There are important lessons to be learned from every job – some that might even stick with you for the rest of your career. With that being said, working for a fast growing company is a really unique experience. Every move you make is a significant contribution towards getting the business off the ground. You are forced to adopt new skills and face new challenges at every turn.
I asked my colleague Derek, someone who’s been with Gata Labs since the early stages, to share some of the lessons that he learned throughout his time with us. Derek has been with Gata since January 2014. Despite studying finance in university, he always had an interest in entrepreneurship. He strayed from the typical nine to five job and sought for something a little more exciting. Derek started out as a Business Intern at Gata and returned after graduating as one of the very first members of the Sales Team.
Here are 5 invaluable lessons that Derek learned while working at Gata Labs:
1. Culture beats everything.
This might seem like a pretty obvious one, but I’m a sales guy, and that involves making those sales calls. The truth is, no one loves cold-calling. The people I work with and the atmosphere I’m surrounded by really makes it enjoyable. Being around people who share the same motivation and vision makes coming to work every morning a lot easier.
2. Believe in the long-term vision.
Here’s the thing: despite all the hard work you put in, you can’t expect instant success the next day or week. Just know that it’ll come eventually. When I first started, we had no partners, and now we’re in over 100 regions across North America. It seemed like a daunting task at the time, but looking back at it now, I realize how much we’ve grown. It’s important to focus on a long-term goal and to never lose belief in your vision.
3. Persistence is key.
This goes out to all the sales people in particular. There’s a fine line between being persistent and being too pushy, but when you find the right balance, great results will follow. I’ve never done sales prior to Gata so I had to learn that sometimes it takes multiple calls to close a deal. It’s important to be able to read the person you’re talking to so that you can make the best out of every opportunity.
4. Be a team player.
We all have our individual targets and a little healthy competition doesn’t hurt, but at the end of the day, we’re a team. After all, we’re all working towards the same end goal. Working together as one unit is extremely essential to success. I learned that asking for help, helping others, and being collaborative sets you up for bigger and better results.
5. Stay motivated.
Find out what keeps you motivated and staying productive will be a lot easier. Working for Gata helped me realize that I love creating an impact on something and being able to see the actual difference that I’m making. In addition to that, having the flexibility to work with different people, helping out with different aspects of the company, and just being a part of something from the very beginning plays a huge role in driving my motivation and commitment.
So now it’s your turn…
Whether you’ve switched from job to job every now and then, or if you’ve been fully invested in one company your whole life, it’s definitely important to take some time to reflect on your experience. Think about some of the most important lessons you learned throughout your career. They might have a bigger impact on your life than you realize.