“What have I gotten myself into?” ran through my head during the first week of training at Pythian. The environment was great, the people were great, and the work was great, but many doubts ran through my head as I ran from training meeting to training meeting. How am I going to retain all this information (my memory skills are bad as it is)? Am I going to meet their expectations? Am I too junior for this? I can’t seem to catch up on anything; is this the right career choice?
Six months later and I’m still here! I feel more comfortable with the work, know I am meeting expectations, and have confidence in my skills. My organizational skills have even improved. I know I’ve made the right career choice; even my memory has gotten much better! What changed over the past 6 months you ask? Well, here is how it started.
I was happy and content with my previous employer. I knew what I was doing, had the skills and knowledge, and was regarded as one of their senior employees. Although it was mainly recruiting work I was performing, it was under a Sales umbrella. I had always wanted to follow the path of an HR professional, may it be recruiting, organizational design, compensation, employee relations, training – all of which fell under the umbrella of HR. I arrived at Pythian because I was contacted by a previous colleague with an opportunity that I could not resist. Finally, I thought, I will get a chance to get my hands dirty and work on my true passion – Human Resourcing (HR). Contrary to popular belief, HR professionals are not “paper pushers”, administrators, or strictly recruiters, but in fact are pieces of the strategic puzzle in any organization. The harsh reality though is that much of the world still believes that we are administrators. So I really wanted to join an organization that leverages HR as a strategic partner for the organization.
What Pythian offered me was the “3 Pillars of Growth” – Sales, Service Delivery and HR. These 3 ‘pillars’ are crucial in helping a business grow. This was further solidified for me by the people I met, the new/ existing plans and programs within HR, and the focus on culture Pythian provided for the growth of the business. This was a great opportunity for me to grow as a person and my career and be part of a strategic team.
So I arrived at Pythian and was excited to learn the things I have always wanted to learn while providing the expertise I already possessed. In fact, I was delegated as the lead on a major, high profile project within the first week. However, doubt crept in shortly after as I found myself feeling like I could barely tread water (Ask my wife, I’m not a very strong swimmer). Here I was absorbing so much information about the company, policies, and procedures, and now I have to figure out how to roll out a project while I was still learning about the internal processes (and performing my main responsibility of recruiting). I rapidly felt like I was taking on too much water and started drowning. I started to lose confidence in my abilities and doubted the decision to take on this role. I had several discussions with my work colleagues and my peers about my concerns. However, the one discussion that really changed my mind set was a conversation with my wife. She told me: “You worked too hard for this. Don’t let yourself be your worst enemy.” There it was, clear as day! It was all my own insecurities, my own self-doubt, myself talking me out of this equation. So, I worked hard to observe and utilize the tools I had been provided throughout my career and at Pythian.
Once I was more open, I quickly noticed that Pythian really believes in their employees. They really empower their employees to do well and have a company culture to nurture their growth. They are always to open to new ideas and are always willing to take on risks with you. In the event that your new idea does not work, they still support you and move on to other ideas without pointing fingers or seeing you as a failure. Pythian’s unwritten culture is to make sure their employees don’t fail. Being in HR here, I was able to observe that these facts are not just in our department, but is well exemplified in all business units across Pythian, starting from the CEO and Founder, to the Senior Executive team, to the Leadership team, and so on. I also had the opportunity to address my concerns to my own colleagues and manager, and they were nothing but supportive. They provided immediate feedback and were able to share relatable experiences with me.
Today, I feel like I am a much better swimmer. With the support I was given by my colleagues, my managers, and the company, my confidence in my abilities has grown, and I know I have and will continue to add value to the organization. I feel I have met the expectations of the people who hired me, and I know I have made the right decision in joining this team.
This was my own experience of the first 6 months at Pythian. I hope that others have had similar or will have similar experiences (although I hope they are better swimmers). It has been tough, but I’ve enjoyed every second of it. Life is a journey after all!
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