Today is my one year anniversary of joining SixPivot!
It’s been big change:
- From ‘product’ to consulting
- From a traditional office-based to remote-first
- From a global multinational to Australian
- From 500 FTE+ (and growing rapidly) to being able to know everyone in the company
- From a 1 hour each-way commute to a morning walk (or ride)
I think what stands out to me about SixPivot is that because they’ve been doing the remote working thing for a long time, it’s just the normal way of working. I think there is a difference between an organisation that is built around remote working and ones that only did it because they had to and struggle with it culturally. Having said that, if you miss being in an office then that’s still an option at SixPivot, but for me the convenience of working from home permanently is a winner (and getting back those 2 hours of commute time).
One aspect of consulting is working with different clients. I know some of my interstate colleagues have occasionally visited clients on-site, but so far that’s not been an expectation of me (primarily because I’m in Adelaide), and I believe our clients understand that when they engage SixPivot, they’re effectively getting “remote expertise”.
The things I’ve appreciated so far:
- Regular and open 1 to 1s with my manager. This has been integral to me learning more about how SixPivot works, and how I can best work with SixPivot.
- Fantastic technical breadth and depth.
- A real focus on employee wellbeing. From making sure you’re not overworking, to guest speakers and programmes you can get involved in.
- Understanding the care and holistic approach that goes into hiring.
- Amazing conditions, and they keep improving (Seriously, take a look at the Careers page, especially under the ‘What we offer you’ heading to see what I mean). A number of these were either added or enhanced in my time, so it’s good to know that these things are constantly being revisited. It’s a contrast to some organisations I’ve been with where the conditions actually eroded over time. Even something seemingly trivial like how at one place where the new owners stopped buying biscuits and were in no hurry to fix the broken coffee machine, and seemed oblivious to how significantly that was impacting employee morale.
- A real focus being ethical, from the way we work to the things we work on. To find that the company values of SixPivot are remarkably compatible with my own is just really, really good.
- A culture that is mature, trusting, respectful and helpful but also fun and sharing (and the joy of discovering other colleagues with a similar sense of humour!)
- Jumping back into Microsoft certifications. SixPivot are a Microsoft Partner so definitely support and appreciate this.
- Being able to take the time I would have spent on a bus/train commuting and instead using that to go for a ~5km walk around the neighbourhood (or occasionally go for a ride). It would be too easy to spend the whole day sitting (or standing) at my desk, so I like having some regular physical activity, as well as it serving as a nice separation between me waking up in the morning and actually starting work. And if on occasion the 5km walk finishes at the local cafe meeting my wife for coffee and/or hot chocolate, then that’s a bonus.
- Getting to know my colleagues, and finding out (so far!) that they seem to be people I really like hanging out with.
- Organisation size. Not too big, and not too small, but as Goldilocks would say “just right”.
- A sense of community that encompasses the whole organisation. (I think this is strongly linked to the size of the org)
- Locality. Having everyone in the one country (even if it is ~3 time zones) is so much easier than trying to overcome the tyranny of distance working with colleagues on the opposite side(s) of the world.
- Pretty cool swag. That SixPivot “Shepherd Hoodie” was a big hit over Winter.
I should point out that some of these things I have experienced with previous employers, but this combination would be unique to SixPivot.
- It takes some discipline to be able to keep good boundaries between “work” and “non-work”. I’ve tried to stick with roughly 9-5 for my work hours. It can be tempting sometimes when you’re “on a roll” to keep going past 5pm, and sometimes that’s ok, but balance is important.
- While I’ve caught up with my Adelaide colleague Darren a couple of times, the pandemic has managed to put pause to meeting my interstate colleagues so far. I look forward to the future when we can finally all meet non-virtually.
- Finding your place in a group of really smart people, that often have skill sets that overlap with your own. It would be easy to fall into a bit of impostor syndrome (aka “why am I here when they’ve got all these other people already?”) trap, but it’s important to realise that not only did you apply for the job, but they chose you given what they know about you as well as what they know about themselves. Sure there’s some skills overlap, but that’s actually a good thing - I don’t have to be the ‘one person’ who knows ‘X’ anymore. Plus I have a unique history and set of experiences that no one else has had. Sometimes it’s just that different perspective which is what matters.
- It’s tempting to think “What if..”.. eg. “What if I’d taken that job offer from Readify all those years ago, would I have ended up here sooner?”. An interesting thought exercise, but pointless to waste too much energy on as the reality is I did choose a different path. If anything I’d hope I’m more useful to SixPivot because of that different perspective.
No don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t been perfect (and I don’t think it ever can be). There’s been one or two minor bumps along the way, but thankfully that’s all they’ve been. If anything, it’s how those kinds of things are handled that is what matters - and I’m pleased to report that it was done well.
And so as I look back and reflect on the last 12 months, yes I think becoming a ‘Pivot’ was a good call.