Living in San Francisco and working in the tech industry, it’s not uncommon to hear of people hopping from one company to another for relatively short stints. While this approach can be attractive for a number of reasons, there are benefits to staying put awhile, especially if you value things like culture and work-life balance.

I’ve noticed in my time at SparkPost, it’s not uncommon to come across people who have been here since the beginning or at the least a healthy amount of time. In fact, more than 40% of our employees have been at SparkPost for over 3 years, and nearly 30% of our workforce has been here longer than 5 years. So what has made these people stick around? Well, from what I’ve gathered it comes down to a handful of key things, including proper career path planning, culture, and a product that employees wholeheartedly believe in.

I started out at SparkPost as a Marketing Coordinator/Admin and grew to a full-time Marketing employee as opportunities arose. Getting my feet wet with events, then slowly exploring other marketing disciplines, allowed me to figure out what I really enjoyed, climb the ranks, and (with the blessing of my managers) pursue the avenues I enjoyed most.

Having just celebrated my 5th anniversary at SparkPost, I got to thinking about others who’ve carved their own career paths here, and thought it would be great to highlight their journeys and the ways that careers can develop organically in different pieces of an organization.

A Former Intern’s Take

Meet Avi Goldman. Well, you’ve actually probably met him before if you’re a regular reader, he writes a lot of how-to content for our Friday developer blogs. Email Chatbots anyone? Avi came to SparkPost in the summer of 2016 and was pleased with how quickly he was able to make a direct impact.

“Within my first week I had shipped code to production, and by the end of the summer I had taken lead on a couple of projects that went out to our customers.”

Avi’s internship period ended, and he was hired on as a full-time software engineer. Of the transition, Avi says that there wasn’t a drastic change. He continued to work on the same projects he had before, improving our product and additionally making customer’s lives easier.

Avi enjoys working with his team so much and says he appreciates that he’s able to try things on his own, knowing that he’s always got help if he needs it:

“I am a big believer in trial and error – explore as many things as possible. Along the way, find people who you can trust and who can help you make the tough decisions you’ll run into.”

Keep Calm And Carry On… Selling

On the other side of the house, there are folks like Tim Tran, an ISR on our sales team, who came to SparkPost with goals revolving around culture, growth and professional development.

“When I started at SparkPost, I wanted be a part of a company culture that I could believe in, grow with, and further develop my sales acumen”

Tim started in 2015 as a sales development rep and quickly climbed the ranks to ISR.
“With SparkPost growing at such a rapid pace, I was promoted to the Inside Sales team to run a full sales cycle and began closing my own deals at the corporate level.”

Now as an established member of the SparkPost sales team, others look to Tim for advice, guidance and mentorship (even conducting job shadows for high school seniors onsite).

“My piece of advice for someone unsure of their career goals, is to contribute positive energy, to keep learning from your peers, mentors, and leaders, and to continually challenge yourself to be better than the day before.”

Work Hard, Play Hard

No matter the path your career takes, the stories above seem to highlight a few important takeaways. It’s easy to work at a company and put down roots when your values align with the corporate ones. So outline your priorities, and make sure that they match with with your corporate values and cultures. Do you value a company with clearly outlined career paths? Perhaps a bit more flexibility? What about a clear mission for giving back to the community?

As for me, my goals are to keep learning and pushing the boundaries by contributing to a product and culture that I believe in. And who knows, maybe climb the ranks here even higher. Afterall, over 42% of the VPs at SparkPost are women 😉

– Jen Lacey

Looking to work with us? Check out our SparkPost Careers page for more information on current openings.

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