I’m Happy. Are you?

Posted: 22nd August 2012 by jhoskins in career, personal

Happiness in the workplace is easily taken for granted especially when you’re having so much FUN at work. Often I pause and reflect on the progression of my career and think about where I am, how I arrived and why I’m so fortunate. I’d like to take you on a journey ….

I started working with Salesforce.com for a couple small businesses in the Central Florida area. Prior to being exposed to Salesforce.com (Thanks to Scott Kotroba) I was an ASP VBScript & Ruby on Rails Developer. I hate to admit it but I was one of those developers that once said “Scott, let’s ditch SFDC we can save money by getting rid of Salesforce by building a custom CRM Module with Ruby on Rails” back then I really didn’t realize the power and flexibility of Salesforce.com so naturally instead of figuring it out I just went the custom route.

Shortly after that statement I found myself at a Salesforce User Group Meeting then Dreamforce and accepting a new position as a SFDC Developer literally plunging into SFDC Hard Core in the matter of 4 short months. The job I accepted didn’t work out and boy did I rely on Google and the developer discussion boards to write my first Apex Classes, Trigger and Visualforce Pages.

I attended the next Salesforce User Group meeting where I was recruited by Jennifer Phillips to work at Hilton Grand Vacations. Jen and I did some amazing things together for HGVC but about a year and a half into my position I found myself becoming anti 9-to-5. Despite the projects I was working on my life was very routine and the 9-to-5 constraints were prohibiting me from investing time in other things I wanted to do.

My Daily Routine: Sleep in as late as possible, shower, dress in corporate america attire, commute to work, work for 8 hours, commute home, cook, eat, sleep and repeat.

Typically exhausted from work I’d usually take a nap after dinner and maybe wake up in the middle of the night to do some personal stuff but overall I felt trapped in a routine, like I wasn’t moving, progressing or being challenged and it wasn’t until my 25th birthday when I was like “Holy Crap, I’ll be in 30 in 5 years, why am I doing unhappy?!?!”

  • I didn’t want to commute to work everyday, I wanted to have a flexible work schedule where I could work from home and not HAVE to wear corporate attire 5 days a week.
  • I wanted to travel the world visiting places I’ve never been
  • I wanted faster agile project cycles instead of having to have meetings for meetings and having to wait for other people to align just to get stuff done.
  • I wanted to work with a stronger collaborative team of smart people.
  • I wouldn’t mind more money.
  • I wanted to be HAPPY!

I was jealous of the consultants hired by Hilton who traveled IN and OUT weekly being experts in their field, gushing about experiencing different cities and a wide range of companies while getting paid and not having to live within the organizations long term.  Then I knew the next step for me to be a “Professional Consultant”.

Within 3 months I launched my own indepdent professional consulting firm “CRMified”, focusing on Salesforce.com and Integrations with Cast Iron and Jitterbit. Life was #awesome, I had clients who enjoyed working with me and miraculously every time I lost sleep over not knowing when my next pay check from a client was going to appear in the mail a lead from various channels would land in my lap.

I was a one man show. I had the flexibility of being flexible when I needed to be and I had a blast juggling the roles assumed when you’re a one man show. Acquiring Clients & Projects (Closing Deals), Writing SOWs, Scheduling Meetings, Time Tracking, Invoicing, Collections, Development… the list goes on,  I was officially a small business owner.

It wasn’t long before I started entertaining career discussions with recruiters just because I could, I had nothing to lose, I had my own company and I was the boss. I interviewed with Appirio and 2 other companies. I owe a bit of my success to Jeff Douglas who originally referred me to Appirio during a Hackathon Event at Dreamforce 2010, Thanks to Jeff I eventually accepted a consultant position after completing a candidate exercise and 7 interviews (5 Phone, 1 Skype and 1 Onsite). Appiro’s interview cycles take longer because it’s critical each individual will fit into our company’s culture. We hire against 3 core items: trust, professionalism and grey matter – as in how smart you are…  the lengthy interview process help us keep the integrity of the culture going

I ultimately chose Appirio b/c the opportunity afforded me the following…

  • A steady paycheck
  • Ability to work from home
  • Ability to work with Smart People
  • Ability to travel
  • Ability to grow professionally and refine consulting vernacular
  • Ability to work with a company focused on culture and doing things differently!

How could I say NO? Every day I see little nuggets of happiness surface that validate joining Appirio is the best career decision I’ve made in my life! The interesting thing to note here is while my total compensation package is nice and generous it’s the company’s philosophy, culture, people, technology and quality of reusable assets sealed the deal for me.

Aside from the company’s philosophy the videos below do a great job further articulating Appirio’s direction, how Appirians work as cloud consultants and how we differ for other consulting firms. Check them out.

If you’re like me you’re always interested in the latest and greatest toys and how to work smarter not harder. If you’re not careful this could be an expensive habit. It’s fitting that the same desire for the latest and greatest technology also applies to my tools at work the only difference is it’s doesn’t cost me anything to use Appirio’s Multi-Tenant Cloud Enablement Suite in fact all Appirians are invited to participate in a Bi-Weekly QA Session with our R&D Team (Yes! We have an R&D Team!) this bi-weekly forum allow us provide feedback to influence the tool we love and use daily. How #awesome is that? Even better we leverage #agile practices and the Cloud Enablement Suite internally so it doesn’t take long for feature to get implemented. How many consulting firms do you know have sexy mature tools like the Cloud Enablement Suite (I don’t know of any!)

Our CEO, Chris Barbin believes “Giving back to Organizations is the RIGHT thing to do”   Check out our Silver Lining Program

Annually Appirians…

  • are given 8 hours of VTO (Volunteer Time Off) to contribute to any organization on their choice.
  • Participate in the company wide Future of the Cloud Day
  • Select Winner and participate in implementations for our Extreme Cloud Makeover Program

Finally, here are some random item to consider when considering Appirio. I’ve collect this list from consultants interested in Appirio.

  1. My previous company provided me an Inadequate computer or I had to use my personal computer.
    • Appirio has an IT Toolbox! Part of the onboarding process is to select if you want a MacBookPro or Dell along with a Monitor, Wireless Keyboard & TrackPad, Plantronics Savi 740 and a Wireless Mifi Device.
  2. My previous company provided has Poor IT support or none at all.
    • Appirio has the leanest support staff on the world, just submit a case and they are one it, If you’re lucky Glenn Weinstein, our CTO will address and close your case personally since he’s not busy with all the On-Premise drama.
  3. Paydays being missed.
    • Appirio employees are paid Bi-weelkly and Appirio has never missed a pay period, exact payout dates for all bonuses are also posted on the internal wiki
  4. Expenses not being paid on time.
    • If you submit your Expense Report via Salesforce on or before Wednesday you’ll have the money in your bank account the following friday on the next business week.
  5. Lack of communication.
    • No organization is perfect but leadership at Appirio doesn’t beat around the bush. We tend to cut the fluff and get right to the point internally.
  6. Lack of support on projects.
    • Each engagement is supported by a Project and Engagement Manager who are your advocates and escalation points, for technical
  7. Bonuses are not attainable and the reason is not in my control.
    • For Consultant Roles we’ve rolled out Gamification, Each quarter a list of Tasks associated with point values is posted and all you have to do is match the quote. Your bonus is 100% attainable by you and you have 3 months to work on it.

Appirio’s Culture is nothing I’ve ever experienced before, I have a voice, my opinion counts, my work is valued and I’m continually challenged in a dynamic and growing organization . I’ve been with Appirio just over year and it’s been a fantastic ride.  It’s my hope that this post will nudge the people stuck in a corporate america (like I was once) will be interested in working at Appirio.

I encourage you to apply for one on the positions below if you’re up for an exciting vibrant new career.

  1. Mike Leach says:

    Happy to admit Facebook was one of those “other companies” recruiting you. Glad you’re happy at Appirio :-)

    • jhoskins says:

      Thanks Mike – Boy was I nervous wreck at the onsite. To date I’ve never used the Mod Function in Apex but thanks to you I’ll NEVER forget it. #foo #buzz

  2. Joe Foley says:

    Great post Josh!
    To add to #5 about communication. The twice-a-month All hands call is fantastic. Never have I been a part of such a depth of info on the pipeline, what current projects have completed and where we stand in our annual goals.

    And don’t forget the opportunity to work with others from our various international offices… something you could probably speak well about :)

    Simply amazing..