I started a new job last week. You know the feeling. On Day 1, I walked into a big room of people at SaaStr kicking off on a major project. Initiation by fire. It brought back memories of my first week at Salesforce, my first days of running my own startup, and other steps/potholes along my career journey. While each was different, this feels like home.
I’ve had 7 days to reflect why; here are 7 signs you picked the right company:
1. Clear understanding of your role, what’s expected and why. A wise manager once told me not to get hung up on titles. Great organizations provide lots of opportunities to grow if you perform. Instead, make sure you have a clear understanding of expectations and how your work ties in with the company vision. Employees often do better with clear, short term and long term goals backed by a sense of purpose.
2. You feel comfortable and included, respected in your environment. In the War on Talent, it’s easy for employees to get fixated on free food, game rooms, gym memberships. That’s nice but the news is filled with stories of companies with great perks but toxic environments. Look for published values and whether leaders embody those ideas in their actions, words, and meetings.
3. People are congratulating you for the decision you made. It’s almost cliche that the moment you update your LinkedIn profile, folks start congratulating you. It happened to me but what struck me most was the specific praise for the company and people I joined. In NPS, advocacy is earned.
4. Take time out to celebrate success and value relationships. In the early days of my career, I was pretty heads-down focused on my work. Often– not always– that’s driven by the company culture. The last couple of years working with kids and coaches has given me greater perspective. It may sound trivial, but in my first days on this new job, I’ve been impressed with the teamwork and genuine interest in people getting to know each other.
5. You wake up excited and motivated to go to work. Seems simple but maybe not. I’ve had my share of jobs where I dreaded going to work.
6. You don’t mind the hard work. It’s not all going to be easy. That’s why they call it work. You’re bound to get stressed at times; conflict may be inevitable. But I’ve always found that companies with both strong vision and mission can motivate and inspire employees to go the extra mile.
7. Non-employees want to help. During my years running Dreamforce, I witnessed this repeatedly. Customers and partners and passionate SaaS fans who gladly volunteered of their time and effort to help you succeed. Even before I joined SaaStr, I experienced this at Annual ’18. Now that I’m inside, I feel it even more. At Salesforce, they call it Ohana. At SaaStr, it’s our community. There is a sense of belonging. There’s a shared purpose in trying to help others succeed. Not all organizations have that.
I picked the right company for me. I hope you have that too. If you don’t, keep looking or make changes. Life is too short. If you see the positive signs, don’t take it for granted. Keep fostering it. Culture is everyone’s job. ( PS — We’re hiring too 🙂 )