Employee #1: One Year With Clariant Creative

INBOUND 2017February 13, 2017. My first day at Clariant Creative.

The decision to accept the job offer with Clariant Creative was – at first glance – just another job with a HubSpot agency. But boy was I wrong.

When I accepted this role, I had another job offer on the table. In both situations, I’d be working for a HubSpot agency. One was a freelance lead nurturing role. The other was a full-time inbound marketing specialist role. Both had their pros and cons. Both were appealing in different ways. Honestly, I was terrified of making the wrong choice.

But deep down, the decision was easy. I knew Clariant Creative was where I belonged. It was a job I wanted the moment I had my interview.

I’ve worked for a lot of marketing agencies. Far more than I care to admit to. And while I’ve almost always had positive experiences with my coworkers, I’ve had less-than-ideal luck with bosses. So, when I met Beth, it was like a breath of fresh air. After my interview, I remember telling one of my friends, “She’s the nicest, most down-to-earth agency owner I’ve ever met. It’s amazing. I want to work there.”

When Beth offered me the job on February 6th, it was an easy yes. (Although, I did make her wait a day for an answer – soooo sorry!)

The last year has been a whirlwind. Like any job, I’ve had good days and bad days. Days when getting up and going to work is easy. Days when I feel like an important part of the team, and days when I feel like my coworkers actually like me. But I’ve also had days when I feel like nothing I do is good enough. Days when I’m tired and exhausted and overwhelmed. Days when I’m not sure I really fit in well with everyone else on the team.

But never – not once – have I had a day when I thought, “I don’t want to start working today.”

And that’s what has made this job so different for me. Even on my bad days, tough days, awful days, it’s still a place I want to work because I love it so damn much.

While I could never possibly list every single reason I love working here, I’m going to try. Because this job is amazing and wonderful, and I just want everyone in the world to know it.

Here’s what I’ve gained in the last 365 days of working with Clariant Creative:

A chance to try new things

I’m honestly not sure how many different roles I’ve had since starting this job a year ago. But really, it doesn’t matter. Because with each shift in roles, I’ve had the chance to try something new.

Not every role was a perfect fit (let’s not talk about those three months when I was trying – and failing – as editor, okay?) And I failed quite a few times before and after that. But each time, I stepped outside of my comfort zone, and I was able to learn a lot about myself – and what I’m capable of – in the process.

A positive work environment

At most of my previous jobs, things have gone a little something like this: One day, I’m told I’m doing a great job – my writing is solid, there are no issues and clients are happy. The next, I’m being yelled at because my work is “consistently” shitty, “always” late and I’m constantly “failing” my clients. And any little mistake I make is brought up months later as a reminder of why I’m such an awful employee.

It’s not like that here. I always know where I stand with my boss and in my role. If I do something wrong, I immediately know what it is and how to fix it. We work through issues, and I learn what I can do better next time. And those mistakes are never brought up months later. Because what’s done is done.

I get feedback that’s constructive and helpful. When I do something well, my boss makes sure to tell me. And she makes sure to tell me in a way that makes me feel damn good about myself. I’m allowed – and encouraged – to celebrate my wins (even the small ones). When something good happens, I immediately want to tell the rest of the team because I know they’ll be just as excited as I am.

There’s no talking shit about another coworker behind their back. No complaining about every little thing without an effort to fix it. No annoying jealousy where you can’t be happy for your teammates. None of the stuff that used to drive me crazy at other jobs.

Instead, it’s a positive, uplifting work environment full of people who encourage each other to be their very best. And that is freakin’ awesome.

The opportunity to learn how to lead

I’m still relatively early on in my career. And as a result, I haven’t really had the opportunity to lead a team of people. So, when my boss told me that I was going to take our intern, Haley, under my wing, I was terrified.

Seriously…terrified.

What if I don’t do a good job at teaching and mentoring her? What if I’m not helpful? What if I say the wrong thing? What if she hates working with me? What if I’m just not a very good leader?

These are all the things that went through my head. And I won’t lie, it was a bit rough at first. I found myself stumbling on words, not knowing what to say or how to approach most situations. But with each failure, I grew.

Working with Haley has hands-down been the most rewarding experience I’ve had while working here. Seeing her grow and take on new challenges has been incredible. We’ve been able to work together as a team, and we’ve created some really awesome stuff for the agency.

Through teaching her, I’ve learned so much – not just about work or how to be a leader but about myself too.

Coworkers who push me to be better

Being a fully remote team, I’ve only met my coworkers once (in September for INBOUND17). And yet I’ve never felt more connected to a group of people in my life.

My coworkers are genuinely incredible people. They’re caring and thoughtful. They’re open-minded, supportive and loving. They push me to be better in every single way. They force me to look at things differently. They encourage me when I’m feeling down and always have my back – no matter what I’m going through.

I’ve always struggled to feel like I belong. But what I love about these women is that I can be myself around them. I don’t need to be someone else or try to fit in. I can be as weird as I want to be, and they still think I’m awesome (most of the time).

A boss that really, truly cares

I’ve never had a boss that liked me or cared about me half as much as Beth does.

A lot of my bosses have said things like “I care about you” or “You’re more than just an employee. You’re family.” But none of them have ever actually meant it. They’ve acted like they’ve cared about me or what I was going through, only to shove it back in my face later.

And yet when Beth says she cares or she’s worried or she wants to know I made it home safely after driving through a snowstorm, I know she means it. I have never once doubted how much she cares about me – both as an employee and as a person.

Time and time again, she’s been there for me through the good and bad times. She’s seen me at me best, but she’s also seen me at my absolute worst. She held my hand through some of the worst and darkest times of my life, and she picked me back up when I didn’t think I had anything left to give. And not once has she ever made me feel bad for having a bad day.

She’s listened when I’ve doubted myself and hated myself, but she’s quick to remind me of all the things that make me great.

She does all of this not because she has to. She does it because she’s an extraordinary human being (one of the most amazing people I’ve ever met). She does it because she cares. Really, truly, honestly cares.

And on top of all this, she gave me a chance when no one else would. She hired me as employee #1 – giving me the chance to learn, grow and become a better version of myself. I don’t know if I could ever thank her enough for the opportunity, but I’m sure as hell going to spend every day trying.

One year down. Many more to go. I can’t wait to see what the future holds, and I can’t wait to grow with Clariant Creative.

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By | 2018-02-13T11:53:35+00:00 February, 13, 2018|Life, Work|0 Comments

About the Author:

Christina Bockisch is a passionate advocate for mental health and believes that sharing her story is the best way to help break the stigma surrounding mental illness. When she's not writing for her blog, Christina enjoys participating in mud runs, spending time with her dog, baking cookies and watching Harry Potter or Star Wars marathons on TV.

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