I started working at Taoti just about seven years ago when we occupied a small suite in a Dupont Circle office building. Coming from a much larger company, I was admittedly nervous starting a new job at such a small agency. There were only about 15 of us at the time. It’s a bit intimidating joining a small crew who all know each other pretty well and figuring out where you fit in with the group. Slowly but surely, I got to know my teammates pretty well. I learned about their passions, their hobbies, their families, what makes them happy inside and outside of work. It was a benefit of working for a small company that I had never experienced before.
Taoti’s Tremendous Growth
As you’ve probably seen through other updates and blog posts in the past, Taoti has grown quite considerably since I started in mid-2014. Our small team of 15 has grown to 70+ folks in DC and across the globe. To the outside world, we’re no longer just a Drupal development shop; we’ve grown tremendously into a full-service creative agency. And with that, I’ve been able to grow along with the firm – expanding my project management expertise with a variety of digital, web, and print projects, mentoring new team members, supporting project planning and resourcing, and more recently, managing a small team of project managers.
It’s More Than Just Work, We’re a Family.
From a cultural perspective, I’m incredibly grateful that we haven’t lost our close family culture as we’ve grown up. I think it’s something that makes Taoti unique, and it’s the reason why I always mention it to prospective employees. Whether it’s through our morning standup meeting, our Slack channels (including my personal favorite: #tiny-taotians), after-work events, our postcard wall, annual retreat, we somehow always find a way to connect with each other in one way or another. Although the entire team has been remote for a little over a year now, we’ve also seemed to keep our collaborative, fun culture alive as much as possible through the virtual world.
Over the past 7 years, there are two things that have surprised me, for the best:
- Building strong relationships with teammates isn’t just limited to our DC HQ staff. I talk to our remote development team regularly and haven’t met a lot of them in person. Yet, I still consider these folks good friends and always like to make an effort to connect on a personal level outside of our day-to-day job responsibilities. I was fortunate to meet many of our remote developers at our Annual Retreat in September 2019, which was an incredible week of team bonding! I am looking forward to the day we can all meet together again in person.
- Everyone I’ve met here is always willing to share their thoughts, experiences, and creativity. I’m a naturally curious person and always looking to learn something new. I’ve been grateful to learn from such a diverse and talented group of people here at Taoti.
In 2019, I started sitting in on Project Management candidate interviews with our VP of Client Services, Susan Steele. One question that comes up in almost every interview is: “What is your favorite thing about working at Taoti?” My answer is always the same: It’s the people.
We spend more of our work week with our colleagues than most of our family and friends, so enjoying the company of your co-workers (whether in the office or virtually) can make all the difference. For me personally, as a Project Manager, the family-based culture we’ve created helps foster a team that can get through anything together – the good, the bad, and the ugly.
To all my colleagues, past and present, thank you endlessly for your friendships, your mentorship, and most importantly, for being part of our little Taoti family.