What a difference culture can make

I’ve always been the kind of person who doesn’t do what he doesn’t enjoy. When I was younger everyone played sports and so I too gave it a go, but at the end of the day I just didn’t enjoy it, so by 5th grade I had stopped playing competitive sports and spent my time doing art and reading instead. I’m not sure whether this attitude is a good one or a bad one to have, but I have carried it with me into adulthood. Pouring myself passionately into the things that excite me and provoke my interest while simply choosing not to engage in things I find tedious (unless of course they result in me getting more of what I’m passionate about).

The one place I notice this more than any other is work. I am a jumper. I’ve never stayed in a workplace for more than 18 months and I’m a restless employee, always looking for more challenges. If you can’t provide that challenge then I will go somewhere that can. I am one of those employees that is hard working and will take on as much work as you can give me, but if I’m not engaged you’re going to notice it quickly. This has served me well in my current industry, I’ve worked hard and progressed quickly and there isn’t a single day I don’t walk away thinking that I love what I do. But is it more than just the job? The other thing that the media/advertising/marketing industry has that has been missing from my previous workplaces is work hard play hard culture that goes through every level of the companies, from the management to the admin staff.
I stumbled into a job in media, it wasn’t a grand scheme or aspiration, I knew someone who worked in the industry and I lucked out and got a job. I started work and after about two weeks in the digital team I got home one night and just knew, this is what I want to do. It was unlike the jobs I had previously had (mostly sales/customer service/admin type stuff) and the people were certainly different from those at my previous workplace (it was the type of obscure business people walk into as customer service reps and never leave, thus management teams are made up of people with very little business acumen and little to no knowledge of how the greater world operates) no, the people here were smart, hardworking and they actually enjoyed their jobs. Work was not just a place to go during the daylight hours and it wasn’t just a thing you did to pay the bills, it was something you felt deeply about, something you wanted to do. I felt excited by possibilities being there. That was it, I was addicted to work from the moment I opened my first spreadsheet there.

I have been extremely lucky to work for two agencies that have amazing cultures and are filled with wonderful, hard working people and I think this, more than anything else in my work life has made me happy in what I am doing.

Are you happy where you’re working? If not, why not? and what kind of difference do you think a good culture would make?

For quality information on culture and HR orientated matters read articles written by my far more intelligent better half at HR Club Sydney

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3 thoughts on “What a difference culture can make

  1. Great post, Joel. It’s often easy to lose sight of WHY we work. When I left my last job, the hardest thing to leave was the great people that I was working with. Culture does make a difference – and it is important to remember that when we take on a new job or go for an interview, it’s as much about us fitting into that company as that company accepting us.

  2. I absolutely agree, I think the same of probation periods, they’re not just a test for the employer, but for the employee too.

    New employees should think of it as their cooling off period, there is no worse feeling than being in a job you don’t love.

  3. Agree wholeheartedly with your post. Culture and the people you work with mean more than money, hours and quite often the work itself. I’ve had jobs that have been quite tedious, but I’ve loved, because of the people around me. It can sometimes be hard finding that balance of work that you love, a culture you feel a part of, and a team that you can enjoy working with.

    I have a similar attitude to you – if I’m not being challenged, and if I’m not feeling like I WANT to be at work, that’s when I know it’s time to move on. It’s a good attitude to have, in my opinion, and can apply in life (not just work).

    Cheers

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