Finding a New Way Forward

Finding a New Way Forward

When I first started working at Articulate, I weighed 300 pounds.

Writing that is surreal because I had reached a point where I didn’t think I’d ever be able to talk about my weight in the past tense. When I first started my last job, I weighed around 150 pounds. While I worked there, something went wrong. I only cared about work, and I used food to make myself feel better about the imbalance in my life. It was truly an addiction.

After six years, I was laid off. I was terrified to find a new job where I’d need to interview and meet new people. I felt like people would look at me and think I wasn’t smart or good at what I did because they wouldn’t see past my outward appearance. So, when I saw Articulate’s job posting, I was overjoyed. It called for my exact skill set and, as a plus, I wouldn’t have to be seen from the waist down. All my interactions would be by video call. Perfect.

I made it through the interviews, got the job, and started to learn more about the company and how we work here. It is so different from what I was used to. People talk openly about taking time for themselves. Because we work mostly asynchronously, it’s okay to go out and try that new spin class or get a massage when you need it. The culture at Articulate gave me back control over my schedule. Articulaters truly encourage a healthy lifestyle. More than that, they live it. You might hear your boss say something like, “I can’t meet at that time because I’m trying out a new yoga class.” That is a powerful thing to hear.

When I saw my mentors making time to take care of themselves, I realized that I was in a culture that could change my life. Maybe even save it. On top of that, we get a $100 per month wellness benefit. I use mine to pay for anything from my gym membership to going to the spa for some eucalyptus steam (my new favorite thing).

But there was something else about Articulate: I realized that the people around me were truly accepting of me. They wanted me here—they weren’t just giving me a skeptical chance. They appreciated me, loved me, and encouraged me when I was down. And we were becoming friends, even across all the distance between our homes. On my first day, I was encouraged to reach out to people on my new team and have 15-minute video calls to get to know everyone—kind of like a virtual watercooler. I quickly realized that 15 minutes often didn’t feel like enough time.

The first few people I met with had me thinking, “Wow! If we worked together in an office environment, this would be the person I’d want to hang out with on the weekends.” And as I met more and more people, I realized I felt that way about everyone on the team. It is difficult to get a job at Articulate and for good reason. We are highly selective about both qualifications and how closely someone shares our values. I don’t say that to scare anyone from applying here. I say it because that guiding hiring principle is what makes us a group of people second to none.

Many of those 15-minute video calls turned into standing monthly catch-ups with people I don’t necessarily work with daily. I’ve changed teams now, but the friendships last. It’s a true testament to the kind of place this is that even in a remote environment, we talk about our favorite movies, share recipes, and debate video game merits. We check in when bad weather or tragedy strikes a place that our colleagues call home. And we talk about really hard things, like how navigating the workforce as a person of color is much more difficult than it is for white people. We also learn about how we can be better allies for each other. Articulaters take vacations and road trips together. And sometimes, we’re even our best friend’s maid of honor.

I am so proud to work for Articulate. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what I look like at all. Even if I hadn’t lost a pound, no one would treat me any differently. That’s because the folks at Articulate are encouraging, supportive, and rooted in integrity. We value people’s emotional intelligence just as much as the intellectual kind.

Early in March this year, I hit my one-year anniversary at Articulate. I also hit five months maintaining a 50-pound weight loss. I’m so grateful that I found this place. It’s changed the way I look at taking care of myself. It’s given me more confidence. But also, it’s helped teach me how to love myself. This is an amazing group of people, and I found them when I needed them most. Here’s to many more years of being happy and healthy Articulaters together. <3