A Fortune 10 Company. A high-paying salary. A house by the beach.

Envied by friends and respected by my classmates, I was poised to take on a great experience for the summer. What more can you ask for in a summer internship?

As a reader of AMEND’s blog, you might’ve guessed that I did not end up on the beach. I did ask for more. In what some may call a foolish decision, I chose to stay with AMEND.

When making tough decisions in life, you have to ask yourself tough questions. However, I realized I did not know which questions to ask. I struggled determining my reasons behind my choice. Honestly, when I first chose to stay with AMEND, it was a gut decision driven by reasons I could not explain. After several months of reflection, I can finally look back and see why I did what I did. I figured out the questions my gut answered for me.

I want to share these 3 questions I found critical for my decision-making process. I challenge you to think about these as they relate to your career and life’s work.

Do you know why you’re there?

Companies often have an organizational mission statement printed on a pretty poster hanging up on a wall somewhere. The problem is the majority of the company could not tell you what that poster said. Since my first day at AMEND, our purpose has been implanted on my brain as I observe our leaders live it out every day:

To be the elite team of trusted advisors who change lives and transform businesses

It’s been an eye-opening experience seeing people unite around one mission statement and truly believe it. We even have a group chat called “Trusted Advisor Moments” so we can all get excited together when we are able to create tremendous improvements for our clients.

So, even if your company does have a mission statement, do you believe in it?

Does your work frighten you?

One of my favorite sayings is: “If your goals don’t frighten you, they aren’t big enough.”
On my third day at AMEND, I was presenting to the COO of a $200 Million company on how he should set up his lab. Since then, I have implemented 5S for an entire chemical manufacturing facility, developed automated tools freeing up days of people’s time, and implemented performance metrics for an entire company’s production line. And now, I am solely responsible for the success of an entire client project from beginning to end.

By the way, I am just an intern.

My comfort zone has been officially stretched, popped, deflated, and stomped on. I have taken on some challenging experiences and, after a few bumps and bruises, have come out with substantial personal improvements. Growth can’t occur in your comfort zone.

What happens after work?

You often might not talk to your boss after 5pm. You may even purposely avoid having to communicate with him or her after work.

At AMEND, we prioritize the well-being of each and every person in the company. This means living a balanced lifestyle outside of work. When I was feeling down socially, my project leaders asked me to come over and watch the Buckeyes game (which they won obviously). When I was struggling spiritually, my project leaders gave me some advice on effectively meditating. When I was too busy working to read, my project leaders recommended several good books.

If you are able to be friends with your co-workers, that is truly fortunate. It makes work a lot easier. However, having colleagues that truly care about you and push you to be a better, healthier version of yourself is a blessing.

I am still here at AMEND because I asked myself the tough questions that mattered to me. As you evaluate your current situation and purpose, which questions are important to you? The answers to those questions might land you on a beach with a fat wallet. Or they might land you a dream summer with relationships worth more than any salary could buy.