I’ve worked in my share of companies over my career. While our impressions of those “100-best companies to work for” lists might illicit company envy, the truth of the matter is usually quite different.
Dorothy traveled to the Wizard of Oz only to have to see the “great” Wizard of Oz. Somehow, the wonderful, magical wizard was all-knowing, all-seeing and all-whatever to solve anyone’s problems. It was a joy to be in the presence of the wizard.
Until the green curtain was pulled aside to reveal the inner workings of the “great” and “powerful” wizard.
So it is with companies, divisions, departments and teams. The hottest companies have their own set of issues to solve. One company may have the “best” people and the worst culture to take advantage of their people’s talents. Other places may have good people and no framework for them to do excellent work. Other places may have fabulous people and processes that fall apart all the time.
The deal is this: the marketing of the company as a place to work is rarely the same as the reality of the company as a place to work.
Don’t think that because you now work at the almighty (insert company name here) that you now get to live on easy street. You might, instead, be working in Nightmare Alley. That difference can kill your career.
What is the biggest disconnect between what you thought working for the company would be like with the reality of working for the company?