What Kind of Workplace Works for You?

The Simply Brilliant Workplace Quiz

The quiz below is based on the four kinds of workplaces Bill discusses in his Harvard Business Review article, 4 Kinds of Workplaces, and How to Know Which Is Best for You.

We all want to be part of a great organization and a high-performance workplace. To be at our best, surrounded by colleagues who help us and challenge us, doing work that is financially rewarding and personally meaningful. But there’s more than one kind of successful organization and many kinds of productive workplaces. Ultimately, what matters at work is whether the culture that defines life inside an organization is compatible with your personal style and priorities.

This test will help you figure out the conditions under which you do your best work, and what kind of workplace works for you. It takes just a few minutes to answer the questions and learn more about the kind of setting that will bring out the best in you. For an accurate result, make sure your answers reflect what you really value and care about, rather than what you suspect others might think you should value and care about. There are no right or wrong answers, no one ideal place for everyone to work.

Here are the questions…Get to work!

“It is vital for me to be part of an organization whose culture aligns with my personal values. I don’t want to be one person at home and someone else at the office.”

“Where I work should feel like more than just a job—it should be a place for me to make close friends, develop strong personal relationships, and be part of something meaningful.”

“I value being part of a workplace built on a strong sense of identity and belonging—language, rituals, ceremonies, symbols—even if that culture may seem unusual to those who don’t work there.”

Let’s say you are choosing among several jobs, each of which fits your professional background and skills. Which one of these factors would be most important in your selection (choose only one)?

“It’s fine being part of a team, but I also like to shine. I see work as a place to showcase what I can do and be rewarded for it.”

“I am comfortable having my performance judged against that of my peers, and being held to high expectations of individual results.”

“I like companies that emphasize the difference between average performers and high performers, and rewards standouts for their unique contributions.”

“Work is where I get to demonstrate my professional excellence, not where I expect to make close friends or pursue my personal passions.”

“At work, it’s more important to feel like I’m part of something bigger than myself than to express my individuality.”

“I take special satisfaction in going the extra mile for customers, partners, and other stakeholders, even if it means longer hours, more stress, or other personal sacrifices.”

“It’s hard to love what I do at work unless I also believe that the place where I work is doing something special in its field or for the world.”

Let’s say your organization launched a high-profile product or service that ran into big trouble. Fixing it could mean late nights, intense pressure, management scrutiny, even the need to challenge established policies and procedures. Would you….

“I’m at my best in settings with minimal rules, few layers of management, and lots of freedom to call my own shots.”

“It’s less important to be part of an organization with deep pockets or a lofty reputation than to have easy access to everyone who matters.”

“I enjoy being part of something new, even if it involves risk and uncertainty. Work should feel like an adventure.”

“I thrive on opportunities to solve problems, move quickly, and improvise. I love showing up at work and not knowing precisely what I’ll be working on that day.”

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