A few weeks ago, we attended a yearly conference that's right in our professional sweet spot – it's all about examining the intersection of technology and mindfulness. As in, how can we (humanity) stay awake, deliberate, and conscious in a time when tech is advancing at impossibly fast speeds and beckoning the masses to be more and more mindlessly attached to the convenience it affords.
At the conference, executives from top tech companies, thought leaders, and mindfulness experts come together – in a very Zen-y way (see the header art) – to discuss solutions that keep tech giants profitable, the public mindful, and employees sane.
It's a tall order.
Booming tech companies, experiencing rapid growth, can have a tough time cultivating a healthy culture that keeps employees' and customers' best interests in mind.
Which brings me to Uber.
I'm here to tell you that Uber is not unique; there are lots of Uber-like corporate cultures out there. That's why we have the consulting business we do – to help keep organizations and work groups from falling into practices that create crappy working conditions.
People often laugh when we say we do consulting projects with "non-evil" corporations.
"What do you mean?" they'll ask.
We mean that many organizations – big and small – are neck deep in employee (and customer) un-friendly practices. We consult (mostly) with thriving work groups within (mostly) healthy workplaces.
Are you considering a career shift or job change? Here are a couple key questions to ask as you ponder where you may want to land. These are especially important questions to address if you are considering working in a fast-paced tech environment like Uber or Amazon.
1. Am I comfortable with what I am really doing?
At this year's conference, there was a particularly provocative speaker who talked about the importance of acknowledging that many tech giants' key goal to keep consumers in the click loop. Sure, they'll tell you that their goal is to help customers create meaningful connections (or smoother transactions, or easier xxx), but their real goal is to keep your attention to keep advertisers happy.
Many employees can quite easily block out the disconnect between what a company says its doing and what its actually doing (hello, huge salary!), but that disconnect takes a toll on many others. We'll get into details of this in another post. For now, when considering a new job, simply pay attention to what you'll be getting paid to do, the often long hours, and the not-uncommon cutthroat environment. Is there enough on the positive side of the scale to keep you fulfilled?
2. Am I comfortable with the culture I'll be doing the work in?
For every great company, there's another one that's greed-fueled, sexist, homophobic, etc. In examining the place you may work, don't make the mistake of glossing over the corporate culture. And before you dismiss this point too quickly, keep in mind that an attractive offer (hello, huge salary!) prompts many people to fail to consider other components of a healthy job.
Don't find yourself stuck in an environment that diminishes you or the co-workers that you care about.
Again, we've got a lot more to say on this topic, including more pointers and tactics for making healthy choices.
Today, we want to urge you to remember that the work environment that's created within any organization starts with the decision that each of us makes to become an employee. Or not.
Getting answers to the above questions before deciding to onboard will go a long way in ensuring a healthy choice.