Is PD Right For You?

Ten reasons you may not want to work at PD.

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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 our teammates to articulate why some people wouldn’t love working at PD. You will find our team’s quotes sprinkled throughout the 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, don’t apply for a PD gym membership.

Our #1 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 required for insights, ideas, and decisions. A frequently asked question here is:
 
What are you doing to improve your health?
 

Not for you if…
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 is not your mountain to climb.

Our second core value is seeking wisdom; wisdom in being, thinking, and doing. In the 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.
 

Not for you if…
Recommended Reading
The Art of Thinking Clearly
Rolf Dobelli
 
Loving What Is
Four Questions That Can Change Your Life
Byron Katie, Stephen Mitchell
 
The Power of Now
A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment
Eckhart Tolle
Meditations
Marcus Aurelius, Gregory Hays
 
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 homefield 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 conflict 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.
 

Not for you if…
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.
 

Not for you if…
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.
 

Not for you if…
Recommended Reading
Extreme Ownership
How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win
Jocko Willink, Leif Babin
 
Dare to Lead
Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts.
Brené Brown
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 road for your travels.

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.
 

Not for you if…
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.
 

Not for you if…
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 for you.

Regardless of the diverse backgrounds of our teammates, we all 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.
 

Not for you if…
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, having an opportunity to shout out gratitude to 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.
 

Not for you if…
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.

Diverse in our sense of humour, we’re an eclectic bunch of amateur punsters, aspiring comics, absurd dad-jokers, launching audacious one-liners to our amusing teammate 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.
 

Not for you if…
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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