One month into my time at Hubspot, I was struck with fear because I realized that this may be the first and last best job I'll ever have in my entire life. I wanted to hold on to it as tightly as possible - to absorb it before it slips away and becomes a memory.
Since then, I've become spoiled and more focused on the problems that exist on my team and in the company (as a natural cynic and product designer, it was only a matter of time).
Before I completely lose track of that initial feeling, I want to take note of the things that made Hubspot feel like the best job I've ever had.
1. Hubspot has values. At my first company meeting, I discovered Hubspot hired Ta-Nehisi Coates to speak at their yearly conference. If you don't know Ta-Nehisi Coates, he writes about being a Black man and a Black father in the United States. You can't have a speaker like Ta-Nehisi Coates and feign indifference. Being someone who also cares about Black people in my country, I was so grateful I started crying at the company meeting. Hubspot was willing to ruffle feathers and lose business to stand behind someone they believe in. It was refreshingly honorable.
2. Hubspot hires people who are both sharp and kind. At almost every job I've had, someone has always made me feel small or uncomfortable. At Art.com, a woman would completely ignore me whenever I'd try and communicate. I'd try to talk to her in the hallway and she'd act like I'm invisible. It made me feel horrible and it made me incredibly inefficient at my job. At Hubspot, I've never met someone I haven't liked. Consequently, I'm a happy person, I collaborate easily with new people, and I'm efficient in getting work done.
3. Hubspot is a big company with a small company feel. Big companies get overly political and bureaucratic. Culture is often lost and you quickly become a bee in a hive-slogging through process after process to get your job done or to accomplish any HR task. You feel like your voice is lost. Hubspot has maintained an incredibly friendly, free atmosphere as a 1500 person company. There is a shared culture of getting shit done, putting ones ego aside, and asking questions. Everyone is responsive and accessible from the Head of Culture to the VP of Product. You're empowered to do what's best for your team and to lead your own charge in your own way.
4. Hubspot has great design managers. It's common to promote the loudest, most extroverted, outspoken people. Hubspot is different in that they promote a variety of personalities into management positions. My boss is a soft spoken, incredibly empathetic person. His boss (the head of our department) is a super creative, nurturing type who's always looking ahead and reexamining the way we work to ensure we get what we need. My therapist says I've never been this happy. She says all this time, I've just been looking for a good manager.
So what about that Disrupt article that guy wrote-the one that talks about how Hubspot is a frat house filled with 20-year-olds? Here is what I can say:
- I had read the article and I was skeptical about the seemingly very young people who interviewed me.
- They won me over in minutes with their smarts and lack of ego (to me, this has nothing to do with age).
- I've never experienced any of that fratty behavior in Product.