There is No Right Path, There is Only Your Path

Cassie Pilon Communications Specialist at Maplewave

I’d just woken up on an airport bench in Tokyo. Scrolling through my phone, I opened my email where a message waited in my inbox.

I was in-transit back home to Halifax, reminiscing about the month I’d just spent soaking up the Southeast Asian sun, exploring the culture, and eating way too much Pad Thai.

Scanning the email three times before registering what I was reading, I reached over the other side of the bench where my friend, Nick, was sleeping.

I shook him, waking him up.

“I got the job at Maplewave!” I beamed at him.

Navigating the Professional World

Fast-forward almost four months, and I’m writing this blog from my cubical at Maplewave’s office in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

The funny thing about being a new or soon-to-be graduate who is looking for a job, is that people are eager to help you, but no one really has a straight-forward answer as to how you can find one of those “job-things”. Recently, I’ve learned that this is because no one really gets a job in a straight-forward fashion.

There is a stereotype we are bombarded with where people apply for job in response to an ad, nail the interview, and land the position. But this is the reality for a very, very, very small percentage of people.

For me, landing the job at Maplewave was a combination of reaching out to contacts who could vouch for me, networking, submitting a resume, having conversations, and ultimately, putting myself out there.

Moving forward and starting a new life chapter is often accompanied by an abundance of emotions such as fear, excitement, doubt, ambition, anxiety, joy, sorrow, and gratitude – just to name a few.

So, I’m writing to tell you that all those emotions are valid and overwhelming, but in the end, you will figure it out, because if I can survive it, I have no doubt in the world that you can too.

First Impressions

I was at the very end of my very last semester of a Bachelor of Public Relations at Mount Saint Vincent University (MSVU), and my future seemed to be a looming cloud of uncertainty.

I was connected with Leigh Anne, Maplewave VP of HR, through a mutual contact at MSVU. To my surprise, Leigh Anne offered to meet with me at the university in between my classes  to – what I thought – share her insights and provide mentorship with my ongoing job search.

When I first met with her, I hadn’t considered working for a technology or software company before.

I remember thinking, how refreshing and kind it was for Leigh Anne to come to me.

This was my very first impression of Maplewave.

During our initial meeting, we chatted about my interests, what I was looking for in a career, my personality, expectations, and an opportunity at Maplewave. It wasn’t until I said goodbye that I realized this was actually an interview.

I was immediately intrigued by the prospect of Maplewave. It sounded like a place I wanted to work.

Beginning a New Chapter

I’d returned home from Asia on May 15, convocated from MSVU on May 17, and started at Maplewave on May 28, 2018.

At 22 years old and at the very beginning of my career, I was searching for an opportunity to learn more, hone my existing skills, grow professionally, and Maplewave offered just that.

I’m the Communications Specialist on the Marketing Team. If you’re unsure of what that is, don’t worry because I’m also still figuring it out. Each day looks different at Maplewave. I have core duties – most revolve around social media and writing. That includes managing social media accounts, media monitoring, and research. And that’s where the predictability of my day ends.

By the time I sit down at my desk, open my email and check Slack, my day will have already drastically changed from what I was expecting.

In the short time I’ve been a member of the Maplewave family, I’ve helped with video production, attended events, edited blogs and articles, interviewed someone from South Africa, wrote reports, scripts, and a newsletter, made recommendations, and learned the meaning of Digital Transformation.

I’d be lying if I told you that my first few months were strictly puppies and rainbows.

I’d never worked in the tech industry before and would describe myself as anything but tech-savvy (I only learned how to send a e-transfer last year). My tech-skills, or lack there of, posed a challenge for me.

I was hearing words like agile, transformation, and digitization used in ways I simply did not understand. Like anyone entering a new field or starting a new career, I felt out-of-touch to say the least.

But with the help of my lovely team, I’m navigating my way through this new world. Without them, I’d be extremely lost.

The people at Maplewave truly are the company’s essence. And I’m not just saying that – everyone that works here, including me, believes this.

Despite the “we” mantra at Maplewave, individualism is also celebrated. There are no two people alike here. Our team is comprised of different personalities, interests, varied educational backgrounds, and diverse career experience.

Maplewave lets people be themselves. Independence is a big thing – even for newbies like me. What is the point of hiring talented people if you won’t let them express that talent?

Each person brings something different to Maplewave – I think this is a vital component to what makes us who we are. The more angles we can analyze something from, the better we become.

It’s a Marathon Not a Sprint

The best way I can describe my first four months at Maplewave is: a learning marathon.

Two key lessons I’ve learned so far from Maplewave would be:

  1. Take the blinders off! Don’t dismiss any opportunities because you don’t have experience in that field or isn’t what you had pictured.

  1. Get involved. Whether it’s a volunteer opportunity with the organization you have your eyes on, a committee at your workplace, or simply attending an event with your new co-workers. You’ll make friends quicker, learn more about the company, and it never hurts to show interest.

Working at Maplewave means many different things to the people that work here. To me, it means being a part of an incredible team, accepting the challenges, and celebrating the wins.

In your own job search, I encourage you to seek opportunities outside of your comfort zone, connect with past employers and professors, sign up for job alerts, and attend networking events – because if you take one thing away from this blog, let it be that there is no right path, there is only your path.

Best of luck with your new beginning.

If I’ve sparked your curiosity about Maplewave checkout our Careers page.

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