Your experience of work changes when the mix of people you work with changes.
That’s what makes me laugh when people advise researching the company to get a sense of their culture. It’s a constant motion of people coming and going. Adding and taking from the culture.
Assuming a web of websites, social media posts, and anonymous reviews online captured at a specific point in time, match the overall reality of working at a specific company.
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That’s a magic trick. A digital sleight of hand.
Just like a dating profile, what you see online will not always match what you see in real life.
So how do you sort reality and fantasy when trying to determine where the culture of the company is at now?
Start with looking at the leadership of the company.
Here’s how to gather the information you’ll need:
Go to LinkedIn
Type this in the search box: (Director OR COO OR CEO OR CTO OR Chief OR Head)
Filter by specific company
It looks like this:
Notice where headquarters is located. This is where operations will be directed from. Are there changes at headquarters or other office locations? This information drives your questions during the interview.
If there were recent changes, ask how these changes impacted business strategy. What was happening before and what’s the new path forward?
If the person is too far removed from seeing the business strategy, ask about how their work changed. How were the management changes communicated?
If there were no management changes, ask these questions:
What are you learning now?
What are meetings typically called for? Are there set meetings or scheduled as needed?
How are the teams organized to work together?
What’s different about working here than other companies you’ve worked at before?
The answers will give you a sense of the company structure and how people are encouraged to interact within it.
Give it a try.
Notice what happens.
If you get stuck, reach out. That’s what I’m here for.
On the coldest polar vortex day of the weekend, we had dinner reservations.
There was only one meal that could entice me from under a warm blanket and comfy sweats in the apartment.
A juicy mutton chop.
New York City is known for its steakhouses, each specializing in a particular cut of meat.
On this night, we ventured to Keen’s, one of the oldest steakhouses in the city, established in 1885 and the only remaining business from the Herald Square theater days.
Upon entering, you notice the hard clay churchwarden pipes hanging from the ceiling. The custom was for gentlemen to enjoy a smoke with dinner, then have their pipes cleaned and returned to the ceiling. Each marked with a number. J.P. Morgan, Babe Ruth, Albert Einstein, Teddy Roosevelt, and my father in law have pipes here along with 90,000 others.
In 1905, an actress named Lillie Langtry sued and won for the right to eat mutton chop at the previously gentleman’s only establishment.
Every room was packed. The mix of people lively and split between tourists and locals. Living in Manhattan now is like a bizarre bubble. You hear everything is not going well economically, yet your own observation says otherwise.
While their steak is superb, Keen’s is known for their mutton chop, a lovely lamb dish served with a side of mint jelly.
If you find yourself in New York and looking for a taste of old-fashioned charm, give it a try.
Or make your mutton or steak at home by ordering here
I walked in the door with a new book on Tokyo in hand, to see my husband back early from a run.
The wide eyed look on his face said it all.
He was sitting down rubbing his knee.
Change happens. Even with the best laid plans.
What do you do when you’re training for a marathon and your running partner gets injured?
It’s like at work when your favorite coworker resigns or is laid off.
All the ideas you thought you had of how the next milestone will go are gone.
The images you played out in your mind erased.
A new reality with different possibilities emerges.
All the alternative endings seem worse at first though.
It’s hard to move forward in the moment when instinct tells you to retreat.
Trying to cobble together what it all means and what the path forward will be based on a moment in time of pain.
Questioning if all the training was for nothing.
Like when you create a brand new application from scratch to spec for the business to have it unceremoniously scrapped when a new strategy is chosen.
This is a great reminder that the only thing you control is your reaction.
It’s what you do that defines you.
Do you fold or do you adapt?
Whether it’s training for a marathon or determining what company culture is like, the only constant you can count on is change.
The best you can do is ask the right questions and trust your ability to adapt.
Three more long runs until showtime.
Let’s keep moving,
PS: Please note the search noted is for the free version of LinkedIn.
In the premium version, recent management changes of both coming and going are highlighted on the Company page in the Insights tab.
*I have access to this and can put together a report for your interview prep if needed.*
Simply respond to this email with subject line “Prep”
Good catch Randy. Instead of running in negative temperatures on Saturday, I ran 18 miles in 45 degrees on Sunday instead.
I haven’t been to Old Homestead. Will have to check that out too.
Will have to hit up Keens next time I’m in NYC.
Have you tried our British steakhouse export: Hawksmoor?