Over 10 years ago, I nervously walked into a conference room and sat down. What followed was a series of people coming in, one after another to talk to me. About everything. My background, my interest in technology, my hypothetical super powers (if I were to have one) and what I’d be doing if it wasn’t this. I was prepared for all of the “standard” interview questions, but struggled to understand how a hypothetical super power was relevant in the context of whether or not I would be a good programmer/analyst (yes, that’s where I started!). I did my best to answer their questions (and tried to remember all of their names), and left feeling hopeful. A few days (maybe a week later) I was called back to go through the same process again, with more people! My interview took about a day. Like literally 8 hours. But they eventually decided to give me a shot.
Before I even officially started at clevermethod, the whole company went to see Star Wars. In the middle of the day. I started to get excited.
My First Days.
At my previous job they had a pretty standard new employee training program. A binder that you went through with test exercises, example projects and a lot of documentation and paperwork to read. My first day at clevermethod was not like that. I was thrown right in. I was meeting with clients and working on actual projects with legitimate deadlines. Within a few months I was flying to Los Angeles to document and understand a complex consumer relations application. To say the training wheels were off would be a misstatement – they were never on! But I was learning a ton (very quickly!), and gaining confidence as I started to see the trust that was being placed in me.
Starting a new job you always wonder what the people are going to be like. Will everyone be nice? Are you going to fit in? Will you have someone to eat lunch with? The answer I soon realized was yes. To all my questions. We ate lunch together every day. We had a contest to see who could wear more orange and blue (a throwback to those that remember our original branding!). I started to realize that the whole team just gelled. Our skills and personalities complimented each other. We had inside jokes (mmm…peanuts…), celebrated birthdays, and always found ways to help each other. Looking back, I realized this was the reason for the day-long interview.
I was an ambitious 23 year old when I started at clevermethod. I was newly married, just bought my first house and was still trying to figure out the whole “being an adult” thing. The partners were young single guys in their twenties too, just trying to make it work in a rented office space next to a daycare. We all worked hard, and we all worked together. And the hard work paid off. In 2008 clevermethod moved to 1200 Maple Road. We had a fancy new building. I had my own office. In 2009 I had my son (who’s now 5 1/2 and finishing up Kindergarten!). In 2012 I had my daughter. Things like affordable insurance, health savings accounts, 401Ks and flexible time off started to increase in importance – fortunately they were (and are!) important to clevermethod as well. Our services grew (up) too. When I joined clevermethod it was a relatively new company that made websites, whose process was defined more often than not by the client or the project. Now we are a modern marketing agency, proud of the process that we’ve been able to define (and refine) over the years. We grew up. Together.
So why don’t you want a job here? A job is something you do to earn a paycheck. You punch in, you punch out. When you leave, you aren’t checking your email, or checking in to see how your co-worker is doing in the daily squat challenge group on Facebook. A career might be better. A career describes a journey that can include a number of jobs and experiences. clevermethod is a small company, so we all have a lot of “jobs” here that contribute to a career. So it’s a bit closer, but still not everything. It still seems too small. clevermethod has been there with me through good times and bad. It’s helped me grow and evolve as a person and as a professional. Heck, I’m even married to a clevermethoder (almost 12 years already)! It sounds corny and cliché, but the only word that comes to mind to describe what clevermethod is to me is family. So sure, clevermethod could be one heck of a job, but it could also be something so much more.