Hivery Team Member Susan Schroeder is our Director of Marketing and shares here about her early work experiences and the important lessons she learned around patience and commitment. Susan comes to The Hivery with more than 20 years of experience as a creative entrepreneur specializing in marketing, graphic design, branding, product development, and strategy and often has to remind herself that being patient can pay off.
In a world of fast-paced decisions, cramming more into a day, and a to-do list the length of your arm, a year can seem like centuries away. But, making the good stuff? Whether that’s memories, a career change, a business, or a creative endeavor...well, those things can take time. It turns out, a year isn’t too long when it comes to making something meaningful.
My first job out of college (which seems like a lifetime ago), I was hired by a small, very successful, family-owned firm to start a new business arm. Yep, at 22. Right out of college. With zero experience. The owner of the firm was on the eccentric side. He was wearing slippers and chewing on an unlit cigar during one of my interviews. And, when he offered me the job, he did so with a challenge, “I bet you won’t last a year.”
“I’ll show him…” I thought to myself. So, on the spot, I made a commitment to myself, “I will stay in this job for a year AND I’ll grow out my bangs for a full year, too.” Remember, I was 22. And, both things, it turned out, needed that full year. Sometimes, you’ve just got to give it a year.
When that first job proved to be not-the-right-fit and the eccentricities became too much to handle, I left. It was just after my one-year anniversary. My bangs had completely grown out (lesson for the future) and I’d learned a TON about myself, about what I didn’t want in a job, and about how to leave something behind and move on. That year had been worth it.
My next stop as an intern at the cool and creative company I’d been stalking was a quick stepping-stone to a full-time position as their receptionist. When I was offered the job, the HR Director said, “I’m so tired of hiring receptionists and having them quit in three months to go work for a more exciting, creative department within the company. If you’re going to take this job, you have to commit to staying in it for a FULL year.” She didn’t scare me, I knew I could do that. And, once again, it paid off. By the time my year anniversary rolled around, I’d gotten to know every single person in the company and had three different job offers waiting for me. Giving that receptionist position my all for a full year gave me the opportunity to make incredible connections with every person in the company. It allowed my brain to focus on learning and growing rather than constantly looking for the next place I wanted to jump to. I slowed down—I wasn’t going anywhere for a year—I learned everyone’s name, memorized everyone’s phone extension, and truly got to know them. I committed to a year, planted my roots, and let myself BE and GROW in that spot. I moved from that receptionist position to another exciting department where I stayed, growing professionally and personally, for six more years.
Now, deep into my 40s, I realize how valuable those early work experiences were for me. Those one-year experiences paid off when I eventually left that cool, creative company to start my own studio. “Give it some time. No self-judgement for a year.” It paid off when I developed and took a new product to market with partners, “Let’s see what we can accomplish in a year.” This mantra has helped me get through hard times. “It’s okay if you need a full year to heal.” It’s applied to personal goals. “You want this, so really DO THIS for one full year.” And I try to use it as a way to give perspective to my teen daughters. “If you dedicate yourself to this, in a year, you won’t believe how much you’ve grown.”
We live in a fast-paced world and it’s important to be nimble and open to new opportunities. But, I’d argue that it’s just as important to give things time, let the seeds that you’ve planted have a chance to grow, and remember that sometimes, especially with the good stuff, it can really pay off if you settle in and give things a year.
Right now, The Hivery has a special discount for a year of Unlimited Membership to The Hivery San Francisco. Yes, it’s a great deal, but you can also think of this as a nudge for you to make a commitment to yourself. To your project. To your business. To your idea. We’ll give you the gorgeous coworking space, the supportive community, and a sweet spot on the water in San Francisco. All you have to do is commit to show up. For a year. For you. My bet is that you’ll make some pretty amazing things happen.