When I first started thinking about a job change, I had been at my previous company for over four years. I had developed a lot of autonomy, respect, and trust with my colleagues and leadership team. So while I was interested in something new, I wanted to make sure the next move I made was truly worth leaving my comfortable position.
Oh, and there was a pandemic, which made leaving my comfortable, stable job for a new challenge start to sound less and less enticing.
Then one day, I had lunch with an old colleague to catch up. In our conversation, she mentioned that Dani Adelman, a previous project manager for my company, had been working for TEN7 as a Director of Operations for a little while and was really loving it. As we finished our lunch, I remember feeling intrigued but cautious—I was fully aware of the complications the pandemic had added to the job market, and TEN7 wasn’t actively hiring. So, my expectations were low, but I was secretly hopeful that something would come up.
About three months later, I received a text from my old colleague:
“Hey, I heard you’re maybe looking for a new gig. Dani is going to reach out to you on LinkedIn.”
I immediately felt a little flutter of hope in my chest, and decided now was the time to do a deep dive into what makes TEN7 tick.
I remember being relieved to find TEN7 checked all of the boxes I needed it to from a technical standpoint:
- Their expertise is in website development
- They work with clients I admire and am aligned with from an ethical standpoint
- They’d allow me to continue working from home—a routine I’d grown fond of over during the pandemic
- I’d get to work with a collaborative, friendly, energetic team
- This position would allow me to further develop my Project Management skills
Those factors alone made the prospect of working for TEN7 appealing to me. As I went through the interview process and became more familiar with TEN7, many things started to stand out that truly set them apart.
The main thing that struck me was just how transparent they were in all aspects of their work. Not only were they committed to making solutions publicly available via open-source code, but they were honest about previous mistakes and learning from those mistakes.
Unlike other tech studios and development agencies, they weren’t masquerading as flawless industry experts. I found them to be a dedicated, knowledgeable team that was willing to get their hands dirty, try new things, admit when something just wasn’t working, and pivot strategically. That kind of transparency and vulnerability was refreshing to me, and spoke volumes to not only how they support clients, but how they conduct themselves internally.
Mission & Vision
Working for a company that prioritizes social justice, activism, and advocacy has always been a priority of mine, but I was wary of joining a company that could only talk the talk but struggled to walk the walk.
TEN7 quickly proved to me that they knew how to do both. Instead of including empathy, compassion, and benefiting the greater good as an afterthought to their work, they made it the lens through which all work is done with their mission, Make Things That Matter. Further, they were consistently and actively taking stands against issues that didn’t fit the mission and values of TEN7—something that many client service companies seemed to shy away from.
Support for Employees
In addition to supporting causes that were near and dear to my heart, I was also impressed with how much TEN7—and in particular, Ivan Stegic, their CEO—actively supports their employees. TEN7 had published various blog posts and podcasts giving visitors insights into Ivan’s philosophies around things like what benefits TEN7 provides for employees and why sabbaticals are important. Every program, perk and benefit TEN7 offered clearly puts the employee first.
Respect for Prospective Employees
The aspect that truly won me over was how my interview process went. Having been through many months of fine-tuning resumes, personalizing cover letters, and various rounds of interviews only to be ghosted by recruiters and hiring managers made me anxious to start the job-hunting process again.
My interview process with TEN7 can be summed up in two words: quick and fun. My first conversation with Dani felt more like a conversation about the highs and lows of being a project manager than a formal interview.
Instead of the email-tag I was used to—waiting a week to hear back and having to follow up a few times before getting a response—I had a follow-up email and second interview scheduled with Ivan Stegic and Lex Vasquez, the Director of Development, the very next day.
Both interviews left me feeling more like we were discussing a mutually beneficial partnership, instead of deciding whether I was worthy enough to work for TEN7. My time, my experience, and my value was always respected, and I always felt empowered and excited signing off those Zoom calls. I continued to get updates from TEN7 when my references were called, and when I could expect to receive an offer.
Joining the Team
So when I received my offer a little over a week after my first interview, it was a no-brainer that TEN7 was the right fit for me. This company that had a smart and energetic team, lived out the ethics I wanted to carry through my work, and above all, would support and respect me through my employment here, was everything I wanted and needed—whether I knew it or not.