Before and After auticon: Will’s Story
Will Collett, a QA Analyst at auticon US, is celebrating five years with the company this month. Below, he shares discusses his previous struggles with employment and shares how much his career and life have changed since he joined auticon.
Life is a series of befores and afters. Before puberty and after puberty. Before high school and after graduation. Before marriage and after marriage. Before children and after. And for me: before auticon and after auticon.
Before auticon, my work life can be summed up as chaotic and unpredictable. I thought I knew what career I wanted to pursue, and thus as I tried to get through college I took a variety of odd jobs, none of them were particularly noteworthy or engaging, and at the time I didn’t expect them to be. However, halfway through college, I started feeling that I wasn’t on the right path, that my career goal was no longer a good fit for what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
After that, as I tried to find work, I hoped I would find something I could make into a career, but each would backfire in my face. Two summers as a seasonal carpet cleaner in Yellowstone with a glowing reputation went up in smoke when management hired another person to take my place, and more importantly my schedule, resulting in a very messy miscommunication that ensured they would never hire me again.
Another two years were spent as an amusement park food worker, initially a promising career with rumors of my eventual promotion. That was until the management decided to promote a friend. I had been aware he was in the same running, and we had made peace with that as he deserved the promotion as much as I did, if not more. He was the logical choice. The issue was that not only had they promoted him the day after I had started an extended vacation, but that they refused to inform me of the promotion even after returning from vacation and had threatened my friend with retaliation if he went behind their backs to tell me. In the end the deciding manager admitted, in a heated exchange, that they would never promote me due to a single failed social situation that had happened over a year before.
By the time I approached auticon, I had spent ten years trying to find a career, with little more than a resume filled with ten failed or underpaying positions and a near-worthless bachelor’s degree. I was still working at the park, though my trust and loyalty had been completely shattered, and I was also working as a filing clerk for an electronics company on the side. Neither of my incomes were enough to allow me to so much as move out of my parents’ house, let alone start a life with my then fiancée.
auticon changed everything. I instantly knew on day one that I had found the niche I was looking for. I have received a great deal in my five years at auticon. A career for one, enabling me to work in partnership with many professionals at a number of reputable organizations. Mobility, allowing my wife and I not only to live where we want to, but the ability to purchase our own home. Opportunity for career growth, with clearly defined parameters for that growth divorced from whatever the whims of a given individual may be. One of the most significant of all, job security, and a safety net of supports to prevent “unfortunate miscommunications” from spiraling out of control should they happen.
Beyond all of this, however, one of the things that I love most about working at auticon is that I don’t need to constantly keep up my personal “mask” I have spent years crafting and perfecting to make people think I am simply “normal.” At auticon, I can be who I am, doing a job I love, earning a living as a productive member of society. To me, that’s what makes me the happiest.