After running almost 100 workshops and Q&As with students or junior employees, a lot of the time I have been asked what am I looking for when hiring or growing teams.
I think it would be fair to share how I have approached my professional life. Every context is unique – so replicating it is impossible and also a bit weird to even try –, but I can try depicting a decision-making mindset.
Choosing life … over life
I have never believed you can (really) draw a line between personal and professional life.
If those are hours spent out of your time, it is just life. Therefore, find things that you enjoy doing or explore activities until you discover those that you would like to do on a daily basis (no matter whether on weekdays or weekends).
Complaining about professional life is complaining about your life. Not someone else’s.
You spend time there. A lot
There is one thing that clearly killed any chance of accepting or continuing to work in a place: environment.
It will always be a place where you spend 8 hours or more. This is a deal-breaker if you do not like the people on your team, the manager(s) or the ones working in other departments. There is no reason to be there. Just find a way to move away from that environment immediately or to create a new one by changing the team.
Another deal-breaker can be found in the form of nepotism or lack of fairness, whenever encountered.
I have built my entire day-to-day (work) life on 4 pillars:
- Learning (be a better person): before being able to build your own self-learning behaviour, it is about those who lead you. Can I learn a lot from those that I am working with and/or leading me?
This applies especially when you are at the beginning of the professional activity, as you need to have someone to guide you. Being uncomfortable with the tasks that you are asked to do is essential if you are seeking effective learning. Although you are not familiar with a lot of things and this causes discomfort at first, the learning process can be fun/enjoyable.
I am still looking to work with people that I can learn from. There is no such thing as being fully prepared for what is coming. Uncertainty is also part of life.
- Job title (ego): what is my job title? How do I define my relationship with that company? Moving up in your career, you might find yourself aiming to feel more and more important. Getting a cool job title was important to me until 5 or 6 years ago
- Financial status (do not think about surviving at all): am I paid so I can enjoy evenings and weekends? Will I be able to pay my rent at the end of the month?
It is important to underline that it is definitely not a competition with others or over ownership of goods. However, regardless of your spending behaviour, you should be able to have a pleasant life and learn as much as possible.
- Ladder: opportunities to grow. What is the highest level that I can reach in this particular environment/company? As soon as you reach seniority, you might not care a lot about it. There is also a possibility that you care even more. It depends on the type of person you have managed to develop yourself into: corporate or self-growing until reaching the highest level possible before owning your company, becoming managing partner of that company or even the CEO of an existing structure.
So, for me, this was the order of things that got me here – leading teams in advertising agencies (OmniPERFORM) that I founded, working with more than 80 corporations in my professional advertising experience, speaking in front of more than 20.000 people on 3 continents and becoming CEO of one of the largest angel-investors networks (Angels Den Funding) in EU (or maybe even globally).
And top 100 Young Managers – Manager in Technology Age – Business Magazin Top 100 Young Managers 2018
and CEO of the Year in the UK in 2018..
Or at least, that’s what I think.
But then again, the only things I want from the people I work with is the desire to learn, act and have fun.
Learning, getting things done and having fun with both your colleagues and managers will give you a feeling of belonging.
You can achieve great things only by having an amazing team on your side, being involved and trusting that the ones around you will give their best every day, just like you do.