What does it take to see the work we do as more than a source of income? It's about looking beyond the day-to-day tactical items of a to-do list. For our employees, it's about connecting to the significant contributions SAS makes to the world. And our own Jared Peterson experienced that first hand. Jared is a leader in our Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning division for R&D, and his team works bio-medical image processing - the very technology that helped save his own life.
A new perspective on life and work
Early in his career, Jared had a conversation that changed his perspective on work. "My mentor once explained that as soon as I realized the only thing I'm working for is a paycheck, it will be time to find somewhere else to work."
But that isn't the only valuable advice Jared has received over the years.
"Other mentors have reminded me that as soon as I realize I'm the smartest person in the room, it's time to find a new room," said Jared. "But at SAS I'll never be the smartest person in the room. Everybody that works here is bright and could likely work somewhere else if they wanted, but we don’t, because we are solving problems that matter. We are in the middle of the artificial intelligence revolution. A revolution some compare to the likes of the technological revolution. As [employees of]a 40-year-old software company with a rich history, it's so cool that we get to be a part of it."
Not your standard workplace
While some of the problems we’re solving are technical in nature, others aren't. Jared has experienced this firsthand through the medical professionals at the SAS Health Care Center. Those individuals occupy sainthood status in the Peterson household.
In 2017, Jared experienced a major health scare. That scare gave him a front-row seat to the power of medical image processing. SAS® software wasn't part of his specific diagnosis, but medical image processing is a SAS specialty. It was a powerful moment for Jared to recognize the magnitude of his colleagues’ work in his own life.
"We all have to keep our eyes open and remember that SAS is not a traditional or standard workplace," said Jared, who explained he'd previously worked in organizations where there was a constant uncertainty if the lights would be on or if paychecks would be received.
"This place is amazing, but it didn't happen by accident,” he added. “We have to remind ourselves that the work we do matters on a much deeper level. It's the only way we can preserve it for the health of our families, our community, our customers and our society."