When you’re at an extremely fast-growing company, you interview people quite often. Personally, I straddle our engineering and design organizations, so I end up chatting with folks with really varied backgrounds, and I do it a lot.
I always like to let people that I’m interviewing ask me questions. I think it’s a great way to get a sense of why they’re interested in our company, and to see what drives them/makes them tick. Whether I’m interviewing an engineer, a designer, or a product person, the question that I’ve found comes up almost every time is “How do you like it?” or some variation thereof. The same has gone for everywhere I’ve worked in the past.
When I first interviewed at Jana over a year ago, I asked the above question in one of my rounds of interviews. I distinctly remember when one of our awesome engineers, Tunde, told me, “I honestly can say I love it.” I remember being skeptical, because how many people really love their jobs? I mean, who wouldn’t rather be out running in a race or snowboarding or drinking with friends at a concert than sitting at a computer all day? I’ve been asked this question many, many times, and I’ve asked it myself quite a few. In the past, I’ve usually heard or delivered some variation of “It’s good, but it has challenges, but they’re rewarding…” Every time I get asked that at Jana, my response is the same as Tunde told me back then. I love working at Jana. One of our core values at Jana is to “measure it,” so I think it’s helpful to get a sense of what it really means to love your job. Let me try to explain.
A lot of companies like to talk about work/life balance. A lot of times it’s bullshit. I’ve worked in places where there are free massages, video games, free food, and more, but it still wasn’t balanced. I’ve worked with unlimited vacation, with flexible schedules, with good a salary, and with a lot of responsibility, but it still didn’t feel balanced. Just because there’s a pool table in the cafeteria doesn’t mean that people feel like their life is in order. Jana feels balanced. Upon realizing this about my time here, it has led me to wonder why it feels that way. We have most of the perks that a lot of tech companies have begun offering over the past several years. We have beer, we have games, we have an unlimited vacation policy (we even send people on a $4k vacation when they refer new employees–I’m excited for my first one of those this winter), we have very competitive pay, and lots of other great things. That’s still not it, but don’t get me wrong.
I love that I just got back from a scuba diving trip to Bonaire where all of my coworkers were psyched to see me go on vacation, and nobody ever questioned why or for how long.
I love that as I type this, several of my coworkers are getting ready to go to a concert together.
I love that two weeks ago, I ran a half marathon with a bunch of my coworkers.
I love that Jana rented a house for a bunch of us to go skiing last year at Killington.
I love that when my good friend and coworker, Parker, asked me if I could go to the Women’s World Cup game in Montreal the next day (it was on a Tuesday), I said yes, and we still made it back for my 12pm presentation on Thursday.
I love that I pitched in with 10 of my coworkers to get a custom bourbon made for us (thanks, GrandTen Distilling!) and I got to help make it with my boss, who happens to be my very good friend.
That’s still not it.
Again, don’t get me wrong. All of those are a key part of it. All of those things are amazing. But, after doing all of that, the biggest reason why I love working at Jana is that when I come in each day, it doesn’t feel like work. I get to be a part of a company that is growing faster than just about any company before us. I get to work on some of the biggest challenges of anyone I know (we are trying to make the internet free for a billion people). I get to work on those challenges with some of the smartest people I’ve ever known. And after those people and I work incredibly hard toward helping those billion people, we get to have some of the most fun times I can think of.
So, in summation, I agree with you, Tunde. I honestly can say I love it here. If you want to find out what it’s like to love what you do, get in touch. We’re hiring 🙂