megaphone-500px

Make (more) change happen at your job and in your career.

Start Here | Work Workouts | Learning Things | Blog

Is the company’s culture right for me?

Workplace culture is a constant topic in my social circles. 

As more people look for (and find!) meaning and identity in their jobs they are also increasingly holding their workplaces to certain cultural ideals. And it seems the idea of workplace culture being important plays out across generations, not just something important to millennials.

But what I’ve found most interesting is the way workplace culture is commonly framed in these conversations: it’s either good or it’s bad (and often it’s just bad, because that’s what makes it conversation worthy). There’s very little gray.

It’s an analog assessment. Good or bad. It’s that black and white for a lot of people. 

But good or bad as the defacto workplace culture evaluation feels incomplete.

There are logical instances when we can universally apply the bad culture label to the workplace: sexual harassment, bigotry, misogyny/misandry, and generally anything else frowned on by Human Resources or the law more generally.

But outside of that—what’s good? What’s bad? 

Well I think it depends. It’s a matter of personal preference. 

Remember that New York Times exposé on Amazon from 2015?

The article painted the company in a negative light as being a workplace that operates at an unrelenting pace and unsympathetic to those uncomfortable with that reality.

Amazon is an incredibly innovative company. They are arguably executing strategy better than any other American corporation. That type of environment probably provides the right type of person with exactly the opportunity they were looking for. But it’s probably not the place to find happiness at work for those looking for something else culturally. 

So if you were job searching and looking for something other than what Amazon is offering it seems foolish to think you could go to work for them and think it was going to be different for you.

The analog good or bad evaluation of workplace culture is insufficient for the modern workday. 

email-signup-cherry-offwhite

YOUR WORK IS HARD WORK.

GET A PEP TALK IN YOUR INBOX EVERY WEDNESDAY.

Perhaps the right way look at workplace culture is through a lens of individual nuance: is the company’s culture right for me?

It reminded me of Austin Kleon’s praise for the “It wasn’t for me” idea when it comes to books (and just about everything else):

I like the phrase because it’s essentially positive: underlying it is the assumption that there is a book, or rather, books, for me, but this one just wasn’t one of them. It also allows me to tell you how I felt about the book without me shutting down the possibility that you might like it, or making you feel stupid if you did like it.

It just wasn’t for me. No big deal.

And “me” changes, so when you say, “It wasn’t for me,” maybe it’s not for the “me” right now—maybe it’s for future Me, or Me lounging in a beach chair in Jamaica, or Me at fourteen.

Workplace culture not as good or bad but as “it wasn’t for me” or “that’s my jam!”

Workplace culture as right for the individual and the individual’s interests, but not for everyone. Think about it.

“THANK YOU FOR SENDING THIS EMAIL EVERY WEEK.”

That’s an endorsement of my weekly pep talk email from my good friend Jade. She’s trustworthy. She’s a healthcare person. And she’s working to make healthcare better through the work. I’m betting you’ll find it valuable every Wednesday, too.

PEP TALKS, GOOD READS, & THINGS TO LEARN. FOR HEALTHCARE PEOPLE.

My philosophy on email: Don’t send a bad one.

email-signup-cherry-transparent

More Reading

Entropy, or why there is always more work to do

Entropy is a useful mental model for understanding why there’s always more work to do. Entropy happens to everything: sand castles, friendships, abandoned buildings, your team meeting, a project that won’t seem to launch … Entropy is the process of natural systems losing order and falling apart. It’s our effort—our

(at least) Three Windows

There are (at least) three windows for viewing management work. Window One: Yourself. How can you improve how you work? Window Two: The Team and Their Work. How can you create the conditions for your team to learn, grow, and do their best work? Window Three: The Business. How can

Never wondered

Everyone should do more wondering about work, at work, while we work. Is this the best way to do this? Are we asking the right questions? Is this accomplishing anything? Instead, “productive employees” run from meeting to meeting*, to do list in hand, never wondering about what they’re doing or

email-signup-white

A WEDNESDAY EMAIL NEWSLETTER

"It's one email I'm excited to open."

Healthcare is changing. How we work hasn’t. And it’s holding us back.​

Get learning and encouragement to change work through the work.

PEP TALKS, GOOD READS, & THINGS TO LEARN

ww-logo-stacked-344px
2-triangle-2px
A Slimmer Work Workout

Be notified when slimmer Work Workouts are planned. Enter your contact information and I’ll send you a note when the sign up is opened.