Work Culture: Tips for Finding a Fit

Work Culture, corporate culture, career fit, career planning

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I know that all my readers all work at hardworking work cultures because my traffic is always at its peak during work hours. I know because I am constantly checking it in stark contract to my own work culture (insane).  And like all hardworking Americans, I work hardest at not working very hard, but making it look like I am working really hard. If it worked for all those guys in the Wall Street work culture, it should work for me.  

What I spend the most time at work doing is thinking about the activities I would rather be doing.  For example, anything.  After all, Loverboy said it best: we are all working for the weekend.  They also said, “I got myself a lover/ and he’s so sublime/ it’s quite a bit of heaven/ to feel him inside.”  Wait… I may be mixing up my lover boy’s[1].

Regardless, the activities we all depend on to keep us sane say a lot about who we are and how we prefer to interact with the world, and exploring why we enjoy them may shed light on why we either thrive in our current work culture or not.  Activities are not dictated (unless you are married); we choose to do them with our non-compensated time. They are to us what a boyfriend is to a prostitute: something we do for free.  Given that, activities can really be boiled down into two main categories: social or solo.

Social Activities

Social activities are those which involve interaction with others as a basis for their enjoyment and as a feature of their being. Team sports, knitting groups, drinking in a socially acceptable way, and hanging out are all examples of social activities. People who prefer social activities usually enjoy work cultures centered on accomplishing things as part of a group or team, and find meaning in “belonging” to something.

Solo Activities

Solo activities do not necessarily involve others at all, at least not directly and their primary basis for being is to serve the individual or put him or her up against others.  Individual sports such as ski racing, running, and wrestling are examples, as well as non-sport activities such as knitting sans group, reading and drinking in a non-socially acceptable way.  People who prefer solo activities usually enjoy work cultures where accomplishing things can be done on their own, and find meaning in shaping their own worlds.

Not Cut and Dry

There are many shades of grey here, not all of them a turn on. Try to dig out the reason why you like the activity, and don’t be afraid to amateur psychoanalyze yourself. Do you like playing softball?  If you enjoy this activity primarily because you like to be at-bat, then this may be so because you want to be the “hero” of you team, hitting a home run and having everyone cheer you.  Or you may enjoy drinking all the way through the game, which is socially acceptable and therefore a social activity.

Work Culture if You Like Social Activities…

The point is that by taking a look at our preferred activities we can learn a lot about how we would rather interact with the world, since activities we do in our spare time are things we elect to do.  Hopefully, all your activities are things you elected to do, not things society pressed upon you to do (unless you are a sex offender).  The person above who loves softball is likely more apt to preferring a work culture where they can also be the “hero”, at least on some level. This would require coworkers, and so perhaps working from home, alone, is not an ideal work culture.

Work Culture if You Like Independent Activities…

On the other hand, if you despise social activities it may not be a great idea to step into a work culture where you will be expected to attend meetings, partner with others, and be in essence “co-dependent” on other employees for your job security. In larger companies, supposing you are not the CEO or a high level executive, you may excel at your tiny piece of the action but the sales force, or R&D department, or whoever else may completely drop to ball.  The subsequent turmoil may result in your job being eliminated (happened to me).  This isn’t so unlike a quarterback having an excellent performance but losing the game due to a lack of defensive aptitude (I’m looking at you, Patriot defense).  If you prefer individual activities, it may be because you don’t want your success or enjoyment predicated on other people and so working in a large corporation may not be an ideal work culture.

Take a look at your activities. Are they social or solo? Also, keep checking my blog; I want to see how many people are checking my blog during work hours when I check my blog during work hours.

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[1] That would be Mariah Carrey, for those who are confused.

About Mitchell Pauly

Mitchell Pauly is a humorist, financial professional and entrepreneur. Follow him @Snarkfinance, and be sure to check out his website- Snarkfinance.com. You can learn more about him by visiting his Google+ profile.

Comments

  1. “What I spend the most time at work doing is thinking about the activities I would rather be doing. For example, anything.”

    I had to LOL at that. I can totally relate. Don’t tell anyone, but I used to spend hours at work each day working on my blog, commenting, etc. I also spent a ton of time pretending to be busy when I wasn’t. That’s my favorite thing about the fact that I’m not self-employed and working at home. I don’t have to pretend to do anything anymore!!!

    • Well woopt-e-do, Holly! Aren’t you cool, getting to be self-employed and all? Seriously… that is cool, though. Maybe one day…

  2. “I work hardest at not working very hard, but making it look like I am working really hard.” Um. Yes. That probably should’ve been in the job description they posted for my job. Once in a while there is actual work to do, but mostly I just troll Facebook and work on my blog… so at least there’s that. I can’t really focus enough to write posts, but it’s great for reading other people’s, commenting and catching up on social media.
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