How do different work environments encourage different social systems and lifestyles?

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AnalyticalEngine
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How do different work environments encourage different social systems and lifestyles?

Post by AnalyticalEngine »

I'm curious everyone's experience here with different types of work environments. What's been your experience working in corporate, blue color, pink color, service jobs, etc? Did you find the nature of the job changed how your coworkers interacted? Did the job feel more like a lifestyle than a job?

In my experience, the corporate world feels more like a lifestyle than a job, especially for people concerned with climbing the ladder or building their "personal brand." Additionally, it had elements of high school where it seems like everyone secretly hates each other. This type of environment isn't impossible to navigate, but it does require some unique strategies to make it out with your identity in tact.

Riggerjack
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Re: How do different work environments encourage different social systems and lifestyles?

Post by Riggerjack »

Well, if you get out of your career with your identity intact, I think you may have failed. Failed to learn all that you could have.

You are there, learn what you want, and be choosey.

There is lots of dysfunction in the bottom of every organization. Blue collar has different dysfunction than white, in my experience, but not less. Well, maybe less, but definitely different.

As for the career ladder, avoiding that set of dysfunctions is why you are here, right?

chenda
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Re: How do different work environments encourage different social systems and lifestyles?

Post by chenda »

I probably impacts childbirth age; women with limited possibilities for career advancement will tend to have children earlier than women with more career advancement. The opportunity cost of early motherhood is much lower.

Hence the shorter generation span for poorer families and the associated higher birth rates, stream of broken relationships and all round trashiness. At least, that's been my experience.

7Wannabe5
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Re: How do different work environments encourage different social systems and lifestyles?

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

I have observed that I am treated with a good deal less respect when I occasionally accept a job to substitute for a para-professional rather than a professional teaching position, if I am otherwise not known at the school. Since I don't dress or behave any differently, and often I don't even realize I pushed the "wrong" button until I show up, this effect is entirely due to expectations. For instance, if it is known that I am qualified to teach, but am just fulfilling para-pro role for the day, I will more likely be asked if I would mind doing somebody the favor of making copies vs. being told to do this task. This social "class" separation is also apparent in lunchroom conversational behavior.

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RFS
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Re: How do different work environments encourage different social systems and lifestyles?

Post by RFS »

I think it depends a lot on the type of person your workplace & department attracts. I worked for a gigantic tech corporation in college. When I got hired, they sent me a letter about how people come there to do their life's best work. I met several weird as hell Silicon Valley people obsessed with optimizing every minute detail of their lives. But, amidst all of that, management knew that burnout would mitigate productivity. We were constantly encouraged to disconnect from work and take care of ourselves (this was probably just lip service.)

I worked at a tech startup after that. In sales. My office was predominantly unmarried 20-somethings, with terrible spending problems, vying for one position that nearly doubled your pay. Every day required swimming through a river of conniving bullshit. People would go to team meetings and intentionally give others bad advice.

I'm a teacher now. It's the healthiest workplace environment I've ever experienced, because it's actually collaborative. Everyone's on the same team and wants to help each other. Plus, nobody goes into it for the money, and the age range of everyone there is 21-60+. This means many of your colleagues have families that they actually believe are more important than work.

conwy
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Re: How do different work environments encourage different social systems and lifestyles?

Post by conwy »

This is absolutely true.

For one thing, I've found that companies target certain 'audiences' and 'demographics' for their employees just as much as they do for their customers.

For example, some companies are clearly targeting family men in their 30s and 40s who need to bring home the bacon at a steady, consistent rate. This works for the company, because they structure their work to be in a steady stream, and serve clients who are Ok with work being done in that way.

Other companies are clearly staffed by aspirational 30-somethings who are at their peak of mental performance and can work very long and intense stretches and get massive amounts of work done in a shorter timeframe, but who also turn over a lot if they're not challenged and energised constantly.

Also some companies are very big on academics and degrees, whereas others value experience and self-taught people more highly.

Some companies or teams become a bit cultish around things like eating together, exercising together, company sports events, etc.

Sometimes I join the cults, other times I avoid them.

As a contractor, the beauty of doing lots of short contracts is that you can get away with avoiding the cults because everyone knows you're only there temporarily to begin with.

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Lemur
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Re: How do different work environments encourage different social systems and lifestyles?

Post by Lemur »

I was enlisted military prior to leaving to become a civilian....worked for a few small businesses and than MegaCorp. The military by far was a lifestyle more than a job (even down to the rule of law aka UCMJ)...Megacorp is a 'lifestyle' to some degree (especially if you fail to 'unplug') but not nearly as much as what I felt in the military. The most autonomy I had was when I worked for two small businesses. I miss the 9-5 and nothing expected outside of that but than again my pay was much smaller than MegaCorp pay.

Megacorp loves the young people....they can maximize profit via low cost of labor. Small business loves the 'I've a family and kids and need a steady paycheck' types. They too can be lower cost unless the small business is paying a premium to have some experience that can take the business to new heights. Or snags a real high performer.

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