Once you start working, you realize you spend more time at work than at home. You spend the majority of your time at the office, spending time with your colleagues, in meetings, on the computer, on the phone and meeting new clients. Every industry and even every company is different. But one thing is similar. Your "office" or the location in where you work becomes your second home.

I had conversations with two friends of mine. One was having a hard time adjusting to the new boss micromanaging everything, ultimately changing the office culture. Another friend was interviewing for a possible new position which would require her to relocate to a new state. In these conversations, there was a common theme: The office culture.

If you are in the process of interviewing for that dream job right after college or are planning on relocating, one of the top questions you should ask at the end of the interview is: "What is the company culture or team dynamic?". This question will surely leave an impression with the interviewee.

My friend who was having a difficult time adjusting to the new micromanaging director was considering moving to different departments or companies but felt she would have to start over from scratch. She spent so much time in building and organizing her position in that office that she felt she it would be like starting over if she were to get a new job. The advice I gave her was that no matter where you go, whether you are promoted or even if you get a new job in a new company, you still need to learn from scratch. What was important was for her to see if the change in company culture was worth staying or if it was something that would ultimately affect her personally and physically. If you yourself are in the same predicament, ask yourself: "Is the stressful environment worth staying?". Does it make you a better professional and person? Think about how you would feel at home. If you feel stressed at home, you start to declutter and do a little spring cleaning. Start spring cleaning your work by brainstorming what is important to you and how you would be able to grow in that environment. Is there something you can do to help to declutter the stressful environment by speaking to your boss by suggesting and incorporating efficient and possibly enjoyable practices? If not, remember this quote by Alexander Den Heijer: "When a flower does not bloom, you change the environment in which it grows, not the flower".

My other friend that was interviewing with a major company went to the interview excited, feeling this would be her way to a new job, new city, and a great salary. She was getting bored in her current city and felt a need for a change. Once she finished her 3-hour interview, she felt a little confused. She didn't feel like she fit in with the people interviewing her but felt at home in the new city. She felt confused about the team structure and communication and that was something important to her. She felt that it was better for her to stay within her current company and that the dynamic at where she was working at now, has improved so much in the last year that she realized she was taking it for granted. She wanted to meet with the direct team in which she would work with hoping she would see if she would have potential chemistry with that team. So far, she didn't feel like at home in that office environment. It is interesting to see our priorities as we develop in our career. her concerns were not about her new title or working at a major company, but her main concern was about the company culture. She would rather stay in her current position with her current salary than accepting a higher salary in a new place where she felt she could never feel at home.

When I used to do rounds of interviews as an interviewee, the number one question I make sure I ask is about the company culture. I spend so much time devoting my heart and soul into my career and spending time with my colleagues and clients, I want to feel at home. This is important for every young job seeker to take note. Where do you see yourself working? Even if you always dreamed of working at Vogue since you were a little girl or dreamed of working at the company that your family raves about, think about if it is the right fit for YOU. Even if you do get the job, you do have the option to decline. You do not need to accept every job offer that comes your way. Think if you see yourself going to work every day in this environment and seeing the same people every single day. Working with difficult clients and/bosses are already stressful and managing a personal life with kids or a fur baby or two are stressful in itself. Do you ever get to work and panic that you might have forgotten to lock the front door, leaving you stressed at work the whole day? Life is stressful already. Don't let a stressful office environment add to the pressures of your daily life.

Your work environment becomes your second home. You spend your whole day there, sipping your first sip of coffee of the day, eating lunch, conversing with the same people everyday, eating a slice of cake (or two) when it's someone's birthday and you end the day saying "good night" to everyone there as you leave the office for the day. You also grow up at the office in one way or another. You learn your mistakes, you hone your strengths, you identify your weaknesses, and you grow a thicker skin. You learn new technology and new etiquette as you meet new people every single day. The way you talk, act, sit, your verbal and body language are all molded by your surroundings. You want to be around a positive environment that makes you not only a better professional but a better person.

In my professional experience, I have encountered different types of company cultures. One culture may empower and invest in their employees while another culture may bully and manipulates their employees into getting the job done without carrying about their well being. In every scenario, I found that I look forward to the company culture that I would want to "come home" to as they are investing in me which in turn is investing in my future. I have turned down a job before from a company that I used to work for where they were offering me a higher salary than the place I was currently working at, and because of my perspective on their company culture, I turned it down. Don't pick the job for that higher salary, the title, the company association. Pick your new "second home".

When you get accepted that new job offer, ask yourself: "Do I see myself coming home" to work every day?

As you sip on that first cup of coffee in the morning in your office, do you feel at home?






virtual employee


Lucy Capul is the Creative Director of Old Fashioned Marketing & Consulting. Lucy’s background in Hospitality Management concentrating in Special Events and Marketing has lead her to create a platform for start-ups, entrepreneurs and businesses to gain support and resources for their business. Old Fashioned Marketing & Consulting was created to take away the work load of any working professional where they have the opportunity to have a professional virtually run their marketing behind the scenes, so they can have their drink and drink it too. Lucy’s experience in the corporate world has lead her to realize that the world glorifies the chaotic and busy lifestyle of a typical hard working professional. Lucy is an avid supporter of taking the time to “namaste” away from the work day and making time for friends, family and a little bit of whiskey, promoting a work-life balance. The Bar Babble blog was created to provide resources for like minded professionals to succeed in their professional and personal lives and also for students or anyone who wants to jump into the marketing world. Bar Babble is that time and place after a long day where you can be unapologetically unfiltered and babble about the highs, the lows, tips and tricks that no one talks about. Let’s get a little “whiskey”, and let’s Bar Babble.