The Great Reflection: How Tech Workers Are Finding Deep Meaning in Their Work

Leaders from John Deere, Medtelligent and PerkSpot share what they love about their jobs.

Written by Dana Cassell
Published on Nov. 02, 2023
The Great Reflection: How Tech Workers Are Finding Deep Meaning in Their Work
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The Great Resignation dominated headlines last year, story after story about workers making big adjustments in their careers. These changes may have been brewing long before 2020, but they were catalyzed by the pandemic shifting the ways we live and work.

Caitlin Duffy, Research Director at Gartner, characterizes these shifts as much bigger than employment. “You could call it the ‘Great Reflection;’ it’s critical to deliver value and purpose,” she said. People are looking not just for a job that fits their income and schedule needs, but for work that has real meaning, too.

Lauren Gordon, a sales executive at Medtelligent, finds meaning in every conversation with a customer. “It’s amazing to see the impact our software has on our customers. Interacting with them, I am constantly reminded of the value we bring to their lives,” she shared.

At John Deere, employee development is an intentional, meaningful focus. Principal Software Engineer Adam Brunner serves as a developer advocate, working to enhance employee experiences. “John Deere offers unparalleled opportunities for career growth and exploration,” he explained.

Built In Chicago sat down with three tech workers to learn why they love their jobs, and where they find meaning in their work. 

 

Adam Brunner
Principal Software Engineer • John Deere

John Deere applies petabytes of precision data to its 180 years of innovation to build intelligent, connected machines that sustain people and the planet.

 

What is notable about working at your company? What differentiates it from other places you’ve worked?

John Deere offers unparalleled opportunities for career growth and exploration. As a computer science major, I was faced with a multitude of career paths. 

 

John Deere offers unparalleled opportunities for career growth and exploration.”

 

When I discovered Deere, I realized that within one company, I could pursue manufacturing, agriculture, finance, or construction. The possibilities to work with hardware, telematics, cloud computing, web applications, big data and more were endless. 

Upon joining Deere, I realized that these opportunities were not just aspirations, they were tangible. Deere provides a wealth of resources to support ongoing education, including self-led learning platforms and classroom training for just-in-time learning. 

Additionally, the company offers tuition reimbursement for higher education and immersive employee experiences that provide firsthand understanding of the various domains we support. For example, you can follow a crop production cycle through the customer's eyes. 

The best part is that these experiences can be stitched together, allowing for an ever-evolving career aligned with your interests and the shifting needs of the business.

 

What is the impact of the work you are doing? 

As a Developer Advocate, my primary focus is to enhance the employee experience. I do this through working on cognitive load reduction, reducing unnecessary cognitive burden on our developers by eliminating complexities, simplifying processes and providing tools and resources that enable them to concentrate on their core responsibilities. 

Skill development and career pathing is another focus. I am committed to nurturing the growth and progression of our employees by promoting skill development opportunities and creating clear career paths.

I also work on the removal of systemic impediments by actively identifying and addressing systemic obstacles that hinder productivity and collaboration. Additionally, I am a vocal advocate for our developer platform, promoting its features and benefits, gathering feedback, and facilitating continuous improvements to meet the needs of our engineering teams. 

Drawing upon my extensive knowledge of the software development lifecycle, the John Deere technology stack and the broader business context, I aim to create an environment that empowers our engineers, automates tedious tasks, fosters continuous learning and propels our technology ambitions forward.

 

 

Lauren Gordon
Sales Executive • ALIS by Medtelligent

Medtelligent creates the go-to software for assisted living companies.

 

What is notable about working at your company? What differentiates it from other places you’ve worked?

From the moment I stepped through the door for my interview, I sensed something special about Medtelligent. There was something distinctly different, in the best possible way, from other organizations I had worked for before. 

 

From the moment I stepped through the door for my interview, I sensed something special about Medtelligent.”

 

There was an energy in the air, a feeling of warmth and inclusivity that immediately set this workplace apart. Those feelings were validated on my first day carrying through to now, a year and a half later.

From my direct manager to the company founders and all my peers in between, I have felt a network of encouragement and guidance that has empowered me to grow both personally and professionally. 

The leadership team does exactly as their title would suggest: they lead. They are not just managers but mentors, champions and role models. They lead with a spirit of teaching, supporting, inspiring and challenging everyone around them to be the best version of themselves.

The culture at Medtelligent is value and mission driven. The company culture encourages its staff to be open minded and caring. Those in leadership roles actually listen to feedback and requests and always try to accommodate, many times going above and beyond.

 

What is the impact of the work you are doing? 

Having spent significant time working in assisted living and memory care communities, I've seen the challenges faced by healthcare staff on a daily basis. ALIS by Medtelligent has created a fully integrated software solution which optimizes operational efficiency and delivers an exceptional experience for all users.

It's amazing to see the impact our software has on our customers. Interacting with them, I am constantly reminded of the value we bring to their lives. Not only are the customers getting a great product, but also that product is backed by an amazing support team.

When healthcare staff have a user-friendly and intuitive tool at their disposal — a tool they not only have to use but genuinely want to use — we see that residents receive improved quality of care. It's a privilege to be part of a company that not only addresses the challenges healthcare staff are facing but also actively contributes to creating a nurturing environment where both staff and residents thrive.

 

Medtelligent
Medtelligent

 

 

Matt Koch
Associate Category Manager, Travel & Tickets • PerkSpot

PerkSpot delivers savings and recognition to employees at companies like Walgreens and McDonald’s. The company offers exclusive discounts on brands like Samsung, Target and AMC Theaters.

 

What is notable about working at your company? What differentiates it from other places you’ve worked?

Working at PerkSpot has not only developed skills I will need for my professional career but also life skills that serve me outside of the work environment. Skills such as planning, problem-solving and relationship-building are attributes that present themselves in everyday situations. These are just a few areas where I believe PerkSpot helped me grow as a person.

 

What is the impact of the work you are doing? 

At PerkSpot, we save our members money. I help our members save money on experiences they will remember for a lifetime. Whether it's a magical trip to Universal Studios Hollywood or going to see their favorite sports team with their family, my job is to help our members get the best deal possible with our merchant partners.

 

I help our members save money on experiences they will remember for a lifetime.”

 

 

Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Images provided by Shutterstock and listed companies.

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