I’m writing this at 10pm on a Wednesday because it’s been one of those days. A day where a million and one things are asked from you on the fly while you have a pile of to-do lists outside of those requests. On top of all that, your confidence has wavered and self-doubt settles into the crevices of your overworked mind.
It also happens to be my one year work anniversary at HubSpot.
Anniversaries of all types always bring about reflections. Today is no different. I recall that a decade ago, I was sitting in my dorm room procrastinating on writing that poem or paper or God-forbid that problem set when I was forced to take a Math course. In my early 20’s I had no idea what I was doing (a theme I’ve noticed is pretty consistent across most people’s lifespans). The last thing that crossed my mind at the time was that I would work professionally in the tech space.
Magazines. That’s where I saw myself. The glitz, the glamour, New York City. I’ll spare you all of the “journey-within” details, but the short of it is, I realized the superficiality and superfluousness of the world I was chasing as a ‘wise’ 22-year-old and found myself, incidentally, on the academic publishing side of things.
Cut to seven years later and I woke up one day miserable, working for a company that didn’t value me and realizing that I had spent seven years of my professional career skating by without a deeply enriching and challenging experience. I found no purpose in anything I had been doing up until that point. Cue the proverbial 20-something existential crisis.
The company I was working for at the time was gearing up to be sold to the highest bidder. We weren’t “cash-flow positive” which meant, as it usually does, lay-offs were to be made. I knew my day was coming months in advance but it didn’t make the blow any easier when it arrived.
Forgive the cliché but what a blessing in disguise. It was the first time in my adult life (as short as it has been) that I decided to take full control of MY choice on where I worked instead of throwing myself at the highest (and quickest - I was unemployed) bidder that walked through the door. That’s when I found HubSpot.
Or should I say, HubSpot found me. I remember being invited to Boston for last round in-person interviews and thinking to myself, should I really go? At the time I had my eye on another company I had been interviewing with that I was convinced was “the one.” On my way to the interview I prayed, a practice I’m rediscovering. I asked God to help me keep my mind and heart open as I went through my final interviews and to not write off HubSpot so quickly.
All I can say is, Hallelujah, Amen.
I walked out of the HubSpot office that day to catch my flight back to Chicago, my boyfriend on the phone, and I said seven words: This is where I need to be.
A year later and I am not exaggerating when I say my life has transformed. I had heard stories and tales of people genuinely loving their company (let alone their jobs), how people have been enabled to grow their skills exponentially and empowered to explore their own professional passions and endeavors. I didn’t think that was real. Anyone who’s seen Office Space can attest.
Yet, here I am and all of the above things are true. I had a rough day today. I regaled my woes to my ever-present and constant cheerleader, my boyfriend. In doing so, in the same breath, I also recounted to him how thankful I am to be challenged every day, pushing myself to evolve and be better. It is so easy to rest on your laurels and skate by on the coattails of previous successes. I’m fortunate that I’m not only challenged but I’m encouraged, I’m cared for, I’m listened to, I am heard. Qualities in a company, in a team, and in a manager I didn’t think were possible.
So, cheers to one year down and many more to go and to a phenomenal company that I’m infinitely proud to work for.
Originally from the east coast, Alexis Rodriguez quickly fell in love with our vibrant city and has since called it home. As a solutions engineer for HubSpot by day, Alexis has been a part of The Face of the Chicago Business since its inception. Through her experience in the digital marketing space, she has helped transform The Face of Chicago Business from an idea to the community being formed today. Anyone who meets Alexis would tell you she's not only one of the kindest people you'll ever meet, she's also one of the smartest.
With two Ivy League degrees from Cornell and Harvard, Alexis helped build The Face of Chicago Business in part with Harvard University as part of her capstone project for her Masters in Digital Media Design. As a Latina, Alexis is committed to propelling women of color to reach their highest potential through education, community and self development and has built that into every facet of our platform. She is currently leading The Face of Latina Professionals group, creating an international community for Latinas, giving Latinas a voice like never before. She is also a co-host on The Face of Chicago Business podcast where she shares Chicagoans’ stories to create meaningful dialogue that evokes positive change in our communities.