22 Creative Ways to Celebrate the Holidays at Work in 2021
As the year winds down and the holiday season starts to wind up, we’ve been talking to some startups, Fortune 500s, and remote-first teams about how they celebrate the holidays at work.
Whether your team is remote, hybrid, or in person, the holidays are a great way to bring your team together and celebrate each other.
Need some ideas to make a memorable holiday celebration for your team? Read on to get an inside look at the creative ways some of our partner companies are celebrating the holiday season this year.
(And if you see a holiday celebration you'd like to take part in, be sure to click the link to learn more about the company and their open roles!)
Elastic is having a virtual happy hour.
“This year Field Operations TA at Elastic has broken every hiring record out there and has just closed on a huge q2 with 120% increase in hiring QOQ. To celebrate the wins we are having a Holly Jolly Cocktail Party 'virtual holiday happy hour event.' A virtual bartender host will lead Elastic's TA team in holiday games and activities, seasonal drinking games, and cocktail making. Especially this time of year we reflect back on all the hard work and results given by this team and want to celebrate. It is also a time to be thankful for the many blessings we have including the incredible TA team we have built. We are excited for the event on 12/15 at 5 PM EST.”
Learn more about Elastic here.
Equinix is hosting inclusive faith-led events.
“This holiday season’ one of Equinix’s many Employee Resource Groups, FaithConnect, will be hosting two faith-led events. All are invited and welcome regardless of faith, non-faith or world views, including families! We will be celebrating the season of Advent via zoom, with dialog about what it means to Christians with readings from the Bible and answer questions. Additionally, FaithConnect’s founding member will be offering a virtual Christmas service to celebrate the birth of Christ. All faiths are celebrated by Equinix this holiday season.”
Learn more about Equinix here.
CDW is sending employees' kids a new furry best friend.
“Every year, CDW coworkers' kids receive a warm and cuddly stuffed animal, our holiday friends. This is one of the ways we like to say thank you to the extended families of CDW! This year, the kids got to vote on what the animal should be via our CDW Kids Club. The CDW Kids Club is a community of hopeful, expecting, and current parents and provides unique and fun virtual activities for CDW Kids. A big thank you to our Vernon Hills Distribution Center coworkers for their incredible support in helping coordinate the shipments of the holiday friends!”
Learn more about CDW here.
Gainsight is embracing hybrid events.
"Last year, when we couldn't be together for a global holiday celebration, we decided to do the next best thing: Log onto Zoom wearing our favorite holiday jammies and dance the night away! This year, we're looking forward to celebrating the holidays with some in-person and hybrid events to commemorate the child-like joy we value so much here at Gainsight."
Learn more about Gainsight here.
Moody’s is encouraging time off!
“Prioritizing our well-being and taking time off is important to ensure we can deliver our best work. Moody’s actively encourages employees to take time off at the end of the year to rest and celebrate holidays with family and friends. Alongside that, we’ll have a Recharge & Renew session for our employees in mid-December where we will share research and tips on how best to detach and recover from work.”Learn more about Moody’s here.
PagerDuty is taking a week-long break.
"At PagerDuty, we celebrate the winter holidays during HibernationDuty, which is when the whole company takes a week-long break each year. We want to allow everyone an opportunity to truly disconnect and recharge, without worrying about the emails and work piling up while away. It has been proven that when an entire company takes the same time off, it eliminates the undue stress of what you'll come back to. HibernationDuty ensures Dutonians, our employees, get the much-needed rest they need and an opportunity to spend time with their loved ones."
Learn more about PagerDuty here.
Cummins is celebrating multicultural connectivity.
"Cummins employees can learn about our colleagues' cultures around the world through our network of Employee Resource Groups, some European based Christmas Holiday celebrations include:
The highly anticipated ‘Le Reveillon de Noel’ (Christmas Eve Feast) in France
Watching the ‘Queen’s Speech’ & pulling Christmas Crackers (Invented by Tom Smith a London based Confectioner in 1847).
Sinterklass (Netherlands) leaves gifts for Children inside a shoe left by a fireplace or window during the Christmas Eve Dinner on 5th December (Eve of St.Nicholas).
Swapping of Fairy Lights for Spider Webs and ornaments called ‘pavuchky’ on the Christmas trees in Ukraine.
Hiding of the German Christmas Pickle in the Christmas tree, being first to find it on Christmas morning is thought to bring luck.
Twelve days after Santa’s visit, on 5th January, Italians leave wine and sausages for ‘La Befana’, a witch who gives presents to good children and coal to naughty children.
At 3pm on Christmas Day in Sweden, Donald Duck delivers his Christmas message on the television, the tradition dates back to the 1960’s.
At Cummins we wish you all a healthy and safe Christmas and we hope you get to enjoy your Cultural Celebrations with family and friends."
Learn more about Cummins here.
SoundCloud is offering a monetary gift of gratitude (and time off!).
A screenshot of SoundCloud's virtual party a few months ago that included SoundClouder avatars, live music performances, trivia, and prizes.
"With the health and safety of our employees around the world our top priority, SoundCloud is celebrating the holidays by offering all SoundClouders a monetary gift of gratitude in lieu of in-person holiday parties. SoundCloud is also closing all offices between December 24th-31st so that everyone can relax with their loved ones and recharge for the new year ahead"
Learn more about SoundCloud here.
BlackRock is focusing on mindful and sustainable giving.
"We're focused on mindful giving this season! Here are some helpful tidbits to reduce waste and be more sustainable.
Tips for great gift giving:
1. Ask for a list -- or respect wishes for no gift
2. Generate ideas after thinking about the best and worst gifts you've received
3. If in doubt, give money or gift cards -- especially if you're not close to the person
Eco-friendly gift ideas:
1. Experience gifts (e.g., paint night or activity) to create memories and decrease physical waste
2. Consider eco-friendly items (e.g., grow kits, companies that use recycled materials)
3. Shop at thrift stores, local businesses and on Etsy
Low waste wrapping options:
1. Paper grocery bags for a rustic look
2. Old maps, magazines or newspapers (especially the comics section!)
Learn more about BlackRock here.
Turo is giving locally, celebrating locally.
"At Turo, we look forward to the holidays! Since we are now in a hybrid work model, we had the opportunity to socialize in person at our Thanksgiving get-together in our two offices–San Francisco and Phoenix. Next, we will celebrate the holidays with a night out at a lively local restaurant. Many teams will also enjoy gift exchange parties. As one of our core values is supportive, we will be bringing cheer to our local communities by participating in the Salvation Army’s Holiday Distribution Day, the local Food Drive, and Coat Drive to support the homeless."
Learn more about Turo here.
Smartsheet is giving back to employees by helping them give back to others
"We're celebrating the holidays this year primarily by supporting our employees in giving back and cultivating our employee community. For Giving Tuesday, Smartsheet empowered each of our seven employee resource groups (ERGs) to select a nonprofit organization to receive a donation of $5,000 USD. Each ERG nominated a selection of nonprofits that support the communities represented by the respective ERG and then polled employees to select one nonprofit per group. We’ve also hosted volunteer opportunities with Special Olympics International (of which we are a proud partner and sponsor), with more to come later this year and early next."
Learn more about Smartsheet here.
CHG Healthcare is helping their employees make the holidays brighter for those in need.
"This year, CHG Healthcare employees are making the holidays brighter for those in need. Our organization is helping 23 families, including 17 refugee families, along with the Rape Recovery Center and the Road Home with gifts this December. In addition, several employees from our headquarters in Salt Lake City are volunteering at the Festival of Trees, which raises funds to support Primary Children’s Hospital. At CHG, we’re committed to improving the lives of our customers and the communities we serve and are proud of the impact our employees make."
Learn more about CHG Healthcare here.
Procore is partnering with Airbnb to provide end-of-year experiences that are inclusive to everyone.
"The holidays are a time to connect and celebrate everything we’ve accomplished at Procore. This year, we’ve embraced our evolving culture and acknowledged that work is something we do together, not somewhere we go.
We’ve partnered with Airbnb to provide end-of-year experiences that are inclusive to everyone. Employees could choose from a variety of global experiences in-person and virtually. From hand-pulled noodle-making to Inclusive Writing Workshops to Guided Meditation with Sleepy Sheep (yes, we said Sheep)—these experiences are intended to foster a global sense of belonging and appreciation—no matter where our employees sit in the world.”
- Georgia Dimino, Sr. Program Manager, Employee Experience
Learn more about Procore here.
Aurora Solar is hosting a virtual gift exchange.
"Our team at Aurora Solar is fully distributed but we love bringing our team members together through a variety of events and activities. We have events on both the company-wide and team level in order to provide variety and to engage as many people as possible.
This holiday season we are hosting a virtual White Elephant gift exchange and ugly sweater party as well as an in-person holiday happy hour. On the team level we have a variety of events planned including virtual holiday happy hours, Secret Santa parties, chocolate making classes, holiday charades, and wine tasting events!"
Learn more about Aurora Solar here.
Okta is showcasing employees' traditions.
"For my family, the holidays are a time to show how our differences can bring us together. We are a blended religious family, celebrating both Hanukkah and Christmas. Our house is filled with the smell of pine and gentle smoke from the Menorah candles. We bake challah and sugar cookies for Santa. The floor is littered with tinsel and dreidels left temporarily abandoned. We light the Menorah together to honor life's miracles and to celebrate the light in the darkness. The holidays show us acceptance and how to find the beauty and joy in other's beliefs."
- Rachel Taylor, Compliance Manager, Auth0, Okta
Learn more about Okta here.
Waters is celebrating cultural diversity.
"At Waters, we are committed to fostering an inclusive workplace where diversity in all forms can thrive. We believe that celebrating our differences will help us to reach our full potential by harnessing the totality of the perspectives, beliefs, and backgrounds of our employees. One way we celebrate is by hosting events where employees can celebrate cultural diversity through education to create awareness and appreciation. Recently, we virtually celebrated Diwali, where our employees came together to share personal stories and family traditions. Happy Diwali to all who celebrate!"
Learn more about Waters here.
Veracode is giving back.
"Veracode has a long tradition of charitable giving, in our communities, through volunteer efforts, and through our charitable matching gift program. Throughout the year, we have several initiatives championed by Veracoders, in support of a cause they feel strongly about. One example is our sales executive administrator who has organized, for the past 9 years, an effort in partnership with our local Department of Children and Families (DCF) Social Workers to make the wishes of children and families in need come true. Since this partnership with DCF began, Veracoders have made the wishes of over 800 children come true!"
Learn more about Veracode here.
MongoDB is hosting end-of-year get-togethers.
"After a delightful Hanukkah celebration from MongoDB's Mishpacha community, employees are looking forward to end-of-year get-togethers hosted across different MongoDB offices to celebrate the holidays and end 2021 with some dances and laughs! MongoDB is also encouraging all employees to help brighten the holidays by providing toys and gifts to children in need who are supported by Save the Children and Marine Toys for Tots in our company-wide holiday giving event."
Learn more about MongoDB here.
Workiva is throwing pies for a good cause.
"The holidays are the season of giving at Workiva when executives volunteer to take pies to the face to raise money for UNICEF during our Annual Giving Campaign. Employees voted with their dollars to get 10 leaders including our CEO and COO pied – raising $55,000 in the process! Throughout the campaign, employees also designated over $180,000 in donations to nine other amazing charities. The holidays at Workiva are all about giving back and employees love to throw a great pie or take their employer-sponsored volunteer time off to support a local charity!"
Learn more about Workiva here.
OfferUp is offering additional paid holidays & mandating 'Quiet Time.'
"A combination of the holidays, year-end work, and new year planning can make for a busy work season. The rush to the end can be difficult as people prepare for a much-needed work break to be with friends, family, and re-charge.
That's why this year, OfferUp employees received additional paid holidays and the company declared the last two weeks of December as 'Quiet Time.' Our office is still open for those who wish to work, but no new code will be released or projects delivered during this time. OfferUp has encouraged and created space for many to take this time off and rest after a year of work well done. This month we also have remote and in-person holiday events and contests to celebrate with our employees and partners. Gingerbread house contest, anyone?"
Learn more about OfferUp here.
GameChanger is hosting virtual team events.
"To celebrate the holidays, GameChanger has planned a variety of virtual team events. GC kicked off the season with the TeamsGiving Family Feud style game night with the winning team choosing a charity to donate to. Following that, teammates and their families can participate in festive cookie decorating and/or festive chocolate bar making, lead by a virtual instructor. Finally, GameChanger’s virtual holiday party will start with a virtual mocktail or mixology class followed by a team game night! And of course, teammates are encouraged to use some of their unlimited vacation time to disconnect from work and spend time with their loved ones."
Learn more about GameChanger here.
Skedulo is hosting unique in-person celebrations.
"Each of our regional offices will be celebrating with their own unique holiday celebration. We’re excited our remote colleagues will be flying in to join the fun! Some events include a Casino Royale 007 themed party with a magician, photo booth, live jazz band/DJ and plenty of food and drinks. Other offices have an icebreaker Escape Room race or cocktail masterclass followed by three-course lunch. To celebrate and acknowledge the many festive holidays that occur in December, we have a global Holiday Spirit Photo competition inviting colleagues to show their spirit through outfit, home decor, and/or food. Winners can donate to their charity of choice."
Learn more about Skedulo here.
💎Want to know what engineering teams are like at Workiva? Watch the video to the end to find out!
📼 Engineering teams at Workiva are constantly hiring. Marie Yue, Senior Engineering Manager at the company, tells you what they look for in a candidate and what the dynamics of teamwork are like.
📼 The typical path in the engineering teams at Workiva is that you grow into a senior, and then you move into a lead role. From there, there are a few different tracks that you can take depending on your interest. You can become a staff engineer, an architect, or even an engineering manager. What are you waiting for to apply?
📼In the engineering teams at Workiva every member should feel empowered to do their job effectively. For this, each has to understand how the work they do day to day solves customers’ problems. Managers will always seek to be aware of members’ career path aspirations so that they can look for opportunities and projects to help each person reach the next step in their career.
Engineering Teams At Workiva: A Safe Space
Marie Yue’s team is a safe space for people to make mistakes and ask for help, and each member feels a sense of belonging and inclusion. She wants to make sure that everyone is individually empowered to lead and make decisions. For this, the team has regular meetings where they do fun things like play virtual games or eat lunch together, and they also like to re-review and add to their team working agreement once a quarter.
🧑💼 Are you interested in joining Workiva? They have open positions! To learn more, click here.
Get to Know Marie Yue
If you are interested in a career at Workiva, you can connect with Marie Yue on LinkedIn. Don’t forget to mention this video!
More About Workiva
Workiva was founded to transform the way people manage and report business data with various collaborators, data sources, documents, and spreadsheets. Today, people all over the world use their platform to seamlessly orchestrate data among their systems and applications for transparent and trusted connected reporting and compliance. At Workiva, they are innovative in everything they do—from how they build their software, to how they serve their customers, to how they treat their employees.
We all have our favorite websites– the ones we frequent, bookmark, and recommend to others. You might even enjoy some website features so much that you’ve found yourself wondering why they aren’t more popular. Or maybe you’ve experienced times where you were frustrated with a website and wished you could add features or even design your own!
If you’ve ever found yourself intrigued at the prospect of designing and developing your own websites, then a career as a web developer might be just for you!
As a web developer you would be responsible for coding, designing, optimizing, and maintaining websites. Today, there are over 1.7 billion websites in the world and, in turn, the demand for web developers is on the rise. In order to figure out what kind of web development work best suits you let’s start with an introduction to the three main roles in web development that you can choose from.
The Three Types of Web Development Jobs
Front-End Web Development: The Creative Side
In addition to programming skills, front-end developers need to be detail oriented, creative, willing to keep up with the latest trends in web development, cyber security conscious, and geared toward user-friendly designs. The median salary for a front-end developer can reach well into the $90,000 to $100,000 range.
Back-End Web Development: The Logical Counterpart
While a house can be beautifully decorated, it’s incomplete without a solid foundation and efficient infrastructure. Similarly, a well-designed website depends on logical and functional code to power the features of that website. Back-end web development is code-heavy and focused on the specifics of how a website works. If you enjoy the analytical challenge of creating the behind-the-scenes code that powers a website, then back-end development is for you.
Full-Stack Web Development: A Little Bit of Everything
A full-stack developer is essentially the Jack (or Jill)-of-all-trades in web development. Full-stack developers need to be knowledgeable about both front-end and back-end roles. This does not necessarily imply that you would need to be an expert in both roles, but you should fully understand the different applications and synergies they each imply. In order to work in this position, you will need to know the programming languages used by front-end and back-end developers. In addition to these languages, full-stack developers also specialize in databases, storage, HTTP, REST, and web architecture.
Full-stack developers are often required to act as liaisons between front-end and back-end developers. Full-stack developers need to be both problem solvers and great communicators. The end goal for a full-stack developer is to ensure that the user’s experience is seamless, both on the front-end and on the back-end. In return, you can expect to earn a median salary of $100,000 – $115,000 a year for this role.
Taking the Next Step
Web development is both in-demand and lucrative! All three roles described above contribute to specific aspects of web development and the scope of each one can be customized to the industries and positions you feel best suit you. Regardless of which role you choose, all of them need a foundation in programming.
To gain the programming skills needed in each role, you can enroll in courses or learn independently. Coding bootcamps are a great way to boost your skillset quickly and efficiently.
Click here for some of our highly rated programming bootcamp options! Make sure to check out the discounts available to PowerToFly members.
Joseph Arquillo doesn’t work in Human Resources — he works in People Operations. And the distinction matters.
“It was named ‘human resources’ because it saw humans as resources, utilized for certain tasks or behaviors. But that’s not really what it’s about,” says Joseph, who is a Senior Manager of People Ops at Clyde.
“Calling it ‘people ops’ adds back what you lose with ‘HR.’ My philosophy is that I am there to support you. I am there to work with you, empower you, and enable you so you can be your best self.”
For Joseph, a key element of helping employees become their best selves is making sure that the workplace, whether in-person or virtual, is an inclusive space for all. That doesn’t happen by accident — it requires a dedicated DEIB strategy and leaders who are committed to asking hard questions of themselves and others.
We sat down with Joseph to hear more about his professional journey, and the practices of leaders who create environments where everyone feels included.
More Than Just a Number
As a college freshman, Joseph planned on sticking with liberal arts when it came to choosing a major. But then he took a class in Boston College’s School of Education, and loved its holistic approach to applied psychology.
This inspired him to switch his major to psychology and human development, and select minors in political science, and management and leadership, where he enjoyed learning about organizational psychology.
After graduation, he explored the consulting space to put theory into practice, but found out during an internship at a multinational consulting firm that finance or accounting weren’t the places he wanted to build his career.
“Since Big Four companies have 250,000 employees, you become just a number,” he says of the experience. “It wasn’t my cup of tea. Too corporatized.”
That kicked off Joseph’s interest in startups.
“It’s always fun to get in the weeds! One thing that’s very interesting to me is a challenge,” he says. “When you’re helping a company like Clyde grow and scale, joining when they’re at a Series B and helping them get to the next level, you really get to focus on the interaction between people, process, and product,” explains Joseph. “You need to hire the right people to work towards increasing efficiencies in all areas, but also make sure that we’re enabling them to create a strong product.”
6 Keys To Building Inclusive Spaces as a Leader
Across the different industries and companies that Joseph has worked in, he’s identified the behaviors that create truly inclusive environments — as well as those that discourage them.
Here’s what he’s seen:
- First, recognize your own privilege. “If you’re a man, you have privilege, even if you’re a gay male. If you are a white woman, you have racial privilege. It’s really important that you’re cognizant while you interact with somebody how they might interpret the interaction based on your identity.”
- Leaders should always speak last. This is important always, but especially in in-person spaces, where it might seem even more nerve-wracking to speak up in a crowd, says Joseph. “You want to make sure you’re creating that space for employees who aren’t as senior to feel comfortable voicing their thoughts.”
- And, leaders should use check-ins liberally. “You need to ask yourself how you’re supporting your employees. Are you checking in on them as people before you ask about certain tasks? You want to foster a workplace where employees from all walks of life can feel supported,” he says.
- DEIB isn’t just about adding new initiatives — sometimes it’s about removing barriers. “You need to remove unnecessary bias,” explains Joseph. “That can mean making sure you have appropriate policies and practices that don’t hinder people depending on who they are or where they live.”
- Maximizing participation requires planning with a diversity lens. Joseph has helped the Clyde team gather together and bond as a group. Along the way, he’s been careful to consider physical and psychological safety for everyone involved. “For instance, if you’re doing an event, do you have someone who’s not drinking? Have you set up the environment for people who might have a physical disability, or carefully planned the flow of activities for people who might be neurodivergent?”
- Saying you want to be better isn’t enough — articulate actions you will take. “Pride is a great example,” explains Joseph. “Yes, June is a time to celebrate. But it’s also a time to march. And beyond that, how do you show up and celebrate with the LGBTQIA+ community throughout the year?”
Embracing the Unknown
If you visit Joseph’s LinkedIn profile, you’ll see his personal motto: “Without challenge, change, and a bunch of unknowns, it’s no fun.”
That belief has led him to study what he’s passionate about, to take on new and exciting roles at growing startups, and now, at Clyde, to help formalize what world-class people operations looks like at a fast-growing company.
“I view myself as a connector that really empowers people, challenges teams, and helps drive us towards what I consider to be an improved future,” he says. “I feel like it’s my responsibility to be the chief advocate for each of our employees, and remove any barriers in the way of their growth.”
Insight from SoftwareONE’s Jeff Cannon and Chris Lecosia
SoftwareONE’s Jeff Cannon Business Development Executive US) and Christopher Lecosia (Senior Consultant) share a similar adventurous and brave spirit, which has led to a long trajectory of creative experiences for both of them. From taking care of two new puppies to backpacking across Europe — neither of them back down from a challenge.
As members of the LGBTQIA+ community, Jeff and Chris spent a large portion of their careers fighting for inclusive workplaces where they feel a sense of belonging, and opportunities to use their experiences to serve people, no matter what career stage they’re in. And they’ve both recently found that in the global provider of end-to-end software and cloud technology solutions SoftwareONE.
We sat down with Jeff and Chris to hear their stories on how they navigated mid and late career changes and their journey to finding a company where they felt valued. Keep reading to the end for four major tips on how to successfully pivot careers.
The Journey to SoftwareONE
Jeff Cannon was born in Tacoma, Washington, but considers both Texas and Georgeia his home. After graduating from college with a bachelor's degree in English and History, “I wanted to go to graduate school for history,” he explains. But upon arrival, he realized graduate school was not the right path for him, so he packed his backpack and set out for a trip through Europe instead.
This adventurous spirit led him back home to pursue exciting challenges, such as opening a hotel in Austin, working as a flight attendant in New York and Hawaii, and eventually pursuing a sales career at Dell. “I was an account executive for large university systems and large K-12 systems providing information technology to students to be able to further their education. It really fit in with my mantra around how important education is in society,” Jeff explains.”It's kind of my thing.” But after nearly 20 years at the company, he decided to look for new opportunities. “I was tired of doing the same thing all the time.” Enter SoftwareONE.
“This was an opportunity to do something completely different and take the information that I learned and use it to help build a practice that can accomplish some of the same things,” Jeff explains. He joined the company as a Business Development Executive Executive where he works to build the company’s education practice within the public sector in the United States.
SoftwareONE is a company where Jeff can thrive professionally and personally. He specifically cites the company to be people-first, which his coworker Christopher Lecosia agrees with. “SoftwareONE is a place where you can thrive as an employee, and where your creativity can flourish,” says Chris.
SoftwareONE is a leading global provider of end-to-end software and cloud technology solutions, with headquarters in Switzerland. The company itself prioritizes people as their “greatest asset” and advocates for life-work harmony. Their company’s core values are Employee Satisfaction, Customer Focused, Speed, Passionate, Integrity, Humble and Discipline, to name a few, and they ensure that they have “a welcoming – and constantly evolving – work environment for all”, no matter the racial, ethnic, religious, sexual or other preferences.
Christopher works as Senior Consultant for SoftwareONE. He entered the field of IT in 1974. “Back then it was called data processing,” he jokes. “But I kind of fell into IT consulting.” He enrolled in college as an accounting major, but quickly realized that was not the path for him. “I drove into the parking lot of this college for the first day and I got very scared,” explains Chris. “I turned around and went home and I found a job.” And he was able to pursue jobs that allowed him room to change and grow with the market. He began as a systems programer and, progressively, he scaled to managerial data processing roles at multiple software companies, including IBM. He played a key role in leading and growing software asset management programs, directing support for configuration and asset management, and serving as a senior project manager for multiple teams in his previous companies.
His successful 40+ year-long career led to the start of a well-deserved retirement. “I turned 65 last October, and I thought, ‘okay, I think I’ve had enough,’ and I decided to retire in full.” But his retirement was short-lived. “A few months before I retired, [my company] had put out an RFP to the street, which SoftwareONE responded to, and I'll never forget,” says Chris. “I was hearing them respond to me and I thought, ‘Wow, these people know what they're talking about. They're really sharp and I really believed in the value that they could bring.’” So when he was offered a position as a Senior Consultant, he didn’t think twice about coming out of retirement. “In November, a recruiter from SoftwareONE called, and I started in January of 2022.”
Changing jobs after working for a company long-term can be risky, especially later in your career. But both Jeff and Chris agree that the benefits of working at a company like SoftwareONE are well worth the risk. And for the first time, they’ve felt like they can show up as their full, authentic selves at work.
Jeff recalls past workplaces that, when push came to shove, “had an undercurrent of non-acceptance.” This undercurrent brought many challenges, but he credits them for his confidence today. “I have no issues whatsoever showing up originally as myself. And at SoftwareONE, everybody's been really lovely.” Even remotely, he finds ways to connect with his coworkers, and he feels like he can do so authentically.
Chris reiterates this in his own trajectory at SoftwareONE. “When I started, my Regional VP asked me for a bio. In my bio, I talked about my husband and my two dogs and how long we've been together. That got sent out to everybody in the organization. So when I onboarded, everybody already knew,” he explains. “It was the first time in 65 years that, right from the get go, there was no pretense at all as to being something different than I am. And that's how I came out at SoftwareONE. It was good to do that. I feel truly authentic.”
Advice for Mid-Career Pivoters
Both Jeff and Chris have successfully pivoted roles and companies later in their careers. They offer four tips to consider before making the jump to a new role or joining a new company.
1. Find a place that values service to the client. “Have the mindset of service,” says Chris. “ I'm a service oriented person and part of being of service is to share my experience, strengths, and hope with other people. Whether that's on a, social, spiritual, mental level, or on a professional technical level, this helps bring growth to you, and to the company you’ll work for.” Jeff shares that, “with this mindset, we see the challenges that customers face, so we're able to better articulate to customers what our value proposition is. We can help clients achieve their goals, and everything comes a lot more easily and naturally.”
2. Believe in what you have to offer. Chris and Jeff share that aligning with the company’s mission is another key aspect to consider before changing companies. “I never thought that anybody would want to hire me at 65 years old,” Chris shares. “I had been in my former job where I saw many opportunities that I thought I was perfect for, in terms of advancement, but I wasn't given those opportunities because of my age. I started to feel dried up a little bit. When I got the offer at SoftwareONE, I felt I really wanted to come back, be of service, keep my brain sharp, and do something. I do believe I have something to offer to many clients, as well as colleagues. And that's what made me make the move.”
3. Think of the experiences you bring to the table. Jeff shares how he transferred his knowledge to his new role. “I was able to take everything that I had learned about building an organization and bring it over to a company that needed that expertise specific to the United States. Being able to have the opportunity to do some of that background work and build on alliances has been, and continues to be, a great opportunity.”
4. Find a workplace that prioritizes diversity. “Each one of us brings a certain set of characteristics with us that sit well with our clients,” explains Chris. “The diversity we bring to the company — whether it be age, gender, color, educational background, intellectual capacity — all of that color makes us more relatable to our clients and our customers.” This leads to the company’s overall success.
SoftwareONE is constantly looking for dynamic employees like Chris and Jeff. Check out their company page to find out more about their roles!