My Happily Ever After Was a Choice

From the company culture and values to various opportunities to grow, there are several things you have to consider when it comes to deciding the company you should work for. I get it. I have been asking myself all the time what is more important to me. It takes time and energy to weigh your options and this whole process makes you feel indecisive. Here is how my tale started.

Who in the world am I? That’s the great puzzle

When you’re a toddler, all you care about is being nurtured by your family, having toys to play with, and lots of cake in your tummy. Later in life, you’re being asked: “What do you want to become when you grow older?

My peculiar reply to this question was that I want to become a princess. Princesses are young, beautiful and wear long, colorful dresses. The more I think of it now, the more I wonder why on earth did I ever wanted that? Princesses are a target for villains, locked in towers, put to a long-lasting sleep, chased, and tricked by everyone. At the age of 5, I was better informed and chose wiser: “I’ll become a famous singer!”. Singers get to work individually, they are travelling to different places on Earth, they have free food and lots of outfits! The only time I was singing was in front of my father, playing-pretend the hairspray is the microphone. Truth to be told, I was performing a dreary act, managing to put my father to sleep every time. Was I meant to become a successful artist? Probably not. Clearly, understanding who I am and what I want seemed to be difficult at the time.

“Class dismissed!”

When I was a teenager, I have decided I wanted to be a journalist. Only in my third year of Uni, I’ve discovered that I am not into media at all. What I enjoyed were subjects like sociology, intercultural communication, and the history of religions. All these subjects made me chase a world where I can experience them. So, I’ve moved to the far-far land of London. My requirements were simple: I want to work in a company that allows me to grow, where my values match theirs, and a magic potion that keeps me forever young. Guess what princess? Magic potions don’t exist, but you might have the chance to find the other two.

I’ve started to work as a teacher. The company was relatively small and felt like a “home away from home”. This company was valuing diversity. I had the chance of working with people belonging to different cultures, nationalities, ethnic groups, and religions. I’ve learned how beautiful differences can be and to embrace the invisible disabilities people have. Here I’ve learned the distinction between diversity, inclusion, and belonging. Children, on the other hand, thought me what unrequited love is, the power of the present moment, and true happiness. I felt like I was changing the world by shaping little minds. Felt like I was making the difference I’ve always wanted.

Research, research, research…

When I moved back home, I started to look for another company where I can feel I belong. It was time to kiss some frogs. Thankfully, I wasn’t left to boil in a cauldron and found this young company. Lucky you, princess, off you go! So, I’ve started to do my research. Had a first look at the website, read what was to read about it. Then watched the testimonials of the people who have founded it. Then stalked them on social media to find out if they walk the talk. So, could this be real? I mean, I have just kissed two frogs, I don’t want to marry one.

Make a wish, blow the candles and let the magic begin

One thing I’ve learned: don’t just believe what someone tells you, have a look at their actions and you’ll understand who they really are. Since I’ve joined ANT, I have noticed all the little things that make the difference between a company you work for and a company that you WANT to work for. People care. And yes, you are heard. They take the time to talk to you, to hear you out and they listen actively. You are encouraged to share your ideas and individual opinions and they will try to find solutions wherever they can. You are respected as an individual, so different needs and wants are acknowledged and appreciated as well as the different backgrounds and perspectives. You can grow. Both professionally and personally. You have the freedom to make decisions and get the support in making those decisions well. They invest time and energy in helping you improve. You just need the courage to work for it. You are trusted to get the job done and allowed to take initiative at work while having the necessary instructions and help when needed. Trust is given from the first moment you step in, is within your power to decide what you’ll do with it. Managers lead by example, and they create a culture where honesty and integrity are at the center of their workdays.

And you? How many frogs will you kiss until you find your prince?