Work Culture and Making your Job Matter

One of the things I’m excited about with the new Turtle Love Co. and APW SuperPartnership is the chance to have TLC’s founder Adrianne talk about things that have nothing to do with regular sponsored post content. So this post Adrianne is about how to build a business culture that works, and how to bring value to whatever work it is that you do.

What is the most important to you about your work and your workplace?

One of the reasons I’m so excited about Turtle Love Co.‘s SuperPartnership with APW is because of the opportunity to talk about things OTHER than jewelry.

Yeah, Turtle Love Co. sells some amazing vintage engagement rings, some awesome artisan wedding bands, and some sparkly green engagement rings.  But the sparkles don’t really keep us going day after day – it’s other stuff.  More important stuff.

I’ve written before about authenticity and some things that I think are really important about wedding and engagement rings.  Here are just two non-jewelry things that I’ve learned as I’ve built Turtle Love Co. over the last four years.  I’m excited to hear what your thoughts are about workplace culture and the meaning of your work.

First: Culture is the Most Important Thing.

Second: Make it Matter On Many Levels.

1.  Culture is the Most Important Thing.  These observations may seem cliched, but they’re really really true.  It is FAR more important to hire and work with people who are interested in learning than it is to hire people who know stuff.  People whose attitudes don’t mesh with the existing (or desired) workplace culture will bring productivity down for The. Entire. Team.  An environment of sharing and learning is crucial and awesome: everyone is learning, and everyone is an expert in something.

I’m thrilled to introduce three new members of the Turtle Love Co. team: Alicia, Aubin, and Jenny.  Each of these folks is AWESOME at a bunch of stuff, and they’re all super-enthusiastic to be on board.  I think you guys will love chatting with them to get your jewelry just right, and I’m sure you’ll love cyberstalking them, too.  Aubin writes amazing stuff at In The Usual Way.  Jenny is a mad awesome photographer here in Maine.  And Alicia is a photographer and writer who shares some of her thoughts at Alicia Rose Bane.  I’m totally blown away by each of them, and they’re all so much greater than their (impressive!) online presences.  Also, I’m totally inspired to beef up my own personal online presence: perhaps I’ll have something new to share next time you hear from me!

2.  Make it Matter on Many Levels.  Making meaningful work for oneself is exciting; making meaningful work for others to share is positively exhilarating. For that work to be meaningful every day, there have to be lots of things about it that are interesting. For shallow days, we get to enjoy the “ooh, that is SO pretty” rush. For big-picture days, we get fired up about transforming the popular discourse about wedding and engagement rings (and by extension, marriage itself!). And every day, we are incredibly honored to have a role in the way that people celebrate their love and commitment.

This might seem like a post that’s not applicable to non-entrepreneurs, but it is!  Make what you do matter on a lot of levels. You can think about childrearing, or administrative support, or whatever work you do in personal context (“What am I getting out of this?”), family context (“How is this meaningful to my family?“), societal context (“What am I contributing to the big picture with this?”).  Ask: What do I like about this work?  What am I learning from this work?  What am I proud of about this work?   Then when one area is falling short and you’re thinking (for example) “I don’t feel like I’m learning ANYTHING from this work,” you can take solace in one of the other levels of meaning that your work has.

And to bring it all around, for people who lead businesses, I’ve learned to really talk about the many levels on which our work matters.  It’s crucial to the survival of Turtle Love Co.’s unique culture, and that (as I said), is The Most Important Thing.

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  • Lauren

    Oh I just loved those questions you pose in the last section. I am unhappy with my job for a lot of reasons, but it can be so hard to articulate WHY to others. Thanks for giving me the tools to do so.

  • Angela

    You were so great on Forum today! I’m not a bride to be, nor am I even CLOSE to being one, but I found myself agreeing with everything you said, and thinking back to all the weddings I’ve been through, and thinking about how I would do things differently. Even though I’m not planning one, I plan on stopping by your blog frequently! Thanks for a great hour of radio!

  • Best of luck! This seems like an inspiring group of creatives to be a part of. :)