I love where I live, but there are not a lot of job opportunities. The beauty of today’s world is that I can now work remotely for a foreword-thinking company and have a lifestyle up here that would have been impossible for anyone just 10 years ago.
See I live in a little village on the St. Lawrence River, up in the Thousand Islands, called Morristown, NY (population 395). Upstate New York is full of proud, hard-working people, but the ages have not been kind to us. Technically, we never really left the Great Depression, as our population has steadily declined since our peak during Prohibition. Think about that – consistent job and population loss since the late 1920’s. Back then, being a border town, things were booming. But as industries changed, alcohol became legal again, ice-harvests no longer needed, and water-based transport gave way to trucks and trailers – slowly, steadily, everyone moved away. My nearby hometown of Ogdensburg that in the late 1800’s was on par with Chicago in population is now also a forgotten back-water city with a population of only 11,128. Growing up here in the 1980’s and 1990’s the one and only goal of every kid in my class was to simply get out.
And I did get out. Shortly after graduating college, I moved to Boston, Mass and then Orange County California, with dreams of big-city success and warmer weather. But after years of traveling around, and seeing what the world had to offer, I realized that where I grew up was one of the most beautiful places on Earth; there is plenty of fresh water and woods, it’s not far from the Adirondack Mountains or Montreal; it’s filled with old Victorian mansions with big yards for sale for only $40,000 a piece. Making meager wages and trying to live in a $2000/month 2-bedroom apartment in California just didn’t have the same appeal to the wide green pastures and thick coniferous woods of home no matter how much sunnier it was there.
But the problem of no job opportunities up here still lingers. I eventually moved home and got a job at a warehouse as a supervisor, and I made okay money – but I wasn’t happy. My mind wasn’t being used, and my bosses never said a kind word. No matter how hard I worked, it was just never good enough. After that, I was unemployed for a few years after quitting that job and, unable to find steady work, I went back to school for IT and Web Development. Immediately upon graduating, I was picked up by Twin Technologies and I have teleworked here ever since (this being my 5th year).
I work hard for Twin because I appreciate my job and the life that Twin allows me to live – but more than that, I really believe in the company’s vision and leadership, and having worked over a dozen jobs in my lifetime (ranging from a janitor, an assistant organ-tuner, a title insurance officer, a warehouse production supervisor, to an IT worker for a psychiatric center – and many more in between), I can easily and honestly say that Twin is hands-down the best place I have ever worked.
Twin’s greatness starts with the leadership and ownership that Ben and Mary Elmore provide; not only because they pour their heart, soul, and personal treasure into the organization, but because they provide a roadmap for each and every individual who works for them so that people will succeed based on their own personal talents and merits. They provide the tools and training for people to succeed and simply ask that we reinvest our growth into the company as a return.
I also want to mention how proud I am of the work that the whole Twin Technologies team has done in 2013. Twin feels like a whole new company compared to where we were even in 2011 – we are much better organized around process and procedures, we have unified on a select number of systems for project management and file storage, we have been able to critically study our costs and try to find ways to improve and to scale. It is truly awesome to see the work that people have done and the improvements that have grown out of it. So many companies are all talk, but at Twin we live by our business mantras and actually believe in things like client value and being a trusted partner to our clients. It feels good to serve and actually feel like we are making the world a better place through the work that we do.
Twin’s secret weapon is our people; we only hire the best, hardworking, caring, and visionary people around and it shows. Working with the software and business experts that we have on staff teaches me new things all the time – I love learning and growing from my teammates – it’s a better business school than any classroom – and I am really looking forward to the new opportunities that are arising for 2014.
I once heard a saying that says, “You never want to work for a place where you feel like you are the smartest person in the room,” and for the first time in my life I find myself in a place where that is the case, and it’s a great feeling.
Moral to the story being this – Twin is a great place to work. I know that our name isn’t as recognizable as Google or Apple but in so many ways, I wouldn’t rather work anywhere else. And you don’t have to be in NYC or San Francisco; you can work with Fortune 500 companies and on big government contracts no matter where you are located in the country – even small-town Upstate NY. I highly encourage any passionate developers or project-management professionals who want to grow their careers with an up-and-coming company to give us a try; you won’t be disappointed.
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