My Career Realization Moment, Made Possible By Auto-Correct
I’ve been asking a lot of questions lately. I’m not pondering the vastness of our universe and I’m not a three-year-old, so why all the questions? Short explanation is that I have recently been helping interview candidates.
In the course of these interviews, I provide the candidate the opportunity to ask ME a question. I am often asked, “Why did you choose to work at MATRIX?”
I always have a pretty good answer.
And by pretty good, I mean I answer honestly. I tend to give multiple variations of the same answer, but it all boils down to one thing: I chose MATRIX to learn and acquire knowledge. Which means I am admitting I don’t know everything. I didn’t when I was a teenager, and I surely don’t now.
I really didn’t plan to write a blog about this, but interestingly enough, I was texting with a former colleague about an article he had written and somehow in the text conversation I had to type out “M-A-T-R-I-X”, but my phone auto-corrected it to spell “matriculation”. Try it and see for yourself - I promise I didn’t make this up.
This was sort of my moment of realization, not because I finally figured out why I chose MATRIX, but because the word just seemed to fit. Plus, I like analogies and this one seems to sum up my often verbose answer to the question.
I do plan to elaborate (and be verbose), so my blog doesn’t end just yet.
Matriculation, apart from being a cool word to say, is the act of enrolling into college or a university to get a degree.
Well. I’ve done that and will never go back to college (different blog, different day), so I am not actually enrolling at a university, but I have chosen to be in an environment where I can absorb new knowledge and perspectives.
Most often, people seek out jobs that have a better title than their original to show advancement. Many job seekers want Fortune 500 companies on their resumes or assume that certifications listed at the end of their names will make them appear to be experts.
These can definitely be good building blocks for a resume, and I was no exception to these strategies. However, a resume stops when the page ends and to really gain more insight about a person there needs to be a conversation (formally known as an “interview”).
More and more companies are looking for people who will fit well into their culture (or even those who have the ability to change the culture) and who have the desire to learn. This is very true in the world of technology, because skills can often become outdated quickly.
Luckily, I had the opportunity to be interviewed and have conversations with several people at MATRIX and I could tell that this would be a culture that encourages growth, both personally and professionally.
As part of the MATRIX Professional Services team, I am surrounded by people that can help me build a strong foundation in knowledge and experience in my role as Agile Coach and Scrum Master.
We don’t just swap our latest book recommendations or upcoming training programs; we actually exchange thoughts and experiences - and it’s ok to have different levels of knowledge, strategies and opinions on matters. This is what makes us a strong team. I am one piece of a larger puzzle. This is definitely not happenstance, but by design. This diversity in backgrounds allows us to better serve our clients and each other.
And I promise I’m not just saying these nice things because it’s time for my annual review. And no, MATRIX did not ask for my firstborn (who actually does work for MATRIX) and I am not trying to one-up any of my colleagues (this is a half-lie).
So, next time you are being interviewed for your dream job, don’t be afraid to share that you want to grow and don’t be afraid to ask your interviewee why they chose to work at their company. This can give you tremendous insight into the company. Above all, don’t be afraid to be yourself. All these factors combined can make you a strong candidate and on the path not just for an offer, but for career and personal growth.