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The Best Jobs Let You Be You
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Background
As a child, I was that kid who got excited about selling gift wrap, chocolate bars and magazines to raise money for school. Admittedly, I was always beaten by the kid whose parents just dropped the list off at their work and crushed me in sales.
Meanwhile, I went from door to door trying to sell what I could to make a difference. I loved starting businesses. I set up lemonade stands, ran car washes, mowed lawns, started a sign company and opened a rad 80s DJ company.
What motivated me to make sales and run my own businesses wasn’t profit. It was people. I love talking to people, working with people, giving people what they want and making a sale that satisfies them. As an adult, the consulting business continues to be less about the sale and more about helping clients solve tough problems. It’s also about creating a workplace where people can develop into their best, most genuine selves.
The same urges I felt as a child drove me even when I worked for others. I spent a good portion of my early career at a large consulting firm. As my tenure grew, the question of my ability to become a partner came up. The partner I worked for said he didn’t think I had what it took, which surprised me. But I listened to him and convinced myself he was right.
Hold On to Your Dreams
A few years later, I left that firm and went to work for amazing people who believed I could bring in business and gave me chances to prove myself. Motivated and energized, I went back to doing what made me happy. I met people, talked about the challenges they faced, then delivered what I sold. Backed by an amazing team that shared my vision of successful consulting, I ended up closing millions in deals. I was back to being the guy I always knew I was at my core: someone who loves making clients happy and creating a workplace where remarkable teams thrive.
Who Are You at Your Core?
Today, as the CEO of 1Rivet, I sometimes reflect on how I got where I am. Sure, I’m here because I’m creative and passionate about what I do, hate the word "no," talk a lot, prefer to not follow the standards, like to try new things and relationships are critical to me. But deep down, the real reason I’m where I am today is because someone gave me the opportunity to be my genuine self.
I like to think I’m paying the universe back by creating a workplace where others can be who they are, too. I hope you’re working for someone who values who you are at your core. And if not, I encourage you to do what I did – find someone who does. You alone know better than anyone what you need to be your genuine self.
About the Author: Eric Middleton
Embodying the 1Rivet culture, Eric asks himself and others daily: "What have you done for the client today?" He’s a passionate leader who brings an innovative approach and a burst of energy to every client organization.
An expert in program management, data analytics, business analysis and custom development, Eric’s known for his pragmatic approach and his ability to leverage proven methodologies to get things done faster, without compromising quality.
During his nearly two decades of successfully integrating complex IT systems during mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, he’s served dozens of companies in the banking, utility and auto industries.
Prior to founding 1Rivet, Eric was director of enterprise program management at Fannie Mae, director of enterprise program management for SapientNitro and spent as decade as a senior manager at Accenture.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA, where he enjoyed attending Nittany Lions football games.
When Eric’s not working, you can find him jogging, skiing, woodworking and collecting vintage arcade games from the 1920s-1950s. A Maryland native, Eric lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife, two children, and black lab, Basil.
About 1Rivet
Working from offices in Washington, D.C., New York, Toronto and Valsad, India, the company’s three core divisions offer:
Strategic Technology
IT mergers and acquisitions, systems integration, data integration, data visualization and analytics, delivery management and customer experience.
Outsourcing Services
Development and testing, project management, customer service, IT help desks, mailroom shipping and receiving, administrative assistants and reception, concierge, facilities, MFD management and key ops, conference room management, imaging and records management, audio visual and graphic design.
Talent Acquisition
Strategic hires, contract-to-hires and scalable workforce hires.

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