December 3, 2020

Here’s what it looks like to truly love your job

6 years of Scatter

For the last five and a half years that I’ve worked (needlessly?) hard, the one question I’ve always heard – usually, around the time that dinner was being served, is – Ugh, why are you still working?

It didn’t just come from my family. Equally baffled were my peers from the industry and a lot of friends I never seemed to have time for. Even my bosses asked me a few times to take a break.

For the first few years, I just kept my mouth shut and asked for a few more minutes to join dinner. “It’s an important call!” I’d beg or “Just have to make one more change before I send it out” I’d lie. But if I’m being honest, I had no intention to change what was happening.

And today, leading a team of young men and women going through the same thing I did, I know why we choose this job life every single day.

1. The learning curve from heaven

For some of us, the thrill of turning a conversation into a story or design or film that connects with audiences far and wide; the rush of researching a totally new sector/industry you previously hadn’t even known existed; the joy of brainstorming with colleagues who encourage your ideas – and educate you if they’ve been “done to death”; the satisfaction of perfectly communicating your point to a client or partner – is far greater than watching a TV show or socialising even.

At a growing company like Scatter, you acquire global awareness, mental fortitude, and immense comfort with uncertainty, that makes us poised to survive in an increasingly unpredictable world. You pick up the ability to find creativity amidst chaos and focus amidst the fun. The spirit and freedom to innovate constantly were sown early on, and every team lead today nurtures it.

2. The collaboration clause

Learning Curve

It’s not just each other we learned from. It’s the entire Scatter family. On an everyday basis, we deal with freelance journalists and writers and designers and editors who bring so much to our lives, beyond their wealth of experience. Every feedback discussion seems to turn into a salon! And as our network of freelancers has swollen to over 15000 today, many of us at Scatter have found our favourite collaborators. I personally have at least 100 years of experience and talent on speed dial.

You pick up the ability to find creativity amidst chaos and focus amidst the fun. Share on X

And this collaboration extends to the other end of the spectrum too. Some of my favourite moments have been at content marketing workshops, both in India and abroad. We get a brand’s entire marketing, sales and product teams to sit in a room together (which is no easy feat, as you may know) to learn about content and map out goals for the upcoming year.

We’ve had clients tell us – you ask us questions we haven’t asked ourselves in years! – and we’ve had members of competing teams reveal ­– I don’t remember the last time I sat across from you guys and spoke so openly! It’s stimulating, it’s satisfying, and it’s always successful.

3. We work hard…

6 years of Scatter

It hasn’t been all fun and games, though I’d recommend you don’t challenge any of Scatter’s earliest employees to a game of Pictionary, Monopoly or Scrabble because things will get very real, very fast.

When you’re working in the creative field, the fatigue and frustration ARE REAL. Those aren’t just memes. It sometimes does take up to a month to take a blog live or a year to shoot a series of videos. But these are the struggles of any sunrise industry that is struggling with limited resources. Part of what’s made the last six years so great is that our clients have taken the journey with us. Scatter pioneered the growth of content marketing in India and it’s been fantastic to see how the conversations around content have evolved so much since we started!

We didn’t just think outside the box, we lived outside of it. Share on X

In 2014, we were a small company with big dreams and even bigger promises. Our first product, a content recommendation engine, elicited blank looks from even the most advanced marketers. Our service arm was certainly easier to explain, but rewind to 2015 – this is when content marketing was more buzzword, less actual department with well-defined goals and KRAs – at least in India. Our founding team was high-pedigree and ceaselessly inspiring, which I feel was the sole driving factor for our success in our early years. They had spent their careers building a reputation and tons of credibility, and now, with their latest venture, they got large enterprises and their decision-makers to take risks with us and involve us in their journeys – a pipe dream for most new-age startups.

We didn’t just think outside the box, we lived outside of it. It was made clear to each of us from day one – we either do something that’s never been done before, or what we do what’s been done before, but better.

We researched, we read, we ideated, we wrote and rewrote and revised and trained hard. We had excruciating client brainstorms and escalations that gave everybody heart palpitations. Sure, it was tense. Sure, it was stressful. But I’d do it all over again and then some.

4. So we can party harder!

6 years of Scatter

Each of us at Scatter has seen a lot of dark days. There’s been blood and sweat and tears – or maybe that was just the coffee leaking out of us – but there’s also been belly aches from laughter, heart swellings from feeling recognised and appreciated, and blown minds from getting to collaborate with some of the most accomplished content marketers India has ever seen.

Every birthday celebration and major festival is a big affair. Not the sad little cake cuttings my friends tell me they are having at their offices. As we have grown from seven to thirty to fifty-five, somehow, this hasn’t changed.

On Christmas 2019, at the Secret Santa celebration in Mumbai office, I teared up looking at my colleagues give each other long, meaningful hugs and stares, and even better, meaningful gifts. The refrain of, “I can’t believe you actually got me what I wanted!” reinforced just how invested each of us are in each other’s lives.

Scatter has almost always had more female employees than male, a matter of great pride to us all. Share on X

5. All you need is love

For the last five years and a half years, I wake up in the morning thinking of Scatter, and I fall asleep thinking about the next morning. But it’s not the work or stress to complete it that keeps me up. It’s the conversations I’ve had the day.

The people around me at the office are the best part of my day. Even during the lockdown, the sound of laughter and passionate presentations replete with histrionics and penetrative questions is what cuts through the silent solitude.

You can take the person out of Scatter, but you can’t take Scatter out of the person. Share on X

We have always had the freedom to wear what we want, and crack as many jokes as we want, take naps when we need it (which HBR has proved time and again, increases productivity), and speak openly with our bosses and super bosses.

We have always cared for each other’s safety, respected each other’s religious preferences and supported each other during times of emotional or physical distress. Throughout its six years, Scatter has almost always had more female employees than male, a matter of great pride to us all.

We’ve also taken up the mantle to educate brands on how to create LGBTQIA+ friendly content, though we’ll be the first to admit that there’s still a long way to go on that front.

And now, six years later, we are celebrating Scatter’s 6th birthday virtually. After a year of some of the worst moments in any of our lives, at the same time, more support, encouragement, and creativity than I ever thought I’d witness.

In true Scatter style, we aren’t just celebrating with our current employees but all the 100+ employees who’ve ever worked at Scatter. Because you can take the person out of Scatter, but you can’t take Scatter out of the person.