I wasn’t looking for a new gig when I was encouraged to apply to Articulate. Like any new opportunity, I considered it with a healthy dose of skepticism. You know that old adage, ‘All that glitters is not gold’? I’ve found that even the best-looking gigs have their own set of issues.
Best-case scenario, the issue is the actual work that needs to be done. You can it solve with your skills and a little elbow grease, but too often it’s the politics, pointless meeting, or other BS. That’s not stuff you can fix, and it’s also hard to see coming until you’re already employed—and then it’s too late.
With the power of good research, experience, and instincts, you can generally suss out whether you’re a good fit for a role. But when it comes to culture—the way it feels to work at a company every day—you simply have to experience it.
Initially, it was the work that convinced me to join Articulate. It dawned on me when I noticed myself actually enjoying the hours I put into my challenging writing assessment. But I continued to feel wary of the culture even as I accepted the position. Signing the offer letter, I thought, “Let’s see how this stacks up to what everyone has told me. What’s Articulate really like?”
Spoiler alert: For all my suspicion of corporate values, Articulate walks its talk. Here’s what that looks like on a day-to-day basis:
It doesn’t matter how you work best, when you work best, and where you work best, as long as you’re doing the work that needs to get done. I can get down with that.
I’ve heard several stories from co-workers about making the switch from the freelancing grind to Articulate. They report feeling happier, more respected, and more secure without sacrificing any of the freedom that came with self-employment.
And, while that’s not my personal experience, it makes perfect sense to me. While you’re working collectively as part of a team toward certain goals, you maintain control over your work and working environment. It’s a unique experience.
One of my favorite quotes of all time comes from a pseudonymous personal finance blogger, Mr. Money Moustache. He writes: “Life is not a competition. It’s a gigantic collaboration, and the world welcomes and rewards people who see it that way.”
This is how people think and work at Articulate. Everyone pitches in to make sure a project gets done. And, no, there’s not the death by a thousand cuts that comes with everyone having a hand in everything. The process is streamlined, and people seem to intrinsically understand what’s worth messing with and what’s just going to slow everything down.
If you write or code or do anything requiring intense focus for a living, you know how distracting the typical office environment can be. There are conversations happening all around you, music escaping from people’s headphones, and folks who show up at your desk just to chat.
At Articulate, I’m in complete control of my work environment—it’s part of that autonomy piece. I’ve found that when I get in the zone, I can get through more to-do’s in a morning than I used to grind out in an eight-hour day. And it’s not because I miraculously got smarter or that I was slacking before: The added distractions you tend to find in offices just don’t exist. I’m free to be who I am and work how I work best.
The Right Choice
If you’re interviewing with Articulate, I encourage you to question the company’s culture in a curious and respectful way. By asking the challenging questions and really listening to the answers, you’re working together to determine a good fit so that everyone excels.
At the end of the day, you’re gonna have to go with your gut (and, yes, all of your great research). But I’m pleased with my choice and, if given the opportunity to work with this great group of people on cool projects, I hope you are, too.