If you were to ask me whether I was a morning person, I would probably say “I am when I need to be.” Despite not having any formal corporate internship this summer like a lot of my peers, I still find my days incredibly busy with countless post-its plastered across my Kanban Board. This week was no exception as I woke up eagerly on a warm summer morning in January for my first ever in-person sales pitch to Jamie from Austern International.
Jamie and her co-founder Lily have been instrumental in my professional development over the past year. Through the work done as a participant and as a leader in their Millennial Careers Bootcamp, I’ve been able to hone a unique skill set that gives me every chance of being successful in the transition from university to the workforce.
Over the many coffees I’ve had with Jamie over the past year, a recurring theme was her emphasis on the importance of sales. “Did you know that according to Forbes, 20% of the Fortune 500 CEOs started off in sales?” she would keep asking me. So, taking this on board I got on my MacBook and started searching. Fast forward a couple of weeks, a few emails and a very relaxed interview later and I found myself stepping into a role in Business Development with the guys at VIVA.
But why did I choose VIVA?
Here are three things to look for when choosing a company to work for.
- Core Values and Beliefs
We all have things we believe in, and companies are no different. The central ethos with VIVA is to “embrace life.” This doesn’t just pertain to the work they do but the people who work there. At the end of the day, companies are made up of people that like to be surrounded by other people with similar core values and beliefs. As a result, it’s essential that you find out what your company stands for and determine whether this aligns with the person you are. Core values underpin future goals and knowing that people are making decisions based on these will mean you have found a company you could potentially be with for the long-run.
While job packages or company incentives may be appealing, it’s the culture that ultimately dictates the satisfaction an employee gains from the workplace. From the start, Horace and Tom from VIVA have emphasised the horizontal culture that seeks to value everyone’s opinions in order to reach that common goal. Though this I was able to hit the ground running and gain the satisfaction that my contributions are tangible.
Learning doesn’t cease at university. Finding a company that can provide the opportunity to continually learn, grow, and develop both as a person and as a professional will prove immensely valuable for both you and the company. Within a small team like VIVA, there is no one constantly telling you what to do or how you should do it. The onus is completely on you, and only you can transform that role into something that is valuable for yourself and also make a difference within the company. This freedom allows me to explore avenues and fail fast, which proves far more valuable than any lesson I’ve learnt through university (#sorrynotsorry).
So it’s funny how things basically came full circle. From a simple coffee with Jamie about the idea of sales, to actually pitching a model for a company to her. I can say without doubt that the skills I have learnt in this short time in sales has proved invaluable to my professional development and I am keen to see where this newfound path with VIVA will take me.