A tale of office culture from the eyes of a junior: what is culture, I ask?
I reckon I’ve worked as a: construction labourer; warehouse labourer; women’s soccer coach; jukebox delivery driver; gardener; door to door sales rep; referee and I genuinely think the list goes on…
Somehow, I always knew I was going to end up in an office. I don’t know why, I just knew.
Maybe it was my dad putting on his suit & tie every morning and reminding me that studying economics would be good for me one day; dad was my hero!
Or maybe it was that testosterone fuelled environment that Leo portrayed in that famous cocaine/sales movie; man that was cool!
Anyways, I just knew – and boy I sure was looking forward to it!
I put my brand new navy blue dapper Jeff Banks jacket on once my tie was on snug (on point!)
January…. It kind of gets real warm wearing a suit on the tram, hey?
Boom! First in the office, this is going to look great in front of the big bosses
Wow it genuinely really gets hot wearing these pants
Lunch at the desk; I’m adulting so hard right now
I think I’ve achieved what I’ve wanted to for the day… No worries, I’ll find something else to do 🙂
Yea, I don’t think I’ve done anything productive in this last hour – Can I go?
Cool, I’ve come in early – I’m leaving late: this looks great, I’m due for a promotion surely
Leo Where you at?!
Day after day, week after week, month after month: repeat, repeat, repeat. Tired.
I make it sound terrible, I’m incredibly dramatic – it really wasn’t that bad – but I always thought at the back of my head: there is a better way to do this. There has to be a way that I can be a little bit more true to myself and feel a little bit more comfortable just being me…
Cue youtube advert: *have you always wanted to be your own boss? Have you always wanted to own a Ferrari, all the while working 20 hours a week from your basement??*
Only joking, but luckily I did make a change: by joining a company that represented me just that much more. And I can tell you, the best version of my professional self has been flourishing – I am far more productive, a lot more content (in life) and probably just a better person overall. How? Simply because I get to wear my Fila shoes, my black jeans and share the same banter with some incredible *$#% – talkers; just like me.
So? What does all this mean, you ask?
Well it raised a very important question and also proved a steep learning curve for me, not only professionally but in life – what is culture? Why is it so important?
Well in my short office culture tenure, I can quite confidently say – that I think culture is chemistry; when you think about it – you spend over 1800 hours a year in your office, after 4 weeks of leave taken. I think you have to be on some kind of a similar wavelength with your work mates to enjoy that ~~~ And even if that means just the little things, like enjoying your knock off drinks together at 2-3pm on a Friday. Or even if it is just to be working with similar minded people, who have given you the trust and autonomy to leave at 4pm knowing your work has been completed.
Put it like this: remember your year 9/10 soccer/footy team that was just so good, you were undefeated? Oh, also, do you remember how many of your best mates were on that team? Haha, such good times! Coincidence?
Thus, for me, chemistry (culture) is power. So it’s safe to say – your hiring strategy and the importance you place on candidates that match your chemistry – has to be PRIORITY.
Thank you for reading through this, and I can imagine I would have pressed a few reader’s buttons – and I apologise (a little bit sorry). Don’t get me wrong, everyone is different – some people would absolutely thrive and love being in the suit & tie life. I’m not judging, some of my good friends are in that life – but just not me.