Bad News Startup Job - Work Hard Play Hard neon sign

“Work Hard Play Hard” – Clue to a Bad Startup Job

When you see the phrase “Work hard play hard” in a job description, run the other way.

It’s common in startup recruiting and it’s usually bad news for candidates and employees in regards to company culture, work life balance, and compensation. Startups often want cheap labor and with phrases like this, they’ll promote their fast paced, fun work environment where employees are often overworked and underpaid.

Now, there are plenty of great startups out there (I loved working at one). This is not a sweeping indictment, it’s just one insight to help you read between the lines about unhealthy startup culture.

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Citations:
Kenrick et al. update to Maslow’s pyramid of needs (AKA hierarchy of needs). Learn more about the legacy and leisure drives related to the “work hard play hard” tendency:

1) The ‘Big Four’ Human Drives
2) Maslow’s Pyramid Gets a Makeover