Early in my career, I was a bit of a job-hopper. Heck, I even had my own company at one point, and only stuck with that for 3 years. So what keeps me at Mariner after all of these years?
- The ethics of the company – When they started the firm, Joe and Phil set down specific ground rules about how they wanted to conduct business. Rooted in fairness and appreciation for customers, partners and employees, there are no moral dilemmas here. Our core values of Integrity, Honesty, Professionalism, Trust and Fun are rarely stated, but are always evident in action.
- What we do is cool – When you improve people’s lives at work, you change their entire lives. Period. So imagine the joy of one set of customers when they went from managing 1000s of reports, to managing just a couple of hundred that people actually used. This meant that they got to go home at a reasonable hour and spend more time with their families. Cool. Or imagine how another felt when they were able trim $100,000s from their transportation costs. No sleepless nights for them anymore. Way cool. Or imagine how another group of customers felt when they were suddenly able to distinguish profitable customers from those that just sucked the life – and profits – right out of them. For them, it meant their profitability went up while their blood pressure went down. Even cooler!
- A balanced life – For 12 years, I’ve been telecommuting 3 days a week. That’s right – I’m in the office just two days a week. I’ve rarely missed an event at my daughter’s school and I’ve never failed to take care of her when she was sick. Now, this means that I may be working at 10pm some nights, not because someone expects me to, but because I want to. I enjoy what I do (refer back to reason #2) and the flexibility to alter my schedule. This is not unusual these days, but 12 years ago, I was one of the first true telecommuters.
- Free to be me – We are an odd lot, but our quirkiness is not just embraced at Mariner but encouraged. We all work really hard, but our outside activities are just as important as what we do on the job. Our crew includes musicians (lots of them), organic farmers, skiers, fishermen, (insert your favorite sport) moms, a yoga teacher (me), a home brewer of beer and a whole host of innovative,interesting individuals. We are encouraged to bring our hobbies into the workplace. I’ve been known to kick off customer meetings with a few yoga stretches and have lead yoga classes at our annual retreat. Melinda Frycek, our organic farmer, brought us homemade cheese from her goats to try. Phil Morris, our home beer brewer, brought some of his award-winning brew to one of our quarterly wine tastings. And several of us have met on a few occasions to listen to Wayne Snyder play in his retro rock-pop and.
It may not be glamorous, but it’s a great gig. And stay tuned for another post at the 2-dozen-year mark. My list may be different then, but I plan to still be here.