Recently, my wife was having some doubts about the career choice she made to pursue her PhD. She was feeling very down, and very pre-occupied with all the obstacles and difficult experiences, while now in her third year of her program. I’m of the firm belief that when things are good, you only remember the good times, and when things are bad, you only remember the bad times. It’s a part of human nature. And this was one of those moments. My wife was really starting to doubt what all her efforts were for.

And so I suggested to her that she list out all the reasons why she wanted to pursuit her PhD in the first place. It was actually a pretty lengthy process for her, as she soul-searched for most of the day. Her first attempt missed the mark, but by the end of the day, she finally was able to put everything together. And I must say she came up with a pretty comprehensive list. And in my view, this list will help remind her of her long term goals, so she does not get too pre-occupied with the short-term obstacles she will undoubtedly face.

So after watching (and assisting in) that process, I thought it’d be good for me to do the same. I may not be in a rut right now, but it helps to occasionally access and evaluate where I am, so that I do have a long term goal in mind.

So here are my top 10 reasons for my chosen path, to work with QuickSchools (which I have since May 2009):

1 – I get to be part of an amazing company. QuickSchools has been able to grow organically over the past few years, proving that we have staying power. We have funding to support a more aggressive expansion into the market this year. And we have some pretty crazy ideas moving forward as well. The coming year should be very exciting, to say the least.

2 – I get to work with extremely dynamic people. They’re not afraid to fail, and in fact live by the “Fail fast” philosophy. They care deeply for the business, which translates into a well thought out product that is simple and easy to use. I am constantly challenged by them, which keeps me on my toes. All in all, we have a great working relationship that works well for everyone.

3 – I love the product. QuickSchools is a great product that virtually sells itself. And this is a far cry from the early days, where customer support was almost always needed. Nowadays, a customer can start a trial, use and love the software, and subsequently become a subscriber with little interaction with our support team. The challenge now is to make the product even better.

4 – I get to observe and participate in many aspects of the business. I’m already involved in sales, marketing and customer support on a regular basis. I also help develop the product by providing feedback to the engineers (from the customer). In terms of business strategy, we frequently discuss company direction and operational matters, such as hiring and the acquisition of support systems to improve efficiency.

5 – I am valued for my skills and expertise. Everyone in the team has something unique to offer, and I certainly feel that I have a lot to contribute to the success of this company.

6 – I have the flexibility to make decisions independently. This comes from having a thorough understanding of the company’s direction and capabilities, along with the trust of my peers to make good decisions. And I appreciate the company for this trust.

7 – I get to exercise my technical expertise. Having been a software engineer for many years, I appreciate being able to access the server via the command line (to look at the log files or bounce the servers), and code some custom java code from time to time. This also means I can resolve many customer issues on my own, which makes me, look good!

8 – I get to choose what I want to take on. Although I do have a core set of responsibilities, I do have the ability to take on more, like writing articles for the blog, or thinking up ways to improve the customer experience, or putting together marketing material for a conference. I am only limited by my own creativity, in terms of what I want to accomplish for the company.

9 – I get to work from home (remotely), with flexible hours. This means I can spend more time with the family, and better support my wife’s career as well. This also means that if we move, I can take my job with me.

10 – I get paid. And the pay isn’t that bad either.

So that’s my top 10 list. There are obviously some cons which I’m omitting intentionally, because that’s not what this article is about. And I look forward to some great things to come…. Really great things!

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