Perhaps you can’t seem to find the right job because you can’t figure out what you want to do. Perhaps you think you’ve figured out what you want to do, but you can’t find the right environment.
A recent article in The Economist discusses something that has been discussed in Figuring out Fulfillment and many other blogs, the cubicle farm. We are reminded of the history of the cubicle farm – Robert Propst, an accomplished inventor holding patents in fields from medicine to agriculture, was troubled by the state of office life. Commissioned by Herman Miller and aiming to provide workers with greater flexibility – an option to work sitting or standing, and opportunities to collaborate as well as to work alone in a quiet space – Propst invented the Action Office. Propst proposed that office spaces should be built with 120 degrees angles, not the 90 degrees angles – forming the cube – we have today. But building boxes was cheaper than the clamshell office space Propst envisioned and boxes were easy to assemble. Cubicles have become so popular that some companies are taking away the corner offices and moving managers into cubes.
Cubicles may be the most economical approach to building office space, outside of no walls at all, but cubicles don’t solve a number of office life problems, such as noise, and can even contribute to those problems. The Economist recommends that workers need, “A flexible workspace that encourages movement, combined with mobile technology….”, what Herman Miller is offering in their “Living Office” plan.
Though I wouldn’t recommend turning down a promising opportunity solely based on the configuration of the office’s furniture, it is certainly worth considering appearances. Just as you make a point to be properly attired for an interview to demonstrate respect and professionalism, a good employer should, within their capabilities, demonstrate an intention to show consideration to their employees.