By Katie Russell, Digital Marketing Manager at 360 Payments
Lots of organizations like to claim they are progressive. It’s one of those startup traits that’s so popular in Silicon Valley these days. But how many businesses really get it right? How many employees can really say that they work in a progressive organization? 360 Payments is a progressive company, without a doubt. How can I be so sure of that? Well, because they hired me.
What Does It Mean to Be Progressive?
When I hear the word “progressive,” I think of a person or team that is open-minded. They don’t believe “this is the way it’s always been” is a good reason to keep doing things that way. When something comes along that contradicts their long-held beliefs, they consider it critically and genuinely try to determine whether or not it’s correct instead of dismissing it out of hand. Many companies, especially in Silicon Valley, equate progressiveness with new and outlandish employee perks. While five years ago it was enough to offer free snacks and a ping-pong table, now startups seem to compete to offer crazier and crazier incentives to get employees to join their ranks – an on-site cafeteria, nap rooms, and an indoor picnic area just to name a few. But I contend that young workers don’t want these bells and whistles. They want an employer who is progressive in other ways.
Remote Work: Who’s Hiring?
When I joined 360 Payments in early 2017, I was living in upstate New York, far removed from the glitzy startup communities of Silicon Valley or even New York City. Feeling at loose ends after the local startup I worked for failed, I sought out a similar experience with a variety of young, hip companies. I cast a wide net, seeking to work remotely for a scrappy startup that was going places. I thought this would be easy – after all, tech startups are supposed to embrace remote work, right? Not in my experience. I submitted hundreds of applications and had dozens of interviews, but once it was clear that I wasn’t willing to relocate my name was dropped from consideration. I truthfully did not expect this to be the case, and I was somewhat stunned that no one was looking to hire remote workers, at least not for the mid-level marketing and product development work I was interested in.
Taking the Plunge
That all changed with 360 Payments. From my very first conversation with the team I was struck by how open-minded and receptive they were to my proposed remote work arrangement. They were hiring me for a position that did not exist and that I would basically be shaping from scratch, but they were willing to trust me to get the job done from the other side of the country. This isn’t to say that they were rash and haphazard – far from it. I was asked some tough questions and had to prove I was serious about the company and that I was responsible, organized, and motivated enough to take on the job remotely, but once I passed those tests they were nothing but supportive. Since then they have cheered me on, made accommodations when necessary, and been incredibly supportive of my decisions. That’s the kind of progressiveness that matters to me, not foosball tables and happy hours. 360 Payments embodies actual progressiveness – the willingness to hire a 100% remote employee for a key manager-level position spoke volumes to me and made me want to work even harder for them. It still does to this day.
A Word to Job Seekers
If you’re dissatisfied in your current professional environment and are looking to make a change, I encourage you to look for a progressive workplace. Exactly what that means will be different for you than it is for me, but I urge you to look beyond the flashy benefits to what really matters – the heart of the company. So what if you have a waterslide in the middle of the lobby? If your company isn’t willing to listen to you, empower you, and trust your judgment, they’re really not that progressive at all. By the way, I hear 360 Payments is hiring!