What Do You Need For Success?

Last week, I talked about change and told you that I had accepted a position with a new firm.

My first week at the new job has been filled with mostly training.

When I made the announcement that I was leaving, one of my former co-workers who had worked at my new firm some years prior tried to warn me about how “corporate” the firm was and how unhappy they had been while working there, implying that I would be unhappy as well.

I always take things like this with a grain of salt, because one never knows if the person talking had a one-time negative experience or if they just don’t do well working in a certain type of corporate environment.

Every individual is different, and some adapt to certain work environments better than others.

Throughout the course of this week, I’ve really been evaluating the move I made. I’m not questioning making the move; I really am happy I made the decision.

But I am evaluating the reasons for leaving so that in the event I ever notice the same conditions here, I can be proactive and try to change the situation before it becomes intolerable.

Having said that, I thought I might share a few of my reasons for leaving with you today, in hopes that if you are frustrated in your current role, you might be able to evaluate your situation and help influence change in your organization before you also feel compelled to leave.

After all, let’s face it, the number of available jobs in our industry is still rather small and the competition for those jobs is very keen.

Here are just a few of the reasons I’ve been able to determine:


One of the things that I like about my new company is that it has a corporate recognition program.

How many times have you worked extra hours to meet a deadline, stayed late or come in on the weekends just to get caught up or to stay ahead in this “do more with less” environment that seems to be so prevalent today?

How many times has your supervisor failed to recognize the extra effort you put forth in order to meet or exceed the client’s expectations?

For me, unfortunately, that had become the norm.

Are you a supervisor? If so, ask yourself how much does it cost to say thank you to an employee? (Read our article "Rewarding Employees" )

I was pleased to learn that at the new firm there are many achievement and training awards for certification programs that employees complete on their own time to better themselves and further their career.

Whether it’s a framed certificate for smaller courses or plaques or desk clocks for longer, more difficult programs, the fact that the company gives recognition is something that I find refreshing and think is very important.


The previous company I was with was a smaller company and did not have a formal training program. Most training was conducted one-on-one with a person’s immediate supervisor, then the person gained additional experience while working on the job.

To some, this might be an adequate formula for success; however, I find that I tend to learn better with a more formalized instruction process.

Another benefit to a formal training program is that all employees receive the same training and have the same basic knowledge when starting out.


With a number of people supporting multiple projects from different offices in this new company, it becomes imperative that everyone on the team be familiar with the organization and file structure for each project.

This is imperative, because you might work with one person in one department one day and then someone else from their department the next.

At my previous company, file structure and CADD standards were left to the discretion of individual project managers and often varied between offices and projects. It was very difficult to help out on a project if someone from another office needed support when you didn’t know where the project files were located on the network.

Today, I’ve shared with you just a few of the things that are important to me to create a successful work environment.

Do you have things that you consider essential for creating a successful work environment in your career? If so, I’d love to hear about your ideas.

Feel free to leave a comment below, send me a tweet, or even an email. I look forward to hearing from you. Have a great weekend!

Boyd Coleman is a landscape architect in Phoenix, Arizona. He can be reached on Twitter at @CDGLA or email: bcoleman001@gmail.com.