First, I must state that I have never applied or worked for Buffer, nor have I interacted with anyone from the Buffer team. Buffer is a social media publishing tool that is meant to be pretty good at what it does.
The team have been publicizing their employer brand (and employee salaries) and letting the Buffer culture flag fly, it's great display of employer branding. Most companies could stand to learn from their example; 1 in 3 applications are motivated by employer branding after all.
The purpose of this article is not to criticize Buffer, their team or their culture because it works for them and they are doing very well. The lesson to be learnt here is you need to really think about where you apply as cultural fit is so important for career advancement.
So with that being said, here are the five reasons why I should never apply for a position at Buffer based on their publicly available Buffer Culture Slideshare presentation.
1. 'You don't attach your personal self to ideas'
How do you remove yourself from an idea you created? Why would you want to? That line of thinking is a clear indication that I have no business on the Buffer team.
2. 'You let others have your best ideas'
Maybe it's the way it's phrased, did anyone else first interpret it as, let others have your ideas (and take credit for it)? The number one reason for being disengaged at work is because of lack of recognition, which circles back to reason number one. If it's about sharing and collaboration then sure everyone should be engaged and give their best, but most people still want appreciation and recognition.
3. 'You are suggestive rather than instructive replacing phrases such as 'certainly', 'undoubtedly' etc. with 'perhaps', 'I think', 'my intuition right now'.'
My intuition right now is telling me to stop reading this presentation...
4. 'You over-communicate, repeating things more times than you would intuitively'
If your intuition is meant to be the guiding force in decision making and idea generation then why would you need to overdo the communication if your intuition tells you, you've made your point clearly enough?
5. 'You find time to jump out of the trenches into the higher level thinking that will move the needle'
I literally have no idea what that even means. Do you?
There are actually many other reasons why I personally wouldn't be a great fit for Buffer, all of which are in the presentation. At TalentPuzzle we always joke that we have no culture, (because our team is very small) yet we stay because of the culture. As a team we are driven by success, recognition, hard work and we are constantly striving for better for ourselves and the company. We have a great desire to learn as much as we can so we can offer our customers the best products and services. We also happen to share the similar dry wit and idealistic way of thinking. This works for our team and really aids in brainstorming and creating a collaborative working environment.
When you are hunting for a new career path, it's easy to just go for anything that sounds relevant to what you want to do. However it's increasingly important to dig a little deeper, you want to find a place where you are challenged and motivated on a daily basis but comfortable. A cultural fit isn't just for the employer to decide, it's for you to decide as well. *Take home tip: Go to Glassdoor.com and see what past and current employees are saying about your prospective employer and really assess whether their culture is what you want to be a part of.