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“All good things must come to an end.”

Written by Guest Blogger Sarah Heidtman May 20, 2014

“All good things must come to an end.”

So true! When I first came to Red Sage I did not know what I was getting into. Fresh out of school and naïve to the world, I came tumbling into the doors of Red Sage. My courage and fearlessness prevented me from running back out the door, or maybe it was just the exhaustion from coming up those daunting stairs. They soon put me to work and I must say I learned a lot.

Here is what I learned at Red Sage:

Technical Skills are the foundation:

With a great mentor on my side (Teresa!!!), I gained knowledge about HTML, CSS, PHP and JAVA Script and that <div style=”float:left”>will put content in two columns. While Teresa mostly taught me about programming websites (and how to keep them safe from hackers),  I also gained a great friend and many reasons to laugh on our lunch breaks. She showed me that you are never too old for punk rock and pink hair, or riding on the wild side of life.

Creativity and thinking outside the box makes for the best ideas:

I became witness of successful website designs and graphic design miracles, and more importantly that Mark really gets free stuff all the time (just go to lunch with him and you can experience it for yourself), or that he can pull off a different dance move each time he walks through my office. With creatives, you just never know what to expect.

Structure and planning will lead to success:

I was taught that organization and planning are the key for the detail-oriented work we do at Red Sage, and for finishing a project on time. Only by paying attention to detail, will the project be satisfactory to the client and oneself. Furthermore I learned from Katie that it is important to divide your M & M’s into different colored piles before eating the smallest pile first and then slowly eating your way up to the biggest pile.

Show endurance and strength in order to succeed:

I learned that it is important to know your strengths as well as your weaknesses. Working together as a team will be a great success if you know who is best fit for a task. I also learned endurance is part of strength, because the answer is usually right around the corner, so you better keep looking for it. And I learned that the strongest person in the room will always be Kelli. Her tire-flipping skills are impressive with 100 times in 10:54 minutes. As a future leader she can show strong muscle (literally and figuratively).

Work with the client in mind and nurture client relationships:

It is important to know your client and to never forget that a great relationship with your customers makes a project for both parties an enjoyable adventure. I also learned that Amanda is always there with a camera in her hand and a Twitter or Facebook status in mind to capture every moment at Red Sage, so that our loyal fan base will never miss out on a funny slip-up or event that happens in the office.

Research will make for new innovative ways:

I learned where to find statistics and necessary data to build accurate workforce stats tables, and that it is important to know your SEO. It can be crucial for a successful website to use the right amount of keywords in places that are hidden to the usual user. Moreover, I witnessed how Heather can use her mad sewing skills to make fun fishing games for kids on 3rd Friday and that her high-pitched sneeze always comes in threes.

Monitoring and analyzing your work leads to efficiency:

I gained the knowledge that a work process should always be monitored and evaluated, both during and after a project is completed. Only by looking at the greater whole and the small issues at hand one can make smart decisions about work flow and work processes. I also have come to understand that a deep sigh from Dan can put everyone on the edge of their seat whereas the more frequent smiles have a calming effect even in worse case scenarios. He is not afraid of showing some color and wearing a pink shirt to the office (even I don’t have the courage for that).

Leadership brings it all together:

In order to run a successful business, one needs a great leader to pull everyone together and assign tasks so that a project can run smoothly with a pleasing outcome. But it is also essential to show a great sense of humor in order to make everyday a fun and adventurous workday. And if that means showing up in red pajamas in order to make the early coffee party a success, we can all count on Ellen. But even if she doesn’t wear her red pajamas, you can always find something red on her, or the Red Sage coffee cup in her hand. Not only does she make a great leader, but also a meaningful difference in the community. If she doesn’t run around the office, up and down our stairs, or out to Italy in order to meet her 10,000 steps a day goal, she is at some community event or caroling the streets of Decatur during Christmas season.

All together I have learned what great team work looks like, how creative minds use their wonderful quirkiness to spin ideas off of each other and have fun while working in an engaged work environment. Red Sage has become part of my ever-expanding family and I was very fortunate to have spent the last year and a half with this wonderful team.

But whenever one door closes another one will open. One thing I definitely learned during my time in the U.S. is that as long as you try your best, think about others, and just hold on through the difficult times, you will be rewarded with self-respect, great people on your side, and a life full of adventure and joy.

Thank you Ellen, Dan, Teresa, Mark, Heather, Amanda, Katie, and Kelli for a wonderful time with you!

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