The first thing you should know about being a coworker at a big tech company is that it’s a lot different from being a co-worker at a smaller one.
As a result, it’s important to think about your company’s culture as a whole.
Here are five tips to embrace it as a career and make it your career.
Be proactive, not reactive.
“The only time when you really have to make decisions about whether to work or not is when you’re actively trying to figure out how to use your work hours as effectively as possible,” says Rachel Shackelford, co-founder and COO of a tech startup.
Shackelford is also the co-host of the podcast Code First, a podcast where she talks about startups and what it takes to start a business.
Shacckelfords biggest advice: “Be proactive, because if you’re not proactive, you’re reactive.”
It’s the most powerful message in the industry.
When she and her co-founders were deciding whether to open up a coffee shop, they considered the company’s current culture, including its “big tent” culture, and the work environment they found it at.
“We found that the people at the top of the coffee chain were the ones that were the most open and welcoming to everyone, and that’s really important to know and understand.”
Shackees company was able to get more people in the door through these proactive actions than they could through just being passive.
They were able to change their coffee shop culture and their work environment and ultimately their employees.
“If you can really make changes at the root of it, that’s the easiest and fastest way to really change the culture,” she says.
You have to do it yourself.
“It’s actually really easy to do.
I just made a calendar of things I would like to do in my spare time,” says Shackes co-owner.
“That’s actually pretty good advice.
If you’re really passionate about your career, it doesn’t have to be expensive.
You can actually do it on your own.”
Shockelfies first startup, Aeterna, has been around since 2014.
She created a calendar, called The Next 100, that shows the 100 things she’d like to accomplish within the next year, in order of priority.
“I didn’t really think of myself as a tech entrepreneur, I thought I wanted to do some other things,” she tells Polygon.
“Then when I was on the other side of the planet and looking for jobs, I realized, ‘Hey, that looks like a really interesting idea.
What if I just make it and share it with other people?’
That was the beginning of the story.”
Shaco says the next step for her is to get her first startup up and running, and she’s hoping to do that soon.
Work in your spare time.
If the world can’t wait for you to get back to work, it’ll take a long time.
Shaco was able by creating the calendar to help people get back on track, and then get back in the game.
“In the past, if you were really passionate, you’d work in the office all day, every day.
It was just too much.”
But with this new calendar, you can work out what your spare-time obligations are and work out how you can get back into the game faster.
“You can actually take the time you need to actually focus on your work,” she adds.
“This is where your life will take off.”
Find a niche.
“Some companies, if they really want to grow and hire new people, they’ll go after this kind of a niche,” says Gersh.
“They’re going to say, ‘Oh, we’re hiring this guy, we can’t find anyone who does this kind, so we’re going into this kind and hiring this kind.'”
Shackee agrees, and says companies have to take a look at their existing talent pool.
“A lot of these people can’t really fit into the mainstream of tech, so they’re going in with a different set of skills and they need to learn those skills,” she explains.
“So there’s a huge difference between being a programmer, a designer, an engineer, a product engineer.
It’s really hard to say who’s really in demand and who isn’t.”
“People really enjoy it when they can just relax and relax,” Shackey says.
“And that’s just really important.”
The more you enjoy it, the easier it becomes to stay away from distractions, Shackeys advice to Shacckes co-workers.
“Just be yourself and enjoy it.”
Shacs advice is that you have to work at your job, but don’t let the rest of the world take you away from it.
Shacs first startup was called The Laptop Room.