Fork in the road
I recently met a friend for lunch, and asked him how he was enjoying his current job he has been in for the past year.
Let’s take a step back in time. Several years ago, my friend took a job working in Human Resources for a small company that seemed liked a great place to work. But, sometimes we realize that perception is so much different than reality. About two months into his role, he started to question if he made the right move to this company. Shortly after, what he felt was validated. The corporate culture was not what he had perceived it would be.
My friend tried his best to like where he worked, and stuck it out for over a year, but it was too much of a struggle. Among many other faults, the leaders and managers did not make an effort to meet with the HR department. How the company had originally presented themselves was not the case at all. Working in HR, it was difficult to promote the company to potential candidates.
Another opportunity with a company in a completely different industry came up. Unhappy in the current job, my friend was hesitant at first to take on a role in an industry he was not familiar with. All his friends said ‘if it is out of your comfort zone, maybe you shouldn’t take the job’. He started to think hard about his choices. His partner simply said ‘don’t question yourself’. With that simple piece of advice, he moved forward with the application process and the potential manager reassured him on the phone in a long conversation, showing his support. That care and attention and human touch is what made all the difference, even prior to the official job offer, my friend knew this was already an environment and culture that he could feel comfortable in.
And one year later, he is so very happy that he made that change.
I asked him, “When did you know it was the right culture?” he simply said, “I never questioned it. I knew since day one”. He continued, “The corporate culture is consistent with the messaging they present publicly. When I recruit for the company, I can honestly tell candidates that I’m happy working there”. He also added that having a supportive manager makes all the difference.
He described his state of mind at the previous employer as “unhappiness to the depths of my soul. For all the misery, it was a huge learning experience – learning about myself and my limits”.
And to that, I say, what a difference a year makes. What a difference a corporate culture makes.