Everyone has a story. A story that has been influenced by experiences, community, and people. Our stories shape who we are and who we are becoming. We want to celebrate all of the unique stories and different experiences that have shaped our people and build the fabric of our firm. With that in mind, we’re excited to introduce you to leaders across all levels at Credera and their unique stories and perspectives through a blog series called, My Credera Story.
This week you’ll get to know Kevin King, Senior Architect at Credera.
As one of my mentors at Credera, Trent Sutton, often says, “there are two kinds of people in this world.” This cliche popped into my head as I thought about my career journey at Credera. When it comes to choosing a career, oftentimes two types of people are:
People who plan with an intense and detailed fervor, leaving very little to chance and adopting an intentional, calculated perspective to big life decisions
People who embrace change, optimistically make decisions, and look at the unknowns with excitement instead of anxiety
I really want to be in the first group. I admire, respect, and am at times jealous of people in the first group. Alas, I am smack dab in the middle of the second.
Searching for My Career
My story started while still in college as a fifth-year senior at Texas A&M University. I changed my major halfway through my junior year from mechanical engineering to management of information systems–the classic engineering to business transition. I wanted to be a big picture guy who also understood the technical and analytical concepts. My outlook was in line with Tom Smykowski from Office Space who said, “I deal with customers so the engineers don’t have to. I have people skills; I am good at dealing with people!” The fact of the matter was, I made this change without really knowing what I wanted to do, and frankly, I didn’t know what my career options would be. Fast forward to career fair season during my fifth year and I still had no idea what I wanted to do. This is where the true advantage of being in the second group kicked in and changed the course of my career. Because of my place in the second group, I had no idea what I was looking for in a company. I had not formed an opinion about what the heck I wanted to actually be doing at my job. What mattered to me most, above all else, was the only thing I had the wherewithal to measure or react to–the people. I wasn’t terribly concerned what a company did or didn’t do. I cared about:
Did I get along with the people?
Were they down-to-earth, honest, and fair?
Would there be opportunities for me to figure it out?
Would they hire me?
Connecting with the Credera People
I ended up interviewing with a handful of companies, and Credera was by far the most appealing. Forget the fact that they wanted me to be a software developer (something I had no experience in). I simply fell in love with the company through the people I had the great fortune of spending time with during the process. The main thread of, “they’re all saying the same things in completely different ways, you can’t rehearse that, it’s real,” kept running through my head. I was willing to take a chance on myself for the opportunity to work at Credera. Credera was willing to take a chance on someone with no practical experience doing the work they did. I was simply looking for people that I could tie my anchor to, and they were looking for the same thing. I got an offer, immediately accepted, and in true second group fashion, cancelled my upcoming interviews and closed the book on my job search.
Starting at Credera
Fast-forward to officially beginning my career at Credera. I was immediately put on a project where I was going to be on-site at the client and in the foxhole with another campus hire (the first, actually) Jeff Hewitt. Jeff was a senior software engineer and knew what he was doing. I was neither. The firm stuck with me through those first few months and years. I was bad, really bad. I still give Jeff a hard time, sharing anecdotes about some of the extremely naïve questions I asked him. He was infinitely patient, didn’t make me feel bad, and just brought his A game to work every day to make up for my inability to add much value. Over time, his intentional mentorship and coaching started to set in, and I still remember when it clicked. Instead of calling my parents every day to tell them I wasn’t going to give up until I got fired (assuming it would be any day), I got to make a different call. I said, “I think I get it. I think I’m going to make it here.”
Creating a Culture of Loyalty
I’ve been at Credera for over 12 years now. Over the years, people have asked me what has kept me at the same place, especially in our current culture of job-hopping and the grass is greener mentality. I usually give the typical answer of, “the people, the opportunities, the diverse types of work.” In my heart of hearts the answer is much simpler. While all those things matter and are true, the real reason I have stayed is that I have a deep, deep sense of loyalty to the company and the people that gave me a chance when others didn’t, that didn’t give up on me when I was struggling, that constantly encouraged, supported, and gave me everything that I needed to succeed. I’m glad I’m in the second group of people. I’m a risk taker, an eternal optimist, and am willing to take a chance on something exciting and unknown. It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t pretty, but I am where I am today because of it. This story is less about me than it is about Credera. I owe so much of my story to the company that isn’t a company to me–it’s a family.
Working at Credera
At Credera, we have a culture that values the many unique perspectives, backgrounds, and histories that our employees represent. If you’re interested in a career at Credera and beginning your journey, please visit our careers page.