One of the things that I love about startups is the opportunity and expectation to always jump in an do whatever is necessary at any given time. Your role isn’t always as clearly delineated as it may be in a much larger, more corporate environment. The team that I’m on at Jana has been building a self-service campaign creation platform for a while now. We’re sort of like a startup-within-a-startup, in that we need to figure out everything ranging from software architecture and UI design to business requirements and a marketing plan. We have a lot of autonomy do make some of those decisions, which I see as a great chance for everyone involved to learn.
Our CTO, Craig Lancaster, recently referenced a famous Bill Belichick pre-game speech where he told the Patriots “Do Your Job,” as a way to hit home how much everyone’s effort matters.
When you’re in a startup, the impact that each individual can have is palpable, and that’s why it’s important that each person contribute in a way that I think that short phrase really dictates.* Jana’s mission has always very clearly been “Make the internet free for the next billion,” and that clarity allows for a lot of employee liberty in pursuit of that goal. On our team, that means that we each have the opportunity to always grow and contribute in ways that our initial job descriptions probably didn’t clearly outline. For several other individuals at Jana, it has meant that their roles are completely different than what they were originally hired for, because they were looking for a new adventure. Being able to do that in a fast-growing and supportive environment like Jana is empowering, and I personally think it can be exhilarating. If you want to come “Do Your Job” in a place that lets you learn and grow in ways you might not have expected, give us a shout, because we might be looking for someone like you.
* One caveat that Belichick later noted is that the phrase would probably have been better coined as “Do Your Job Well,” but I think it’s perhaps more meaningful and memorable given its brevity as-is.