A few days ago our good friend and employee Tyler Emmert told us that he needed to make a life-changing decision. He is taking his family back to his roots in Southern Minnesota. It is Farm County, a slower pace of life, and the place he wants to raise his children. It was emotional and not without a few tears from everyone. Simply put, we grew up with Tyler. We were there when he got married. We celebrated with him as he announced the birth of each of his 3 children. And we are grieving that he is leaving our family.
It is the same feeling we have as we watch our own first born head off to college. Part of me has been made painfully aware that I am getting old, but so is he. It is time for him to move on, to spread his wings, to take on his new life on his terms. I found myself saying the same thing about Tyler. It does not make the transition any easier, but it does provide a subtle context by which I can examine what I am feeling. I am sad, and happy, and proud.
This process has led us to seek out a new salesperson to join our family. This means that we have had to look internally and ask, what makes us look pretty? I know, an odd question to ask about your own company, but it is the conclusion that I am coming to: What makes us pretty? How are we different than other companies out there? How do we attract a new family member to join us? It feels in some ways like dating again.
We put out the word that we are looking to hire, and we got swamped with resumes. That part of the task is difficult enough, but the really hard part is the interview process. The questions we are asked really made us think introspectively. Things like: why should I come and work for you? I really struggle with that phrase: for you. I don’t want anyone to work for me; I want people that want to work with us. Subtle, I know, but it means the world to us at Evolve Systems.
I have found that the process of interviewing is a two way street. We want to know that the person across the table is going to fit, and they want to know what they can get from us, except for the ones that we call back for the second interview. The people that talk about team, and goals, and what they can do for us, that is what we want to see! And the other side of the coin is: they want to know if we are the right fit for them, and they ask QUESTIONS!
These questions have really pushed us to look at ourselves and re-ask the same questions that they are. Are we pretty enough for someone else to want to work here with us? Do we have the stuff that others want, and can we present ourselves in a way that is compelling. It is forcing us to move from selling our goods and services to selling ourselves. We opened up our books and manuals and really looked long and hard at who we are. At first it was a bit painful, this self-examination, but I have gotten to the point where I am happy with who we are and what we have to offer. To put it simply:
I feel pretty.
We wish Tyler the very best in all that he does as he takes on his next adventure. I am positive that you would agree, he is a pretty good guy, too.