April 29, 2019

Living My Why: The Space for Growth

Evan Williams

“Evan! Stop! Slow down. What’s truly gonna bring you joy in life?”

This is a question that I’m so grateful to have been able to even consider asking myself recently. My last career, regrettably, left me with no space for such questions. Pondering such a question was really only possible for me after joining PartnerCentric. My colleagues and I are extremely lucky to be a part of a company with a dynamic and progressive culture that provides a unique level of flexibility to its employees. This corporate culture, along with remote work, has created invaluable space in my life, which has allowed me to implement amazing changes.

Before joining PartnerCentric, I worked in a high stress industry at companies with very toxic corporate cultures. My former coworkers and I had extremely unbalanced lives in regards to our work and our personal lives. I’d get to my desk in a warehouse-like office before the sun was up, and then, often without any breaks during the tireless workday, I’d leave the office after the sun had already set. Now I’ve always been someone who valued time over money, but in my last career I often found myself foregoing time with family and friends for unpaid overtime. My prior employers often reinforced the idea that this was required and that we were lucky to have employment. Certainly not the most morale-focused policy.

The consistently mounting work hours eventually became the norm. I repeatedly took on more responsibilities and put in more hours. If I didn’t, then my team would have to work the additional hours. As the assistant manager I internalized all of this by feeling guilty and responsible. I also didn’t want my team to suffer. I unknowingly began to sacrifice hobbies and life passions. The stress mounted in my life and it began to manifest physically through anxiety. I even began having problems with panic attacks during this time. What’s worse is it ultimately took a toll on my personal life, causing irreparable damage to my relationship with my wife at the time.

Too much damage was already done. I knew that not making a change was completely out of the question. I had no idea what amazing possibilities were out there, awaiting me. Then I found PartnerCentric. I joined the company in 2017, and, since then, I’ve flourished both professionally and personally.

Professionally, I’ve been given the space and opportunity to enhance my aptitudes for (nerd alert!) data analysis. I’ve been encouraged every step of the way to further develop my abilities through courses, experimentation with new software, access to data, and so much more. Ironically, when I was putting in over 60 hours of work per week at a conventional office in my previous career, I was never afforded the time for such professional development. On the contrary, I feel that I actually regressed professionally in my prior employers’ toxic work environments.

Personally, I’ve found the space to reconnect with my hobbies and, most importantly, my passions in life. In 2018 I approached my manager with a request that was extremely important to me. I wanted to take the job overseas so that I could pursue two of my passions: travel and languages. I was not sure how this would be received, but I was extremely hopeful and excited for the possibilities. I’m thrilled to say that for the past six months I’ve been living internationally in Spanish-speaking countries.

It’s been such a privilege to be able to fully immerse myself into new cultures, enrich my life, and develop my knowledge of a second language. In my previous career, this wouldn’t have ever been possible. Thankfully, these aspirations have become attainable for me now that I’ve been embraced by a company that encourages both professional and personal growth, and truly empowers its employees with trust.

So you may wonder what does an employer stand to gain from this type of agreement? Why take on the risk of having one of their employees floating around the world? I honestly didn’t know if there would be any benefit for my employer. I now know, however, that there’s a major benefit. It’s all about productivity. Working during a period of extended travel, for me, has exponentially improved my level of happiness, and, in turn, increased my productivity. In retrospect, I never was truly happy in my previous career. So I never had the chance to see how my work would be impacted by a deep level of contentment. The impact has been profound and it truly is a mutually beneficial situation.

During the past six months, I’m so grateful to have become deeply inspired through this experience of extended travel. Every single day I face a new and exciting challenge with this lifestyle. I’ve never learned so much in such a short amount of time in my adult life. All of this has spurred on a greater level of productivity in my work. I find myself starting my days with a clarity of mind and creativity that I’ve never experienced in previous jobs. The remote work and the unique culture at PartnerCentric has allowed me to pursue these major life goals, while still growing and excelling professionally.

All of this is simply unquantifiable and invaluable. This unique balance of work and life has given me such an intense feeling of fulfillment. I finally feel that I’m truly living congruent with my principles and aspirations, and becoming my best self. I’m so very excited to be “Living My Why,” both professionally and personally.