Good work vibes

posted by Jeff | Friday, June 18, 2021, 6:00 PM | comments: 0

Our work office reopened a couple of weeks ago, which is way up in One World Trade Center. Some of my coworkers that are based in New York have been going in a few times a week, and when I have calls with them, it's pretty cool to see the Statue of Liberty or the Brooklyn Bridge behind them. They really had not been there for very long prior to the pandemic, so it sounds like it's very novel for many of them, too. I can't wait to see it for myself, eventually.

There's an interesting vibe among the people at this job. Many of the core folks who joined early on are still there, and they're in a very small group of people that I know who were in a start-up and stayed with it all of the way through an IPO. I "know" maybe three people total who have made that journey outside of this company, because it's exceptionally rare. The cool thing is that they embody that start-up spirit, and at the same time, welcome the many people who came after. There's no new versus old school, and since the company embraced remote workers years ago, there isn't a New York versus the world vibe either. It's wonderfully collaborative, respectful and exciting. It's hard to grow fast and maintain that vibe.

I jokingly say that sometimes being in a job can be like being in a toxic relationship, but there's a lot of truth to that. And just like a toxic romantic relationship, you might be the last person to realize that you're in one. When I take inventory of my professional life, I'm surprised by how many jobs I've had where I felt like I had to justify my existence, or leaders emphasized all of the wrong things, or worse, pretended that everything was as it should be, in denial about what wasn't right. Thankful I'm not in that situation now.

I look back fondly at a few situations though. Insurance.com was a solid place, even if I did kind of outgrow it from a career development standpoint. In retrospect, we all know things now that we didn't know at the time, like, the dev team was all white dudes, the expensive deployment routine was expensive, and owning your data center is dumb. We all got along pretty well, the churn rate was pretty low and we enjoyed what we did. Working in the Server & Tools Online group at Microsoft might be my favorite thing ever. Just an entirely different level of people I worked with there, and I wonder how the world would look today if I could have moved to the product side of Codeplex. When I was at AgileThought, I had a couple of remarkable teams that I got to lead on projects that billed millions of dollars, and many years later, most of those folks are still my friends. Now I add Olo to the good work vibes club.

My feelings about work, and where it fits into my life and identity, have swung back and forth like a crazy pendulum, from something that I compartmentalize and don't care about, to something that is a primary part of me. I'm definitely closer to the latter right now, but that's not so bad when you dig it.


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