Later on today, I’ll be going to Trinity to pick up the DEPFA prize. Until then, it’s a normal workday… It’s not quite normal though – although I graduated months ago, there’s a sense that getting the prize will truly be the final word in that chapter. And while working at a startup brings plenty of trade-offs, I’m having a fantastic day today So I thought I’d catalogue some of the things I love about my job, and a little bit of how they relate to my education.
- I’m working with truly outstanding, top-of-the-line people, every day. When I started university, I was told I’d be lucky if 1/3 of my lecturers were superb, 1/3 were adequate, and 1/3 were awful. I think that ratio probably panned out over the years – some were better than others. At Joost, there’s just so much talent, everywhere, in all kinds of fields. I don’t know everyone in the company, so I’m sure there are Regular Joes hiding somewhere – but the ratio of brilliant:regular colleagues is pretty high.
- The job-spec is a springboard, not a box. One of the things that I loved about the IB was that the syllabus was meant to be a starting point, not an end. Only once in Joost have I come up against an “it’s not your job” barrier, and there were real, technical reasons for it.
- Flexibility is the reality, not some marketing blurb. I have a desk, in an office, on our office plan. There’s been a bit of movement recently, so I’m not exactly sure which one it is, but that’s not the point. When I go into the office, I head to where my team are, and I take over their couch. If anyone minds, they haven’t told me yet. I’m most comfortable working with the laptop in my lap, on either a low couch or a cushion on the floor – and that’s just fine. I get the odd “are you honestly comfortable there?”, but no one’s told me “you have to go sit at a desk”. Not once. This is an ultra-big-deal for me – flexibility has shaped my decisions for almost a decade, and it’s often seen as something one should “grow out of”, move on from. I chose the IB in part for its flexibility, I chose my degree almost entirely for its flexibility, and I have no intention of taking on a job where they tell me how to dress, what time to take my coffee break, or which way I should sit.
- There’s no “ism”s. I was asked a few tenuously-legal questions at interview, which did shake me up a bit. But despite that, Joost has an incredibly open and tolerant work environment. There’s fantastic diversity in the workforce – and yes, I think it makes the company better just by being that way. People from different backgrounds – culturally, politically, socially, technically – think differently, and that benefits Joost enormously.
I’m sure there’s more, but I’ll save them for another day. Too much cheer all at once could be dangerous