TheLadders team swims, bikes and runs together during the 2013 Aquaphor New York City Triathlon.
TheLadders is proud of its corporate culture, and rightfully so – the atmosphere is fun, creative, and high-energy, and employees are constantly offered perks ranging from catered lunches and happy hours, to myriad company events and sports teams. A dynamic start-up atmosphere is fantastic, but I consider the best aspect of TheLadders’ culture to be leadership’s support of goals and growth.
This support comes in many forms. Professional development is encouraged with relevant courses reimbursed and regular promotions from within, as well as personal and community development. TheLadders helped me with one of my personal goals recently, as well as a charitable group’s goals, through its support of a triathlon team that races in the Aquaphor New York City Triathlon each year. This year the race took place on Sunday, July 14, and among the athletes who braved the 1,500m Hudson River swim, 40k bike ride up the West Side Highway and 10k run in Central Park were 10 current and former employees of TheLadders.
While TheLadders sponsors a triathlon team each year, this is the first year the company used the race as an opportunity to further help a charity. TheLadders currently donates part of its SoHo loft space to Doctors of the World, a charity providing medical care to vulnerable populations around the world. The triathlon team raced for our floor-mates this year, raising funds for Doctors of the World’s effort to create a free medical clinic in the Rockaways, a low-income section of the New York metro area hit hardest by Hurricane Sandy. Not only did the 10 members of the team successfully complete the race, but $8,500 dollars was raised for the organization and its New York mission.
TheLadders also helped me reach one of my triathlon-specific goals this year. This was my third year competing in the notoriously hilly event, and prior to this race I had never finished the 10k run without taking a few walking breaks. It’s my opinion that keeping yourself moving during the run is more of a mental and motivational exercise than anything. Thus, my goal for the 2013 triathlon was to complete the run leg of the event without stopping (thank you for not asking me to define “run” with a specific pace!).
Alex Douzet, our CEO, Co-founder and Ironman triathlon enthusiast, knows the mental anguish associated with the event all too well, and ordered the team triathlon uniforms with “Go (Your name)!!!” on the front, along with the Doctors of the World logo. He explained to us that he was skeptical of something so silly-looking at first, but found that running a marathon in the final leg of his latest Ironman event (you read that right – marathon) was so much easier with random spectators shouting his name, that he wanted us to have the same level of motivation. I, too, was skeptical. I didn’t want people calling me out as I inched along in the run, barely lifting my feet from the pavement. But sure enough, when I was about to call it quits, motivation at its lowest and I couldn’t take another step, a stranger on the course would look me in the eye and yell my name in encouragement. I felt obliged to return the favor by mustering a big smile, digging deep and moving forward without my desperately wanted walk break. With this motivation I was able to achieve my goal and finally run the entire 10k, non-stop.
Aside from TheLadders supporting our goals, we have a lot of fun at the company! During the event alone the tri team had a pre-race pasta dinner, followed by a post-race brunch and a wrap-up lunch next week. Conquering our triathlon goals together led to friendships and race buddies for future events. I consider myself unbelievably lucky to work at a company that cares about professional and personal development as much as TheLadders, and provides countless opportunities for fun, as well as growth.
Sarah Woodard is a Junior Copywriter on the marketing team at TheLadders, and has three years of experience in the job-search industry working with recruiters and job seekers alike. When she isn’t flexing her creative writing muscles, Sarah can be found triathlon training or hopping around the city soaking in all the food, sports and culture New York has to offer.