You know those movies where the two friends learn only years later that the perfect relationship they were looking for was right in front of them the whole time? It’s been kind of the same for me during my time here at SAS... well, minus the romance.
When I joined SAS as part of the Sales Academy program, I was learning as much as I could about the company, the technology and the industry. It was a new and exciting whirlwind of information overload that was exactly the challenge I needed. What I didn’t realize was that the company itself was actually the best teacher to some important life lessons. Like the oblivious characters in your favorite romantic comedy, I finally recognized what I loved was right in front of me all along – a great company with meaningful work and wonderful people. The love I have for this place and the life lessons I’ve learned, I’ll hold on to forever - thanks SAS.
- Reinvest in yourself. A company that is consistently ranked as a leader in the industry could easily become complacent with the standard they have met. Instead, SAS continues to invest more than 25 percent of annual revenue back into R&D. As a result, the company is constantly innovating, improving and thinking about what is next.
Life translation: It’s great to be happy where you are and proud of your achievements, but that shouldn’t be the end. Whether it be further education, picking up a new hobby, traveling, or even just reading a book, it is our own responsibility to keep learning and growing. Why settle for good when great is possible?
- Be flexible. We love data at SAS. The more the merrier. The faster it comes, the better. The messier it is, the more fun. Text, numbers, multiple sources…yes please! We take it all and turn it into real insights that let our customers make smarter choices.
Life translation: Experiences that are good and bad, big and small, expected and unexpected, will come throughout life. Remaining agile allows you to take on all those experiences to grow. It won’t always be easy, but each of those experiences are necessary to learn, improve and to shape who you become.
- Think about your whole self. Compared to other software companies, SAS is unique because we touch the entire analytic life cycle. We cover our clients from data management to analytics, to all the visualizations. Not only do we do it all, but we do it all in a seamless platform because we realize you can’t really have one without the other. If you have poor data quality, then your visualizations aren’t going to be helpful. And if you have great analytic models but your business users can’t understand the results, you have completely missed the mark.
Life translation: You have to think about all the different aspects that make up your being and your life. Our basic human needs are broken down into four parts - physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Trying your best to tend to all those components equally is going to keep you thriving. We all know it’s not hard to neglect certain parts (I’m guilty of skipping a workout because I just don’t feel like it). But consciously making an effort to focus on developing each area of your life is the first step to giving yourself the opportunity to live fully.
- You can't just expect a relationship, you earn it. The customer is always at the center of how SAS conducts its business. Instead of selling software and walking away, SAS creates a continuous relationship with our customers that delivers access to technical support, real-time user support services, e-learning and solutions designed with their greatest needs in mind. By continuously showing up for customers and proving our commitment, we earn our renewals because of the relationships we have established.
Life translation: Think about how you interact with others. Are you really building lasting relationships or just associations that are convenient in the moment? With technology and social media, communication is probably the easiest it’s ever been. At the same time, we are constantly flooded, and often overwhelmed, with likes, comments and shares that we sometimes overlook the person in the picture. Taking time to be mindful of our interactions with others and giving more than just an emoji filled comment will serve us well in the long term.
- It’s bigger than just you. It’s great to work for a company and be proud of the work that they do. Not only their product, but the heart of the company. From the company’s environmental program to educational philanthropy, SAS is dedicated to solving real problems. Just google #Data4Good and you will see some of the projects the company continues to work on.
Life translation: No matter how successful you are, don’t forget that finding a passion for something beyond yourself can be a rewarding opportunity. The ability to make a lasting impact, no matter how seemingly small, can be something you’ll remember most. After all, there’s only so much wall space for certificates and medals, but there’s always more space for smiles and laughter.
- Stay grounded and enjoy the little things. I believe the saying goes “an M&M a day keeps the doctor away.” Well not quite, but at SAS we might as well start saying it. Every week our offices get filled with M&Ms. It all started back when SAS was just beginning, and one employee decided that M&Ms would be a good change for the researchers. That was back in 1976. Since then, SAS has grown into an international organization and we continue our M&M tradition all around the world to this day.
Life translation- It’s really easy to become so focused on where we are going next that we forget where we came from in the first place. We don’t have time for the simple things that used to make us really happy. It’s a good reminder to sometimes slow down and take notice. On a good day the little things remind us to be thankful, and on a bad day the little things remind us that it will get better.
Two years is quite short in SAS years, but I’ve learned a lot about the company and myself along the way, and I look forward to growing my list of reasons to love this place.
What life lessons have you learned in your SAS career?
This article was originally published on LinkedIn. Selena’s been with the company 4 years now, and is still learning new “SAS lessons” along the way!
When she’s not at work, you’ll probably find her cheering on the Wolfpack, traveling, or being a part time "Mom-ager" to her Instagram famous pup – Bojangles! Check out @its.bo.time on Instagram to follow their adventures!