In my second year of undergrad, I found myself in that sweet and sour spot right between being a kid and an adult where you’re confused about the direction of your life, and searching rather desperately for inspiration, professional experience, and a mentor who knows what they’re doing. So naturally, at this amorphous time in my life, I felt launched into what I dub: “the mid-degree crisis” (I know, the name is a bit derivative). Everyone experiences this to some extend, and everyone deals with it differently. My way of dealing with it was applying to jobs outside of my sector, so I could understand a world that was different from work I’ve done in the past, and explore my own interests in a new way.
And so I ended up at GD Commerce - a firm about which I knew one thing and one thing only: Gabby Dickert was a powerhouse. The rest was all a surprising, challenging, and inspiring experience that has fundamentally altered my life direction, and pushed me to re-examine the things I want to develop in myself, professionally and personally. After 12 weeks of working full time for GD, here’s the takeaway.
The things I expected
I knew that I was walking into a company run by a woman who knows how to hustle, and that she would push me to develop myself, call me on my mistakes, and work on ways to help me grow. Gabby has a hands-on approach as a boss, and made it clear from the beginning that she was people-first. I felt like I could be honest with my boss knowing that it would be received and framed with a mentality of how we could improve the imperfections together. I expected to be pushed, and to gain a new world of technical and professional skills, and I was not disappointed.
The things I never saw coming
But what I didn’t expect was to form a personal stake in the success of the merchants like I did. The entrepreneurs we work with are special - each has a unique story, and each is working hard to make a difference in their field. Very quickly, I became a fan of the brands we supported, and started to care about them and their visions. Each of our merchants excels in a broad range of sectors, and somehow, I found myself connecting with each of them, learning from them, and wanting to help them succeed.
Why you do things matters.
I was talking to someone the other day and he asked me if I was proud of the work that GD does for our clients. The question surprised me, and I realized it was because that was never a question I’d thought of myself, because it has always been a given. And that was when I realized what a privilege it is to work for a company whose services, standard, and mission is one that you believe in so subconsciously that you never have to question it. Why a company does what it does makes all the difference, both in the success of its sales, and in the success of its employees.
In retrospect, less than three months of full-time work is not a lengthy amount of time. But the growth I feel like I’ve experienced, and the things I’ve learned about myself, the e-commerce space, and how entrepreneurs succeed, feels like the result of far more than just twelve short weeks.
Taking the leap and joining GD has paid off so much more than I could have anticipated - I will take the lessons with me through every professional experience. From Gabby, from my work, and from our lovely merchants, I’ve learned the value of finding why you do the things you do, and letting that inspire your actions from the inside out.