Why work for Rackspace?

This is a post I originally wrote for my employer, Rackspace Hosting. You can find it here.

Lately, I’ve had several friends approach me about working at Rackspace. When I ask them why they want to work here, they seem surprised that I would ask.

“Why wouldn’t I?” is the response I most often hear. When they say that I reply with:

Long hours: Rackers work long hours. They are so dedicated to their jobs that instead of a typical eight-hour day, many Rackers spend ten, twelve or even more hours at their desks. Why? Because they have passion for their jobs and for doing what is best for the customer. When you’re trying to do something right, sometimes you have to put in the extra effort. We have passion for our work!

Hard work: My job is hard. The people on my team have hard jobs. Rackers around the organization have hard jobs. Do you know why? It takes more than average effort to achieve extraordinary results – we’re committed to greatness.

Demanding: We demand a lot from each other as Rackers. I really dislike the phrase “110%” percent but I know that if I ask for something, I expect the people I work with to give just that. Go above and beyond on everything. EVERYTHING. Fanatical Support® goes beyond helping our customers. We have the same expectations for our fellow Rackers.

Learning and Teaching: What’s that you say? Learning isn’t hard? Neither is teaching? I know way too many students and many, many teachers that would disagree with you. Imagine having a full time job, taking care of the people that you love and being a full time student. That’s what Rackspace is like. We are expected to keep learning day in and day out. I personally feel that if I don’t learn at least one thing new that day, I failed. As for teaching, we’re expected to share the knowledge that we have with each other. Hoarding knowledge is not our style. Whether it’s a mistake or a new skill; you have to be able to impart what you’ve learned and help those around you grow.

After I tell them that, they often respond with something along the lines of “But, I hear it’s a fun place to work.” They are absolutely right about that.

Rackspace is a fun place to work. I get to see and spend time with my friends every day. That adds a commitment most jobs don’t have and Rackers take care of each other – even when it’s inconvenient. Friends and Family means something around here.

I get to work with some of the smartest people on the planet while trying to solve some of the most complex problems in IT. I get to collaborate with those smart people and LEARN something new every single day.

I feel like I matter. Does the President of your company know your name? Mine does.

Do you get to work alongside the VP of your division and help make decisions that affect the future and the potential for the business? I do.

Do you feel empowered to make decisions in your day-to-day activities that affect positive business results? I do.

Does your manager know your likes and dislikes, thoughts and motivations, the names of your pets or how many kids you have? Mine does.

I’m managed by my strengths, not my weaknesses. Every Racker takes the Clifton StrengthsFinder when they start so their manager knows exactly where they are strongest.

My top five strengths?

  1. Responsibility
  2. Context
  3. Achiever
  4. Arranger
  5. Ideation

My manager understands what these strengths are and uses them to keep me interested in my job – something we call engagement.

There are opportunities to further my development and further my career. We have something called Rackspace University where I can take classes to further my knowledge in a more formal setting.

Dress code? I wear a t-shirt and jeans most days. When it’s occasionally necessary for me to wear a tie, my co-workers laugh and make jokes.

Are these all of the things that are difficult or fun at Rackspace? Of course not. You can come find out for yourself though. There’s never a dull moment – as long you’ve committed to the experience.