All in Eight Years of Work
Eight years ago, when I was a young 23-year-old, I noticed a job posting for a technical writer at OfficeMate Software Solutions on my professional organization’s local chapter website. I applied to the job and became OfficeMate’s (and eventually Eyefinity’s) first technical writer.
Most people in my age group stay with a company for only a few years, at the max. In fact, I have one very successful technical writer friend who’s worked for six different companies in non-contract jobs in less than eight years. I admit that I’m a little shocked, myself, that I’ve been at the same company for eight years, especially when most of my peers are hopping from one company to the next.
Years ago, if you stayed with a company for many years, your loyalty was highly regarded. Now, the opposite is almost true – people may think that you’re stagnant, resistant to change, or unmotivated. I don’t consider myself any of those negative things, though – in fact, in the past eight years, I’ve grown from a lone technical writer to a manager of technical writers, I’ve been one of the first people in my field to become certified in my profession, and I’ve taken what I’ve learned on the job into the classroom at a state university to teach soon-to-be graduates the principles of business writing. So why do I stay, year after year?
I’d be lying if I said that pay and benefits don’t factor in to my tenure, but the reality is that for most of us, they do. But we all know people who have left high-paying jobs for lower-paying jobs because there was no balance between money and happiness. Learning that money doesn’t buy happiness is a hard life lesson. After you learn it, though, you can focus on company and career attributes that do bring joy. For me, and many others at Eyefinity, two of these elements are passion and culture.
I recently read an article in which some of America’s top CEOs offer their advice to new graduates. The most reoccurring piece of advice is to pursue a career that is aligned with your passion (Brian Sharples, CEO of HomeAway). Again and again, they reiterated that you should find something you are passionate about and the money will take care of itself (Rick Arquilla, President & COO, Roto-Rooter). I’m passionate about helping our product users understand how to efficiently use our products so that they can ultimately do what they do best – improve the vision of their patients. I get to work for a company that supports, respects, and encourages my passion. How great is that?
The second most common advice from the CEOs interviewed for the article mentioned above is to find the right corporate culture; don’t get hung up on what business the company is in (Rick Arquilla, President & COO, Roto-Rooter). Read that one over a few more times and think about it. The CEO who offered that advice works for Roto-Rooter. I’m guessing that most people do not find plumbing a particular flashy profession. But it doesn’t matter if your profession is plumbing or insurance or eyecare or software – the right culture can exist in any field. And at Eyefinity, I’m happy that it exists in our niche of creating the best ophthalmic software, online business tools, and complementary technology for eyecare professionals. A company’s culture should provide you with the reassurance and good feeling that you are making a difference in what you do for 40+ hours/week, every week, year-after-year. Jim Goodnight, CEO of SAS, summed this premise up simply by stating that if a company treats its people like they make a difference, they will make a difference.
Join Us at Eyefinity
If you want to make a difference, align with your passion, and be a part of a corporate culture that actually makes you look forward to working every day, check out and apply for a job at Eyefinity on the VSP Careers website.
While wrapping up this blog post, I happened upon the following quote by Steve Baker, the President of Eyefinity. Steve wrote this quote years ago – it was not something that I asked him to craft for this post – and it was reassuring to find because just like the CEOs highlighted above, Steve believes in providing an environment for employees that nurtures passions and a positive culture:
“At Eyefinity, we’re passionate about our business. We focus on customer needs first, then on solutions that empower private practice. We deliver on our promises and then we celebrate our achievements. It’s hard work, it’s great fun, and it’s a culture that motivates us. I’m excited about the future because I know Eyefinity will be key to the success of private practice and the entire eyecare industry. At the end of the day, it’s all about a quality customer experience and a proud staff of talented employees.”