10 Reasons You May Not Want to Work at PD

It’s wacky. It’s weird. It’s wonderful… for some.

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Dear seeker of new challenges and unique opportunities, if you’re thinking of applying to Pixel Dreams, we salute you and invite you to read this article. The goal of this article is to help you evaluate if PD may be the right fit for you. The article is both a sneak peek at our uncommon culture and a beware sign for its oddity.

Although warm and welcoming to everyone, PD culture can be too hot to handle. If you don’t love the heat, don’t work in the kitchen. The PD “kitchen” can bring out personal bests in some people and personal hell for others. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!

True words from real folks

This article reflects what our teammates shared in the 2022 Company Culture Review, in which we asked everyone to articulate why some people wouldn’t love working at PD. You will find the team’s quotes sprinkled throughout this article. Some quotes were trimmed for length and/or edited for clarity.

 


 

10 reasons

You may love or loathe working here

Below are the ten social contracts our team embraces, to be our best selves, do our best work, and have our best fun, together.

 


 

01.

Insistence on health   🫁

If you don’t take care of your health, PD might not be your cup of tea.

Our top core value is improving health — physical, mental, and emotional. We’re motivated by health science, which recognizes how physical health influences mental and emotional wellness, how body health impacts brain function, and how overall fitness affects performance. Health matters to us because at the core of our work is strategic creativity, which is a serious pro sport of the brain. Like competitive sports, it demands high stamina, endurance, and focus to sustain the clarity and vigour of insights, ideas, and decisions. A frequently asked question here is:
 
What are you doing to improve your health?
 

The reasons according to the team
Recommended reading

  • Breath
    The New Science of a Lost Art
    James Nestor
     
  • Why We Sleep
    Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams
    Matthew Walker
     
  • Lifespan
    Why We Age and Why We Don’t Have To
    David A. Sinclair
     

 


 

02.

Demand for wisdom   🧠

If you aren’t committed to lifelong learning, PD may not be a walk in the park.

Our second core value is seeking wisdom; wisdom―in being, thinking, and doing. In this age of Artificial Intelligence, wisdom is ever essential. We encourage our team to seek and pursue wisdom through questions and experiences, mentors and coaches, books and audiobooks, guides and lessons from history’s GOATs. Everyone on the team has a minimum learning target of twelve books and audiobooks a year, with at least six to hone one’s professional acumen and wisdom. The annual Academy Awards at PD celebrate our most glamorous voracious students of life.
 

The reasons according to the team
Recommended reading

  • The Art of Thinking Clearly
    Rolf Dobelli
     
  • Loving What Is
    Four Questions That Can Change Your Life
    Byron Katie, Stephen Mitchell
     
  • Meditations
    Marcus Aurelius, Gregory Hays
     
  • The Power of Now
    A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment
    Eckhart Tolle
     
  • The Art of Living
    Peace and Freedom in the Here and Now
    Thich Nhat Hanh
     
  • Sapiens
    A Brief History of Humankind
    Yuval Harari
     

 


 

03.

Sacrifice for teamwork   🫀

If you’re unwilling to do the hard things for your team, PD may not be your home–field advantage.

Cultivating teamwork, our third core value, is the ultimate competitive advantage. Teamwork at PD is demanding. It requires curiosity, honesty, humility, vulnerability, and accountability. We expect our team players to cultivate trust, embrace healthy conflicts and engage in difficult conversations with compassion, fight hard and play fair in and out of collaboration, plus, put the team before the self. We take personal ownership of failure while giving credit to the team for success. This mindset isn’t for everyone, and not everyone appreciates it.
 

The reasons according to the team
Recommended reading

  • The Five Dysfunctions of a Team
    A Leadership Fable
    Patrick Lencioni
     
  • The Advantage
    Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business
    Patrick Lencioni
     
  • Difficult Conversations
    How to Discuss What Matters Most
    Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, Sheila Heen
     

 


 

04.

Accountability for goals   🎯

If you dislike goal-setting and goal-hitting, PD may not be your destination for success.

We hold everyone accountable for the personal and professional goals they set. The emphasis on personal accountability in a professional setting might seem unusual. It’s because we believe doing our best work calls for being our best selves, which often takes work outside of work. From rotating accountability groups to dedicated accountability partners, one can expect frequent feedback from unofficial drill sergeants and cheerleaders alike, sometimes from the same person in the same sitting.
 

The reasons according to the team
Recommended reading

  • Essentialism
    The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
    Greg Mckeown
     
  • Atomic Habit
    An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones
    James Clear
     
  • Willpower Doesn’t Work
    Discover the Hidden Keys to Success
    Benjamin Hardy
     

 


 

05.

Call for leadership   🫵

If you’re unwilling to speak up and step up, PD may not be your calling.

The call for leadership at PD is open to all, regardless of title, role, or experience. Leadership at PD is not about power, but empowering others. It’s about making decisions, taking ownership, and making sacrifices to help the team win. Effective leadership flows in all directions―up, down, and all around with teammates, clients, and partners. We expect leaders to show up prepared with a meticulous plan while staying flexible to adapt to changing contexts, speak up with confidence while remaining humble to learn from mistakes, and step up with courage to do what’s right even when it’s the hardest thing to do.
 

The reasons according to the team
Recommended reading

  • Extreme Ownership
    How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win
    Jocko Willink, Leif Babin
     
  • 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership
    Follow Them and People Will Follow You
    John C. Maxwell
     
  • Leading
    Learning from Life and My Years at Manchester United
    Alex Ferguson
     

 


 

06.

Drive for excellence   🏆

If you think “good enough” is good enough, PD may not be the right pursuit for you.

Mediocrity is a common mindset, but it’s not an option at PD. We view ourselves as a world-class team committed to excelling in our respective fields. We relentlessly pursue excellence and continuously push each other to raise the bar. When someone joins PD, we expect that person to share our drive to achieve mastery in everything we do. Every task, however small, must be done with excellence, and this expectation may be too much for some people. Excellence is not a motivational phrase for us; it’s a burning desire that fuels our drive. We’re here to do exceptional work, and we’re willing to go to great lengths for it.
 

The reasons according to the team
Recommended reading

  • Driven From Within
    Michael Jordan, Mark Vancil
     
  • So Good They Can’t Ignore You
    Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love
    Cal Newport
     
  • The Little Book of Talent
    52 Tips for Improving Your Skills
    Daniel Coyle
     
  • The Score Takes Care of Itself
    My Philosophy of Leadership
    Bill Walsh, Steve Jamison, Craig Walsh
     
  • Tribe of Mentors
    Short Life Advice from the Best in the World
    Tim Ferris
     

 


 

07.

Ego-free zone   👀

If you’re unwilling to check your ego at the door, PD may not be your humble abode.

Everyone’s ego wants to feel special and superior in one way or another. That’s why an unexamined ego can be one’s worst enemy, keeping the person out of touch with reality and coachability. It can make the person blind to obvious weaknesses and deaf to constructive criticism. We remind each other that the ego ain’t our amigo. It’s more like a terrible-two toddler demanding attention and recognition at inopportune times. When the ego throws a tantrum, we acknowledge it but by all means, we don’t let it run (or ruin) our lives. We aren’t slow to call out egotistic beliefs and behaviours. One of the mottos here is “we, not me”, which can snap someone out of an ego trance―fast. It’s uncomfortable, to say the least, but our team ain’t here for comfort. We’re here to do great work and have great fun doing it. And flaming egos can get in the way of both.
 

The reasons according to the team
Recommended reading

  • Ego Is The Enemy
    The Fight to Master Our Greatest Opponent
    Ryan Holiday
     
  • The Ideal Team Player
    How to Recognize and Cultivate The Three Essential Virtues
    Patrick Lencioni
     
  • Emotional Intelligence
    Why It Can Matter More Than IQ
    Daniel Goleman
     
  • A New Earth
    Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose
    Eckhart Tolle
     

 


 

08.

Gritty AF      💪

If you lack grit and resilience, PD may not be the right dojo or sanctuary for you.

Regardless of the diverse backgrounds, our team shares a certain level of discipline, determination, resilience, and coachability. PD fosters a gritty environment where only those with a gritty mindset can thrive. We see obstacles as training opportunities to be stronger, sharper, and better. It’s because we’re dedicated to developing talent and helping each other reach full potential. No tapping out at the first sign of challenges, but tapping into tough feedback again and again. No swanky offices, only artsy ones. No lavish perks, only those essential to growth, health, wisdom, and teamwork.
 

The reasons according to the team
Recommended reading

  • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
    A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life
    Mark Manson
     
  • Obstacle Is The Way
    The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph
    Ryan Holiday
     
  • Grit
    The Power of Passion and Perseverance
    Angela Duckworth
     
  • The Talent Code
    Greatness Isn’t Born. It’s Grown. Here’s How.
    Daniel Coyle
     

 


 

09.

Set on 3Gs    📶

If you don’t value Growth, Gratitude, and Glee, PD may not be the right connection for you.

These 3Gs are integral to how we work and win together as a team. When everyone exemplifies a growth mindset, shows gratitude, and shares gleeful moments with each other, even a challenging week can feel amazing. At the end of every workweek, we wrap up together with everyone having an opportunity to shout out their gratitude to various team members and hear how others are grateful for them. Throughout each workday, one can experience both intensity and hilarity, sometimes in the same working session. It’s because we’re tenacious pros at work and mischievous jesters at play. The cliché ‘work hard, play hard’ is a simple way to capture this shared spirit. But this way isn’t for everyone, especially those most comfortable staying in the middle.
 

The reasons according to the team
Recommended reading

  • The Book of Joy
    Lasting Happiness in a Changing World
    Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, Douglas Abrams
     
  • Mindset
    The New Psychology of Success
    Carol S. Dweck
     
  • Learned Optimism
    How to Change Your Mind and Your Life
    Martin E. P. Seligman
     
  • The Happiness Advantage
    How a Positive Brain Fuels Success in Work and Life
    Shawn Achor
     
  • Hardwiring Happiness
    The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidenc
    Rick Hanson
     

 


 

10.

Joke > woke    🤣

If you don’t enjoy laughing at yourself and with others, PD may not be your happy place.

As diverse as our sense of humour, we’re an eclectic bunch of amateur punsters, aspiring comics, absurd dad-jokers, audacious one-liners, and amusing audiences. There are no snowflakes melting in the middle of a roast. If we must box our team in the frozen water category, then it must be igloos. Not because we’re a Canadian company, but because igloos are incredibly strong and keep their company surprisingly toasty (from all the laughter that goes around). We aim to laugh so much every day, our abs hurt and our cores strengthen. We make fun of each other, the adversity we face, and the absurdity of what’s happening. Being at PD won’t be a laughing matter for those with an overly developed sensitivity for humour. For those who love a good laugh-out-loud, levity is a gateway to peace―inside and out.
 

The reasons according to the team
Recommended reading

  • Wit’s End
    What Wit Is, How It Works, and Why We Need It
    James Geary
     
  • Humor, Seriously
    Why Humor Is a Secret Weapon in Business and Life
    Jennifer Aaker, Naomi Bagdonas
     
  • Humor That Works
    The Missing Skill for Success and Happiness at Work
    Andrew Tarvin
     
  • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
    A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life
    Mark Manson
     

 


 

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