ahead of them. Not having family around can have a huge impact on my personal life. I have found that in our small business, everyone cares for each other. They want to know what I do in my spare time and on the weekends. They listen to me tell the same stories on repeat, and laugh at my accent on the regular. They encourage me when I am missing home, and they congratulate me on my achievements. The directors are sometimes the father figures I often need, and everyone else is there to relentlessly laugh at my flaws. It’s like a family, and as a family we experience business wins and losses together. When the business has a project win, we all celebrate. When we lose, we are all sad. We never really stop laughing in our often loud office, and it’s the best international family I could ask for.
Working at Growth has been more unconventional than I could’ve ever imaged. My job title is “Management Consultant”, which is a pretty broad title. Since we’re small, I am also the Marketing Manager, the entire IT Department, sometimes a Contracts Administrator, (self-appointed, and only member of the) head of the party planning committee, and the Business Administrator. When I first started, they hired me to do general administration and accounts payable, which is what all of my professional experience was in. However, I soon found that I had skills and knowledge to contribute to the success of the team in so many different ways. The Directors both encouraged and challenged me, and supported me (financially and in all other ways) through the very complicated visa situation (read last post for a contradicting view on this situation). These are all things that I wouldn’t have found in the corporate jungle of a huge corporation, and I am so thankful I’ve had the chance to experience them, and continue with this great experience.
Kay, so this entire thing turned out to be kinda cheesy, and for that I am sorry. Not actually sorry, but like the Canadian sorry where we say “sorry” when someone is in our way and we want them to move. I am pretty excited to see how my future in Australia and Growth play out. In the meantime, I am so thankful for this past year. Here’s a pic of me at the nicest waterfall I have ever been to, just to show that my life isn’t ALL work.