Do you consider the culture of a prospective new employer before taking a job?  Do you examine how you might fit into a job beyond the paycheck and benefits?  Is there more to a new job than liking the work and compensation?  Have you ever said or hear phrases like: “This is not high school, I am not looking for a clique”….”I don’t care if I am liked, I am just here to do a job”…and my favorite…”I am not here to make friends, I am just here to make money.”  Fitting it might not matter to you, but you can bet it matters to your boss.  The last thing you wan to hear is “Olivia was a great lady and a great worker, but she just does not seem to fit in here.  Maybe we are not a good fit for her?”  Good managers pay attention to the dynamic of their workforce.  They like to consider each person as sort of a puzzle piece to the mosaic of their team.

Hiring managers pay special attention to how you might get along in his/her workforce.  I am not going as far as saying that hiring managers discriminate…far from it.  I am saying hiring managers want to hire a square peg with the right qualifications for a square hole.  Your personality and how it gels with the company’s culture is just as important as your ability to actually DO the job.  Most employers do official background checks and unofficial ones (checking your social media footprint).  It is always a smart move on the part of a job seeker to do the same.  Look at the company’s website to see what they are all about beyond the job you want.  Search the company’s online presence to see what is out there about them.  Most companies also have a social media footprint (anywhere from a Facebook page to a LinkedIn profile).

A square peg on a wooden board with round holes. 3D render with HDRI lighting and raytraced textures.

A square peg on a wooden board with round holes. 3D render with HDRI lighting and raytraced textures.

Job interviews are two way streets.  Assess the potential employer the same way they are assessing you.  Better to know up front the culture of the potential employer than to find out later you are the round peg for the square hole.

This sounds like a rather immature idea.  We spend at least one third of our day at work.  Boredom will be a fact of life in most jobs.  Workplace stress can also be a problem.  Both issues can impact your physical, mental, emotional and career health.  How do these two factors influence the type of worker you choose to be?  What do you need from your work environment?  What motivates you to succeed?  Do you like a degree of chaos and change in your work life?  Is routine more your safety net?  Are you a worker bee or a supervisor?  Are you a people person or would you rather just deal with the task or the product in front of you?  Is your work your passion or your paycheck?  Figuring out the answers to these questions and finding the right ‘fit’ for a person and their personality is the key to career fulfillment.

Creative vs Routine

Some people are by nature creative.  They prefer to develop ideas, build projects, and devise new ways of accomplishing tasks in a more efficient manner.  These people require a degree of mental stimulation to continue to strive.  They like to build a project from start to finish and be there to oversee the implementation.  They are self-starters and require the permission to work at their own pace.  They enjoy a deadline and are willing to work longer and harder to see a task to completion.  A degree of chaos can stimulate them further and a high degree of structure tends to stifle.  The joy of the unknown, the stress of the expectation, and the opportunity to be at the core of the solution brings them a huge degree of fulfillment.

There are others who prefer to be task oriented.  They require more structure in their everyday work scene.  Over stimulation creates chaos for them and interrupts the ‘flow’ of their work.  They prefer to have their work mapped out for them and the expectations of their output be clearly defined.  They know their job, their role, and the rules.  Deviation from them causes issues and strife.

Produce vs Supervise

“Those who can…do.  Those who cannot…supervise.”  We have all heard this at some point in our career.  The producers are ones getting the job done.  They are the lifeblood of the company.  The car cannot be built without the folks working on the line.  The trucks cannot be loaded for delivery if the selectors, fork lift drivers and loaders do not get the product from the distribution center to the retail environment.  They are the worker bees accomplishing the core tasks to make the company operate.

Supervisors are the glue keeping the operation together.  They coordinate, collaborate, and motivate the team to maintain efficiency.  The best example of a supervisor would be a conductor of an orchestra.  The musicians make the music, but the conductor creates the cohesion to make the musicians function as a group instead of mob of individuals.

People vs Product

Walk into any retail environment and you will both types of people.  You will see some enjoying every day interaction with people.  They are friendly, open and generally want to be involved with others.  Put one of these people in the backroom stocking by themselves and their productivity will drop.  The interaction is what feeds them.

Product people are easily spotted as well.  They are the ones stocking the shelves and are unable to answer questions from customers.  They stock the shelves, thus they know where everything is kept within the store.  However, their shy nature and inability to talk to others preclude them from being productive when working with the public.

Passion vs Paycheck

If you love what you do, you will never have to work a day in your life.  This old quote rings true.  There are people who ARE their job.  They live and breathe what they do and can talk about it all day.  They are excited about what they accomplish and do it for the intrinsic as much or more than the paycheck.  They take great pride in their knowledge of the subject and their skillset.  They would do their job for free if there was still a way to pay their bills.

Many look at their job as a means to an end.  They are there because the job pays well and has good benefits.  They tolerate a degree is displeasure for this reason.  They do not enjoy what they do, but the end result of the work result justifies what they do.

Knowing who you are and what motivates you can have a large impact on your ‘fit’ into your job.  Look at what drives you and what scares you before deciding what you will spend a large amount of your waking hours doing.  Please do not decide on a career of teaching if you do not like children.  Do not take a job working in the bank vault if you have to have a degree of interaction with others.  Think about your comfort zone and how far you are willing to step away from it for passion…or paycheck.

Starting new

Posted: April 4, 2015 in Uncategorized

I started this adventure about a year ago, then promptly let it die on the vine.  My world has changed dramatically in the last 12 months and I thought I would start fresh.  My original incarnation was a page called BMF with a Cigar.  I thought it cute and a nice little homage to my previous life.  There were a few stories there, but not enough to really hold my attention.  But like I said, my life has changed quite a bit in the last 12 months.  I will write more about the changes in different articles and stories as I get the opportunity.  However, it will be for a new reason…fulfilling a promise.