A little more than seven and a half months ago, if you had asked me if I could imagine myself working in New York City, I probably would’ve have said “Maybe one day, but I doubt it’ll happen in the next year.”
Well, I was definitely far off on that one.
In late May I applied for a job here at Bluecore. The day I flew up to interview was crazy, but when it was all over I had made the decision to move to New York City for this job as a content marketer.
These are the 7 lessons I learned after moving to New York City for a random startup named Bluecore.
1. Your Work Environment Really Matters
It’s a cliche thing to talk about awesome startup culture…so get ready.When you’re a small team the closeness, in terms of physical proximity to your neighbor and how you communicate, can be a drastic change for many folks. My first day I immediately knew every single person felt happy to be here. Every single person was incredibly helpful and friendly. They even gave me a little slack that first week when I hadn’t exactly found an apartment yet and was still trying to figure out the subway.
Over time, I realized just how true this feeling was. In the Fall of 2015, we were ranked 32nd Crain’s 100 Best Places to Work in NYC list, receiving accolades for our focus on teamwork and keeping everyone informed.
Whether it’s our weekly business review meetings or the company lunch hour where we all eat together, Bluecore prioritizes transparency and cross-team collaboration, and that’s important to success in a startup role.
2. Happy Employees Will Do More
This company also places an important focus on each and every one of us having a healthy lifestyle to accompany our work. By using wellness initiatives to improve employee health, on-site meals and snacks to reduce living costs, regular social events, and an open vacation policy, we make everyone happier and more able to contribute to the company mission.
By focusing on employee happiness, startups are able to inspire their workforce to perform better than they thought possible.
3. Collaborative, Creative Office Spaces Inspire Innovation
The Bluecore office is amazing, even ending up on Inc.com’s Coolest Offices of 2015 list. Decorated by Justin Huxol of HuxHux Designs & Homepolish, the office celebrates the collaborative work environment ethos as well as the heritage of the Lower East Side.
Working here at 124 Rivington has given me the opportunity to really think about why the open office space concept is so important to performing well. The office space allows the creativity and collaboration of our teams to flourish as well (just look at that wallpaper in the entryway!), and this shows why startups should ensure their office spaces foster a similar work environment.
4. Go Beyond the Bottom Line
We do a lot of hard work to help our company succeed, but I truly realized how much my coworkers care when we started working just as hard to help others. Take our No Shave November fundraiser, Beards, Beards, Everywhere! for example.
We raised $1,500 to fight childhood cancer, and what really amazed me about all of this is seeing that same work ethos go into helping others. We also wanted to give back to our local community, going as far as holding a clothing drive for the Bowery Mission in December where we’ve collected 70 pounds worth of clothing.
I learned here that working together to help others outside the company can help bring teams closer together.
5. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
As a creative, this has been one of the best parts about working at Bluecore. One of the ways this culture fosters creativity and innovation is through something our CEO and Co-Founder, Fayez Mohamood, finds very important, Improv Comedy.
Don’t believe me? Well, TechCrunch believes him.
Our CEO regularly takes part in improv comedy performances, and believes the creativity it fosters helps individuals succeed in startup environments. When he wrote for our blog on this topic, he said that he sees five parallels between improv comedy and life at startups. These parallels are so important to our work ethos that new employees are encouraged to take part in improv comedy classes to help foster their creativity in their new environment.
6. Win or Lose, Do It Together
Speaking of winning (and losing)…. one of the best parts about this company comes from the drive and consideration I mentioned earlier. We LOVE to celebrate wins. However, they’re never about the individual contributions, but what we’ve done together.
One of the biggest part of our core values is the subjugation of ego, and you see that in our work. We all contribute without the hope of receiving individual credit, and we try things that sometimes fail, but we never place the blame.
This is a growing technology startup, and we break things (sometimes a lot), but every week we come together to be open about our wins and our losses. This openness let’s us all take a journey and learn together, and it helps us more effectively address customer needs.
7. The Company is the Product
The mission statement one of my coworkers expressed in one of our blog posts from before my time said that “The company is the product.” This is a very real and very true statement regarding Bluecore, but I think it could be expanded a bit to better explain what working here is like.
Bluecore focuses on ensuring every hire is an integral part of the company culture. This starts in the interview process, where applicants meet multiple team leads and are able to gain a better understanding of all aspects of the company while we get to know them.
This intense focus on people has enabled our team to develop a level of support that I never imagined possible in the workplace. This is what my coworkers said when asked what makes them most excited about coming to work each day:
“Everyone is really hard working and driven, so it’s a huge motivator to be around people dedicated to the same goals.” – Mary Kate Cardarelli
“The collection of people here is amazing and I feel privileged to be surrounded by the caliber of people here.” – Andrew Okoh
“The team. Definitely first and foremost the team. You feel like you’re working with a big group of friends and everybody is collaborative.” – Sarah Cascone
I don’t know if you can tell, but we care, a lot. We care about what we do just as much as we care about each other. That’s why we’re able to innovate in the work we do with our clients. Every part of this company, the technology, the culture, the people, comes into this office every day and works to make the world of digital marketing, and our lives, better.
I’ve spent half a year coming to realize what it means to be somewhere where you love what you do and the people you do it with. Despite being only ~2 years out of college, I get that this isn’t exactly common. Just taking a risk and flying up for one interview threw me into this whirlwind, and it’s completely changed the way I view my work.
Here’s the thing, it could change your life too.
We want to change the way behavioral marketing works, and we’d love for you to be a part of it. Check out our Careers page and apply to become a part of the Bluecore family.