“I don’t want to lose my flexibility and freedom!”
That thought was consistently running through my head whenever Nautilus VP of Corporate Marketing and Communications, Chris Blessington, pitched that I transition from science communication consultant to full time Nautilus employee. For nearly a year, I politely brushed Chris off while quietly considering the pros and cons. However, as I interviewed Nautilus employees for this blog and got to know the team, the pros began to outweigh the cons. In this post, I summarize why I left a happy 4 years of science communication consulting to join Nautilus as Head of Content Strategy.
Nearly everyone I’ve interacted with at Nautilus has mentioned how great their coworkers are. I was skeptical at first, but Nautilus Founders Parag Mallick and Sujal Patel have done a great job of cultivating a group of collaborative, team- and goal-oriented people while eschewing assholes (that latter bit is even in the Nautilus employee handbook). Throughout my time as a consultant, everyone at Nautilus has been willing to discuss and explain their ideas while actively and respectfully responding to questions and criticism. This was even the case at the Nautilus holiday party where I naively asked both the CBO and CFO who they were and later asked the CBO to explain blackjack to me. Believe me when I tell you, it is not a given that people in biotech will be nearly as kind and communicative as the Nautilus team is.
When choosing clients as a consultant, I did my best to make sure I worked with people who were truly driven to have a positive impact on the world and whose technology had the chance to go the distance. This was certainly true of Nautilus’ technology and, the more I’ve worked with folks here, the more I’m convinced they’re dedicated to making the proteomics revolution a reality. This is true both in the near-term through enabling researchers to plumb the depths of the proteome in ways that have never been possible before and in the long-term through technologies that will change EVERYONE’s healthcare experience for the better. I’m convinced that this team will successfully roll out a product that will have far-reaching positive impacts on the world.
It is certainly true that I will have less freedom as a full-time employee than as a consultant (3 days a week in an office?!?). Yet, the corollary benefit is focus. For the last four years, I’ve juggled projects at up to 5 different companies at once. I’ve learned a ton of biology and have thoroughly enjoyed myself, but I’m honestly excited to focus on projects at one company. That does not mean that I won’t have a lot going on. Afterall, we have many communication projects in the pipeline and, as all people who work at startups know, I will have to wear many hats. Nonetheless, I’ll have more confidence that all those hats will fit and, if they don’t, I can work with the team to make them fit or find someone they’ll fit. With these properly fitting hats, I’ll be able to do my best work and perhaps better work than I could as a consultant.
Of course, there are the practical benefits of joining a company. Things like healthcare, a little more job security, and less confusing taxes are great. These certainly had an impact on my decision, but more than anything, I’m excited to work with a dedicated team sprinting towards the common goal of making the world better with a cool biotechnology. I can’t wait to see what we all accomplish together.
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