Miriam Ballesteros: What I’ve learned after one year at Strands

by | May 15, 2018

If you have the chance to work in a startup-like company, you probably know some of the common, cool perks: free food, yoga time, flexible schedules and on-site espressos. And while that’s all awesome (seriously), a company that cares about culture goes deeper than this – it has a pervasive attitude that making the office a good place for employees actually matters.

It’s been a year since I started working in the marketing team at Strands, the FinTech partner for banks. So I wanted to take some time to look at the big picture: step back, think, and appreciate the job. Here you can read what it has been like as a Strander for a year:

If everything seems under control, you’re not moving fast enough

It’s true that some things are good when you slow them down: slow food, slow dancing, and slow conversations. But when it comes to work in a fast-paced industry, you better be able to move quickly and respond rapidly.

Things change fast so embracing uncertainty is half the battle. The other step is developing a good sense of prioritization. It’s always going to feel a little bit crazy but successful ventures always have some level of chaos.

Done is better than perfect

You could be sitting on a masterpiece all your life, but if you never get it into beta form and put it out into the world, no one would ever know about it. And what good does that do?

I’ve learned that perfection can be an enemy of progress. It’s not about making crap or churning out mediocre stuff – I believe you should always strive for the highest quality you can – but you have to finish and get it out there.

Taking ownership pulls the switch

Working for a midsize company affords you the opportunity to effect tangible change. I have the freedom to make decisions and take ownership of my work: developing and executing digital marketing strategies.

Taking ownership comes with taking responsibility in what you deliver, and it goes for the good, the bad, and everything in between. It basically means you give a damn. But when you do so on a personal level, you directly contribute to a healthy workforce.

It’s you who controls the growth of your career

Have a new idea for a project? Say it. Is there a process that could be improved? Suggest it. Would you like someone to mentor you? Ask for it. In business as in life, you get what you negotiate.

Tim Ferriss (Four Hour Workweek) reminds us that someone’s success in life can be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have. So whether a company has a professional development plan or not, it’s always your responsibility to follow up and be proactive in your career.

You’re exposed to extraordinary people

Be it designers, developers, business analysts, or consultants, the best thing a company can take care of is its genuine people.

I have the opportunity to work with smart and talented colleagues from diverse backgrounds who provide the best environment I’ve ever experienced. In the end, people make culture. And #StrandsFamily is one of a kind to be part of.

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