When you join Gartner’s Research & Advisory team, you unlock endless possibilities for your career. Whether you are looking to develop and deliver insights or provide one-on-one guidance to help your clients achieve their mission critical priorities, our Research Engagement Services (RES) team will give you the opportunity to work with and learn from the best. Below, Mike Wilson explains what drew him to the Gartner team and how he enjoys his role.
“What do I want to do with the rest of my life?” It’s a question most of us ask ourselves at least once in our lifetime. I have asked myself this question more than once. The last time was in 2018 and it brought me to Gartner.
It’s a question that has defined almost my entire adult life. When I was a teenager, I had journalistic ambitions, and in school, I worked toward that end. While deciding on which university to attend, I asked myself that question. The result was a radical change in direction. What I wanted to do was sell houses, so I sold houses, for three years. I found in that time, I’d done all I really wanted to do. So I asked myself that question again. This time, it took me into sales recruitment; I did well for 15 years and three companies. Through that time, I was challenged, my roles changed and I gained a wealth of sales and management experience. Then that question came up again.
“What do I want to do with the rest of my life?” At 36 years old, a tenured recruitment specialist and sales person, I was still asking the question from 20 years before. To answer the question, I had to ask myself, “What don’t I want to do?” That was at least an easy question to answer, I didn’t want to recruit and I didn’t want to sell.
Knowing what you don’t want is almost as important as knowing what you do want.
So removing sales from the equation, I focused on what I wanted.
I wanted a job that would allow me to interact with people but not to sell them anything.
To be helpful, without being a customer service agent. I wanted to indulge my insatiable curiosity, to gain knowledge in a range of subjects.
I also wanted career development and a decent compensation package.
As a final note, having only worked for small or midsize enterprises, and not wanting to be a business owner, I wanted to work for a large, industry-leading company. That’s not too much to ask, is it?
To quote Sherlock Holmes, “Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.” To say I sought a position that met all of those criteria would be more than a little disingenuous. Just as I started the hunt for the improbable, I was contacted by a former colleague and friend who had been working for Gartner for some time. He knew I was looking for a change and thought there might be a mutual fit. Once he described the RES specialist position, I knew it was a job I wanted. I researched Gartner and found some very favorable press and some slightly daunting comments about the interview process. But the truth is, I enjoyed my interviews and the people I met throughout the process. It’s thorough, yes, but it’s worth it because what makes Gartner such a great place to work is the people.
Within my team, department and the wider Gartner family, I can honestly say I have never encountered such a supportive structure. There is a lot to learn, and the initial training is like driving lessons. It teaches you to control the vehicle, but you only learn to drive once you’re the one in control. That’s what really works for me. I have a lot of control over my day. I know my job function and I’m trusted to do it. But I’m responsible for myself, and that includes knowing when to ask for help. The ongoing training is designed to not only make you more successful within your role but also make you more knowledgeable and supportive to your colleagues and the wider team. It promotes a tremendous sense of worth early in your tenure, and that in turn becomes something you want to share with the new starters who follow you.
Once you have settled in, opportunities to expand on your responsibilities, areas of interest and your skill set come as soon as you look for them. Within my first year here, I have had the opportunity to start a peer group to help support the other new starters in the department and have even been offered opportunities like this, to scratch the long-buried journalistic itch.
Why does Gartner work for me, and why might it work for you? My role here fundamentally meets my employment and personal needs. I’m invested in and my work impacts both the business and our clients. I get to interact with some amazing people.
I found the improbable job. So, “what do I want to do with the rest of my life?” I’m still not sure, but I’m certain Gartner is a large part of that picture.
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