Finding Autonomy in an Entry Level Role
Since joining AlphaSights full-time a year ago, the explicit benefits of the entry-level role have always been obvious to me: the ability to enjoy AlphaSights’ terrific culture, the chance to develop crucial project management skills, and the opportunity to deepen communication skills, among many others. Less obvious have been some of the more implicit benefits of the post-graduate AlphaSights role. And after reflecting on the past year, one virtue has stood out to me in particular: autonomy.
Every company will tout the fact that new hires and recent grads are given “immediate responsibility”, but this is starkly different from true autonomy. At AlphaSights, the firm places a remarkable amount of trust in its new hires. This trust, although it may not be obvious at first, presents both challenges and opportunities that create professional and personal development possibilities that I believe are few and far between in the working world. While it’s easy to find a role that gives you a set of responsibilities, it’s much harder to find a role that hands you the autonomy to meet and exceed those expectations.
The challenges that come with autonomy also breed opportunity. At AlphaSights, nobody is going to lean over your shoulder to tell you the right way and the wrong way to do something. Managers and peers will share guidelines and best practices, but there is no entrenched instruction manual here. This “wiggle room” leads to ambiguity and mistakes, but simultaneously leads to increased ownership, new ideas, and incentives that benefit both the firm and individual. Anytime I’ve hit a roadblock on a project, I have no shortage of coworkers to solicit advice and input from. But ultimately, I am given the autonomy to employ MY solution. This autonomy, and the “personal stamp” on your work, leads to greater opportunities to learn from losses and celebrate wins.
From my experience, the autonomy afforded to myself and fellow team members reflects AlphaSights’ core belief that we are an ever-evolving firm where everyone from the Managers to entry-level graduates can enact change and add value. This autonomy inherently incentivizes challenging the status quo and prevents the frontline revenue-generating role from ever becoming stagnant.
Mike joined AlphaSights in June of 2014 and works as an Associate in our New York office