finding a great place to work

Great places to work

Meaningful work

When your work is aligned with your genius and who you really are, it’s easy to feel like it’s got real meaning for you. As a reminder, I believe there are four main parts to having meaningful work:

  • Mission – you and the people you work with all want the same thing
  • Environment – you enjoy being in the space and with the people at your work
  • Activity – you get to play the role you are best at in the team
  • Nature – you get to use your genius and to bring your whole self to your work

This post is about the second element, Environment.

Aligning cultures

The way people behave is a core part of the workplace being a great place to be. And while there certainly are some workplace behaviours that pretty much everyone agrees to be toxic, the ones in which you are going to thrive will depend pretty much entirely on what kind of place you like. If you enjoy a “work hard play hard” kind of workplace, you’re going to feel pretty badly out of sync if all your colleagues are 9-5 family people. And if getting home in time for little Johnnie’s bathtime is a priority for you, a “last man standing” culture is not going to work very well for you.

Respect in the workplace

Another aspect of cultural alignment is the sort thing that people are respected for.  If results are more important to you than what time you clocked in, you’re probably going to be rather uncomfortable in an office where hard work is valued above anything else. Or if supporting your colleagues is a valued trait, someone who is focused just on their own results is going to stick out like a sore thumb. This is not about whether respect exists, in most workplaces it does. But perhaps it doesn’t always feel like it, if what you rate highly isn’t valued by your co-workers.

Ethically aligned

On the subject of behaviour, it’s very important indeed that your values and ethics are aligned with the organisations you work for and with. There is nothing more uncomfortable than finding yourself expected to act in a way that cuts across what you consider professional and fair. In my final couple of years in corporate, I wasn’t always able to stick to my own principles, which left me feeling hopelessly misaligned. Eventually that made me so stressed, I became quite ill and I was very relieved when I got to have ‘that’ conversation with the HR director.

People and places

The physical environment matters too.  Maybe you like a quick game of table footy in your lunch break, or perhaps a quiet place to read is more your thing. Do you prefer functional office furniture, or something with a bit more style.  Or it could be that being able to work in different spaces suits you better. Organisation or clutter matter too – I once worked with a tidiness freak, who found it very hard to be around a bunch of engineers and product managers who hated all their prototypes being put neatly away whenever they turned their backs.

Location, location, location.

Maybe it matters to you that your work is near your home. Or do you enjoy the buzz of going to the business district every day? Neither is inherently better than the other. My wife did many years in the City, so she hates London. I, on the other hand, love travelling up to one client’s 33rd floor office with its views across Regent’s Park, and I also relish the days I have meetings near London Bridge when I can enjoy the magnificent view down the Thames past HMS Belfast to Tower Bridge.

It’s all about YOU!

Everyone is different, so there’s no ‘right’ work environment, just the right groups of people to work in each one. Know what you prefer, and don’t compromise on finding a workplace that aligns with you and lets you be the best version of yourself.

Most of us spend a lot of time at work, you might as well do yours in a place you can enjoy!


Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash


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About The Author

Andrew Horder

Founder of Joyful Genius Coaching, Andrew has been working with business owners for many years, helping them find and maintain their unique focus - those activities and opportunities that they love, and will produce their success, what Andrew calls your Joyful Genius! Andrew's first book, The A to Z of Loving Work is available from Amazon

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