“What a long strange trip it’s been.” These words were cemented in history in the 70’s by the iconic jam band known as The Greatful Dead, but on January 16th of this year I found myself using these same words. That day marked my one year anniversary of being hired at VAST, and it caused me to sit and reflect about where the past twelve months have taken me. I’ve learned some lessons along the way, and I’ve compiled them into four “Blue Rules” instead of golden rules because here at VAST “Blue Culture” reins supreme, but more on that shortly.
LESSON # 1 – Ask questions. LOTS OF THEM!
Obviously coming into a new job there are going to be questions that you have. I just didn’t realize there would be so many! I am a former teacher, so my knowledge of insurance when I started here was minimal at best. I just paid my premiums every year and didn’t think much about it. Now I had companies, policies, procedures, and a multitude of other things to master. Needless to say I was overwelmed, but from day one every single person here encouraged me to ask questions, so that’s exactly what I did and I still continue to do every single day. Whether it is my customers or my coworkers that I am asking questions to I always end up learning something from it. If I can learn one new thing a day I consider it a success, especially in this business, because knowledge is power. We all should strive to be life long learners, and that comes from asking questions. LOTS OF THEM!
LESSON # 2 – Celebrate both the good and the bad.
When I started here at VAST, I learned very quickly that this was no ordinary place to work. I think what tipped me off was that my first day of work was, “Hat Day” where I could wear my favorite Detroit Tigers cap to work. I was in heaven! I soon learned that this was part of our “Blue Culture”. Long story short, “Blue Culture” is really a set of ideals for the way this company runs on a daily basis. It drives everything we do both internally and also externally. We have fun with goofy holidays and celebrations like “Hat Day”, and at the same time we are also focused on reaching positive results. What makes this so special is that the welcoming and enjoyable atmosphere that we’ve created is what keeps us moving forward. It makes coming to work enjoyable, because whether it is something good (a referral, new business, a thank you from a customer, etc.) or something bad (an upset customer, issues with a company, etc.) we take time to stop and smell the roses by celebrating and learning from these experiences. In the fast-paced-never-stop world we live in this is ever so important, because in my opinion that’s where real growth and understanding takes place.
(TO BE CONTINUED)
Be sure to check back next week for other two “Blue Rules” to VAST!