Consciously Setting the Political Environment of a Post-Trump Startup

The polarized Post-Trump era could mean a new frontier for businesses, an important career consideration for individuals.

Jim Dee
Jim Dee
Dec 30, 2020 · 8 min read

Yeah, But So What?

Okay, so why does this matter for offices and careers? Well, it’s fairly straightforward on both counts. Let’s look at each of those items individually:

Politically Misaligned Office Cultures

Office culture, especially for startups, is usually something that comes about more organically versus something that happens by design. Yes, we’re all familiar with the purposefully quirky environments of some startups — the casual dress codes, the ping-pong tables, the free snacks, the flex hours, the company retreats, the karaoke outings, even people bringing their dogs to work.

  • Will we as a company support, endorse, or recommend political candidates? If so, who decides that, and how?
  • To what extent, if any, should we allow or limit individuals from expressing or discussing political views in the office? Can they wear political shirts, wear candidate buttons, hang signs in their offices?
  • Can we (or should we) hire or fire based on political beliefs?

Political Trickle-Down for Individuals

Two benefits come to mind related to companies aligning themselves to a political philosophy (be it left, neutral, or right). First up, there is the benefit of having a more cohesive office environment and office culture. With politics being among the more divisive topics, having a culture one way or another (or neutral) provides a space free from the potential tension of not having this in place.

  • 2016: She takes a higher-paying job at a second conservative office, and parts on good terms with her 2011–2016 coworkers, remaining friends online. A few of those coworkers even served as references for her, for this new job. She picks up some additional social media contacts from this new job.
  • 2016–2020: Trump comes into office, and the political rhetoric heats up. She now actively supports Black Lives Matter and reforms of police departments. The online disagreements with her 2011–2016 contacts become intense and, by 2019, she’s unfriended 90% of those former co-workers — not entirely on political grounds but, as mentioned above, it’s more about moral differences at this point. It’s also become quite tense at work for her lately.
  • 2021: The new job dissolves for some reason (e.g., Covid cutbacks), and now she needs to get another. Only, her reference pool for the 2011–2016 years is practically nonexistent, and she frankly doesn’t place much faith in her 2016–2021 coworkers, either, owing largely to political differences.
  • 2016: She takes a job at a second politically liberal office, and parts on good terms with her 2011–2016 coworkers, remaining friends online. A few of those coworkers even served as references for her, for this new job. She picks up additional social media contacts from this new job.
  • 2016–2020: Trump comes into office, and the political rhetoric heats up. Like her company, she now actively supports Black Lives Matter and reforms of police departments. While the political environment of the country has intensified, she’s retained and even grown her social media and professional reference base.
  • 2021: The new job dissolves for some reason (e.g., Covid cutbacks), and now she needs to get another. She now has a considerable base of like-minded friends who interact and support her, who will gladly serve as professional references, and who may well alert her to opportunities.

Hawthorne Crow

Tales, rants, observations — blog of Jim Dee, long-haired…

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Jim Dee

Written by

Jim Dee

Web guy at ArrayWebDevelopment.com; author of books & blogs. See: JPDbooks.com.

Hawthorne Crow

Tales, rants, observations — blog of Jim Dee, long-haired smart ass, self-employed web developer, hyper-creative writer, musician, renaissance man, defiant, prone to philosophization, as-always a pyro, ever-frustrated cat owner, free agent, bandanna wearer.

Jim Dee

Written by

Jim Dee

Web guy at ArrayWebDevelopment.com; author of books & blogs. See: JPDbooks.com.

Hawthorne Crow

Tales, rants, observations — blog of Jim Dee, long-haired smart ass, self-employed web developer, hyper-creative writer, musician, renaissance man, defiant, prone to philosophization, as-always a pyro, ever-frustrated cat owner, free agent, bandanna wearer.

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