December 5th, 2015 marked my 10-year anniversary with SiteGround. Being with the same company for 10 years is a long time. I often get asked how I managed to stay that long without getting bored, or stuck. I clearly never got bored and I think that's one of the reasons I've been with SiteGround for so long. But there's more to that. I had just turned 19 when I started and I literally and figuratively grew up there. I've learned so much during those 10 years, that I dare say thanks to my SiteGround experience I am who I am today.
The False Start or Why Enthusiasm and Desire to Learn Matter
When I joined SiteGround, I had no clue about web hosting, domain names, DNS, ftp and everything else that comprised the concept of hosting web sites. My whole online presence, (and experience really) consisted of a Yahoo email, which I checked once a month and mostly received spam.
One day, I met an old friend of mine, absolutely by chance at the bus station. We hadn't seen each other for quite a long time and while running through the usual "How have you been, what have you been up to?", he told me about this new company called SiteGround. He had started working there as a technical support engineer. He asked me what I was doing and if I wasn't looking for a job. Luckily, I was, and he told me that they were looking to hire people for their sales team.
— You should apply, he said.
— This dude must be joking, I said to myself. I have no idea what this web hosting thing is, nor do I have any sales skills.
He said that the only requirement was to speak fluent English and he would teach me everything I needed to know about web hosting for the interview.
As an alumni of the English Language School and a fresh college student in an English university, I had a fairly good command of English and indeed, he did invest in teaching me web hosting. And selling a Fuji camera through ICQ (remember this?). As I was going to chat with people online on web hosting and hopefully selling to them, my interview task was precisely that: sell a product or service of my choice to my potential client, who was then performed by our marketing director Lily.
The next couple of weeks were mostly training by my friend and me indulging in the deep waters of the Internet and how selling worked. Through that process, somehow my friend had motivated me really hard about the job and with time I got more and more confident and really excited about SiteGround. Until it was time for my interview. The outcome was the worst a sales person could hope for: I will think about it.
At the end of the chat session, Lily came to me and said: "Well, Tina, you didn't really do great, but we'll give you a chance because you seem very enthusiastic and motivated for the job. You have a lot to learn, but we'll give you a chance because we see you want to learn." And this is how it all started. Out of my pure enthusiasm and strong motivation to learn and get the job.
When I look back, enthusiasm to learn and progress have been the core things that have been driving me both personally and professionally throughout my whole life. And SiteGround is a place that values and cultivates enthusiasm. Which makes it really easy to spend 10 years there.
The False Start (vol. 2) Or Why Being Uncomfortable, Proactive, and Willing to Continuously Improve Matter
I got the job, but in the beginning it wasn’t all flowers and roses. I wasn’t doing great at the sales team, but I started growing an interest in our payments systems and domain names matters. Those cases were handled at that time by our billing team and they needed a hand as most of the work was manual back then. SiteGround has always been very open about people switching teams if they demonstrated the potential to fit in the new team, so this is how I ended up in the billing team. I was enthusiastic about doing new stuff, but soon enough a lot of this stuff got boring because it was repetitive manual work, it was far from perfect.
So, I started collecting things that can be automated and one day, not being afraid to fail, I asked for a meeting with our billing manager and our devs team. I presented my automation wishlist and soon enough I was working with our developers on automating some small tasks that would save us a lot of manual work and most important - time. Time that I could use to do more meaningful work. A little after that we decided to build a fully-automated billing system and I was trusted to work on that much bigger project. One thing led to another, and I started doing more project management work on internal tools and systems that were focused on automations and efficiency in our sales and billing processes.
I found this mindset of continuously improving, not settling for the status quo and always aiming higher very sexy. It started resonating more and more with me and has since been deeply ingrained in SiteGround’s core philosophy. Which makes it really easy to spend 10 years there.
The Success or Why People, Caring and Fun Matter
I am now VP of Strategic Partnerships at SiteGround and have my own teams. Never, ever in my life I’ve thought that I’ll end up managing other people and helping shape and execute on our company’s strategy. Never, ever was that my motivation to join SiteGround in the first place. And never, ever I would have achieved that if it wasn’t for the other people at SiteGround. My enthusiasm and desire to learn do not exist in vacuum. If it wasn’t for Lily to see my potential, if it wasn’t for our management to trust me with those automation projects and provide feedback and guide me through the process, I wouldn’t be where I am today. And that’s what really makes SiteGround so special.
We help each other and we care about each other as much as we care about our clients. Most important of all, we have fun together while we change the world together. Which makes it really easy to spend 10 years there.
If you too are curious, enthusiastic, driven and willing to continuously improve and change the world, one server at a time, we’d love to have you.