What makes us Atomic?
We often talk about our culture at Atomic Fiction, and how important it is to all of us. That culture is actually a product of our values; a result of what we believe and work toward each day. It’s the proof in the pudding. It’s the sum of our actions. It’s created by every single one of us, contributing together. Regardless of your seniority or job description, you play a vital role in making Atomic Fiction better.
So, what are the values, or dare we say 'rules', that we strive to live and work by? What creates "Atomic Culture?”
Hi there! Being optimistic and in good spirits is probably one of our most important values! It permeates every aspect of our work, and we strive to be known for it both internally and to the outside world. We take a few minutes to check in on our co-workers before dailies. We care about each other and what is going on outside of work. We make sure people feel welcomed when they join our team. We use lots of exclamation points in emails to our partners and clients! We take a bit more time to craft a friendly, personal message, rather than being dry and to the point.
We value friendliness because, when we all look back at this experience, we feel like the personal experiences and friendships formed here will have as lasting of an impact on our lives as the work we get to create.
Our clients work with us for a lot of reasons, but mainly because we find new, creative ways to tell their story. How do we accomplish this? By encouraging each other to have creative confidence, which comes from being respectful and open to their ideas. Our goals aren’t always obvious, and we often need to step outside our comfort zone to be truly creative. Our advice? Try things! Fail a few times, and find success through taking risks. Share inspiration, push your limits and support each other along the way.
The French poet, Antoine de Saint-Exupery, once said “true happiness comes from the joy of deeds well done, the zest of creating things new.” As creative people, we find happiness in the process of exploration, discovery and change. Perhaps the common thread is this: creativity is finding joy in the unexpected.
Pay Attention to Detail
We believe true excellence comes from attention to detail. This means we genuinely care about every “ingredient”, and we slow down long enough to do our best work.
Find a colleague and ask them how to make a great latte on one of our espresso machines. It’s a fun example of how attention to detail is a core value of Atomic Fiction. It’s relatively easy to make espresso that is "good enough," but a drink that your peers will envy, with flavor complexity and balance… well, that takes time and practice. The work we do each day is no different.
Even when you are working hard or moving quickly to hit a deadline, don’t lose sight of your craft. Put a kiss of love into your shot, spreadsheet, or plan. Learn to be a “big picture perfectionist”—anguish over the details that matter, and leave yourself room to do that by figuring out which details aren’t truly important. Sure, it may take a little longer, and you’ll need to manage expectations, but it will be better. More importantly, the result will be meaningful to you and something you will always be proud of.
“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together” — Vincent Van Gogh
Improving processes that slow us down gives us time to do more of the things that we enjoy. Keep an eye out for tasks that are being repeated day after day, or just seem clunky or messy. Can they be automated? Streamlined? Re-thought? See finding solutions to those things as a challenge—a puzzle to solve—and take pride in helping everyone to feel more productive.
Monotony is the enemy of creativity—attack it ruthlessly so you can do the things you enjoy instead!
Atomic Fiction is constantly adapting and learning as we go—we always will be! It’s exciting stuff. Find joy in the fact that we are a work-in-progress, and that we haven’t figured everything out yet. The best news? The ideas you have, and the progress you make, will have an impact on everyone!
It’s no different when it comes to our work. If our clients came to us with everything figured out, that would be pretty boring, right? Find comfort in the fact that you and your teammates are on a journey together, and while the end might be impossible to see, or challenging to reach at times, you’ll most certainly get there (we always do!)
Be aware of your state of mind, and keep an eye towards staying healthy and inspired. You’re the best judge of how to best keep yourself excited and energized! Our vacation plans are designed with this in mind, so take advantage of those days. When you stay inspired, your best work will follow, so make sure part of your week is dedicated to this goal. Leave a bit early one day to explore a new neighborhood, lay in a park or take a class on something that enriches your work. Find what inspires you and make it part of both your process and journey at Atomic Fiction—everything you touch will benefit from an inspired spirit.
Your journey at Atomic Fiction will put you in touch with a wealth of experience and insight from your peers. Some may be passing through, while others may call Atomic Fiction home for many years. At any moment, we’re a vast collection of experience, and that is one of our greatest assets. Embrace the knowledge and wisdom of someone who joins our family. Make them feel just as capable of contributing to this maturing company, our “work in progress" if you will, as anyone else. Always first ask “How would you do it?” before jumping in to “This is how we do it.”
Our favorite clients have told us over and over again: “We love how you make working together so easy!” That doesn’t mean that the project was easy. In fact, the harder the job, the more we hear that feedback! What they really mean is “We love that you don’t come to us with problems, you come to us with solutions.” Being solution-oriented takes effort, because it’s one step further along the process from simply identifying a problem. To clients and your coworkers alike, however, it's the difference between loading them up with more work, versus relieving them of stress and helping to make their lives better.
On every level, from your personal journey at Atomic Fiction to how the company is perceived from the outside, genuinely wanting others to succeed and going out of your way to help them is at our core. When you take the time to make sure that your peers feel respected, encouraged, and supported, well… amazing things will follow!
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