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After tasting different flavors of tech companies and interviewing a number of people from the industry, this is a shortlist of what, through our eyes and experiences, is a safe and welcoming workplace.

Many of us — builders, creators, and leaders alike — live under tremendous pressure of expectations, aspirations, successes, failures, and complicated human relationships.

We often talk about and share our favorite methods, frameworks, approaches, tools, but we rarely speak up about how difficult it is to endure, persist, and not fall under that pressure.

Many of us do fall and never get up.

This is a manifesto for our endurance, and an open letter to each of you who feels down, overwhelmed, or completely broken: don’t be afraid to talk about it. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help and support.

So what does it mean to work in a safe and inclusive company?

Part I. It’s about not being afraid.

Not being afraid of opening your inbox.

Not being afraid of getting notifications after hours.

Not being afraid of turning your notifications off.

Not being afraid of receiving critical feedback.

Not being afraid of stepping up and taking action.

Not being afraid of reaching out to your leadership.

Not being afraid to disagree.

Not being afraid of expressing who you are.

Not being afraid of getting fired every day.

Part II. It’s about your feeling of purpose.

Feeling that you have impact.

Feeling focused.

Feeling accountable for your work.

Feeling empowered to change things.

Feeling respected.

Feeling encouraged to both praise and critique.

Feeling part of something bigger.

Part III. It’s about what others do.

They are honest.

They are thoughtful.

They are respectful.

They support you.

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They make you grow. It is not unreasonable to expect those things from the place you give most of your time and effort to each day. More than half of employees in the tech industry report that they are currently experiencing Imposter Syndrome. The prolonged effects of IS, such as anxiety, depression and burnout, are a real thing, they cannot be neglected. Now more than ever.

If you feel like this is what you’ve been through, don’t be afraid and reach out. We’re all in this together.

Enormous thanks to Ant, Anna and Anna for invaluable inspiration, support and encouragement to share this point of view.

This blog was originally posted on https://medium.com/@janwiktor on June 3, 2020. 

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash.

Jan Ambroziewicz is Senior Product Manager at Codility, leading the development of the core task platform, a fan of filter coffee, and an after-hours electronic music producer.

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