Sullen v.5



a perfect fit.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I got a message from headquarters today, in fact everyone got a call, congratulating us for being rated among "the top companies to work for in the United States" -- apparently we are one of three companies to have been included on this list since it was first started by Fortune magazine in 1984. I think it's funny that Google is rated number one lately, well, for the past two years. Sure they really do have a lot of great perks (which made me initially think I wanted to work for them)... but they're also still a very young company (compared to where I work now). As I researched Google, the more I realized why I *wouldn't* want to work for them. They have so many applicants (many being top-notch) that I feel it can result in a high pressure for current employees to always perform at a "brilliant" level to ensure that some newbie-hot-shot-off-the-street doesn't come in and replace them. This isn't just my theory either.. because I've heard from many people on the 'inside' that they hire top-notch candidates, use them for specific skill sets, but then weed these people out .. or drive them out.. by not offering incremental pay/promotions that would seem due. Or, alternatively, people aren't paid necessarily according to their skill level/how long they've been with the company ... unless the person happens to be *really* brilliant on a continual basis.. only *then* might Google want to keep them around. Sure it makes sense to always have top talent, but I like companies that value comraderie and hire people with a value of keeping them around for the long-run. Anyway. That's just what I've heard. To check out if there might be any legitimacy to what I'm saying I went to their ranking to see what the voluntary turnover was... and interestingly enough there is not a number.. just "N.A." (I don't read that as "non-applicable" as much as I *do* read it as "no-answer".) The company I work for dropped slightly in ranking for 2008, but it's still nice that we're still rated among the top 15 "best places to work in the US". I never would have known how to interpret that until I became a part of the company.. now I really understand why they've been ranked so well for all of these years.

I recently went to training these past two days. It's just really nice -- the more I learn about the company the more I grow to respect it. This isn't just because of that theory either (can't remember.. something I studied as a psychology major though) where "if you're part of something.. or engaging/promoting/extending your effort toward something.. generally you tend to value it more" .. I don't know, there's some formal theory for that, but it's kind of common sense too; however, I *don't* think that theory applies in this case because I have worked for several organizations/businesses where I could see left and right where I disagreed with principles, operations, etc..... the company I work for now *really* aligns with my values and I grow to respect it more and more. Really there's just so much integrity involved in the operations of the business.. everyone is informed.. even about the bad stuff.... and the 'bad stuff' doesn't cause hysteria because everyone *trusts* each other and their ability to take care of what the business needs are. My company *really* lives up to its enterprise goals and mission statement .. and the reason this is the case is because they work very hard at doing this. The way we speak .. the way we interact with each other.. it's just amazing that so many people could all work together so well ... and everyone is *extremely* competent in their area .... I have to give HR an unbelievable amount of credit because they somehow really seem to have an eye for hiring and retaining excellent people. It could be a custodial person and they are *THE BEST* at what they do.. it's really great. It just makes me respect everyone as an individual no matter what their 'general area' of work is.... .. I've always felt that if you're going to do something you might as well do it right (and hopefully with a good attitude)... and that really seems to be the case with my company. No one seems to be really bitter about their work.. which makes the atmosphere that much nicer. I'm constantly overwhelmed and stressed, but I love it all the same. How is that possible? I don't know..but it's really interesting because with other companies where I felt "overwhelmed/stressed" I was really pissed off and bitter because I didn't feel like they were being *fair*. And *fairness* happens to be one of the companies' key values... everyone is always keeping a good eye out for how they can be fair. For example, there was this good story I heard from someone sitting in on training with me -- they were working on an hourly basis and held over in a meeting for only 15 minutes, but their 'leader' gave everyone the option to either have 15 minutes in overtime pay of leave work 15 min early the next day....... and it's just things like that where leadership doesn't just *assume* '15 minutes doesn't matter'... they assume it *does* matter... but because they are nice and respectful about noticing things like that, it makes people not care about it or build up resentment. It's like someone who might side-slip into the back of a line *right* when you are approaching the back of the line... if they don't say anything you consider them pushy and rude... but if they turn around and say 'oh I'm sorry, would you like to go ahead of me?' ... you laugh it off and say 'oh don't even worry about it!'

Anyway.. yeah... I just really respect that they take the small things into consideration... and *because* of that it makes me want to work hard without keeping a tally on what I'm getting in return. I think if everyone just continues to try and be fair about things.. not breathing down each other's back (such as monitoring when they come in/leave the office and just trusting that they're putting in the right time)..... yeah.. it'sjust nice. I say it over and over, but I'm also really glad that I've experienced a lot of *bad* work environments or I would never appreciate where I'm at now. I can really see myself making a career out of where I'm at now, God-willing. :) Every day, even though there are days where I'm incredibly overwhelmed, I just feel really lucky to be a part of where I'm at. I just looked at the stats for where I'm working, and apparently they only hired about .07% of their nearly-35,000 applicants. Every time I network with people throughout the business I hear about how many times they applied (3..4..etc.) and often having to work years as temping before they receive a full-time offer. The day I got a call (actually about 1-2 months after I applied) for the interview I looked at my dad and said "this is it--this is the job I'm supposed to have".. and three interviews later (with many people interviewing me in each session), after a couple of weeks, they made me an amazing offer for a job that I find far-more-fascinating than what I hear about a lot of the other jobs that people have in the business. At all of the training sessions where top-leadership often are speaking, they can point me out and identify me by name (and I think it's only been 3-4 months) which makes me feel like I must be doing something right. I also really feel like I can make a difference here and have so much room for growth and opportunity .. things I'm really excited about. Already I have been given so much responsibility and have been presented with unique and challenging opportunities. I'm excited to get started on my development plan and see where it goes... but right now I'm just trying to figure out which direction in the business I want to go and focusing a lot on adding value to the company in the area I work right now. It's funny, because in other companies, I *immediately* started working on my development plan as I couldn't wait to "move up the ranks"... but this culture just doesn't operate like that.. and you will move up in the ranks not by time but by competency. So yeah.. like I've already said, I'm lucky in the fact that I got to enter into an interesting role from the get-go.. :) .. now I'm just looking for the right opportunities and projects to embark on.

So I'm just going on and on... haha. yeah I need to stop. But it's just nice to be feeling like I'm currently in the right place when I kind of had a lot of anxiety about where I'd end up after I left my last full-time job. My last full-time job put the fear of full-time work in me, but now the days fly by and I'm in a good spot. It's really just another testament to how awesome God is and how he's moving in my life. It was only when I finally let go of forcing myself to find the 'perfect place' that it found me. *Never* would I have thought that where I'm at now would be 'the perfect fit', haha, but interestingly enough, it's so obvious now. In my life, things always seem that way in hindsight (even the mistakes made along the way.. again.. I realize why they *had* to be made to arrive at better things).