Finding Value Alignment with a Mission-Driven Company

Julia Li
Julia Li

In our Afresh to the Core series, Afreshies discuss what brought them here and what motivates their connection to our mission. Find more stories on the blog and check the Careers page for current openings.

Julia Li is a Customer Success Lead at Afresh, focused on building successful long-term partnerships with grocery retailers. As someone who cares deeply about finding purpose and fulfillment in her work, she is grape-ful to have landed at a company whose mission benefits both people and the planet.

I built the early part of my career at Google in customer relationships across sales, account management, and channel partnerships. While I loved co-creating and launching effective business strategies, I eventually decided that I wanted to find greater alignment between my work and my personal desire to contribute to solutions for climate change. 

We have the greatest opportunity in all of human history right now to drastically shape how future generations are able to live on this planet, and it is a responsibility we must bear wisely. For me, fully embracing this responsibility meant finding a way to dedicate 100% of my time to the cause. 

The importance of value alignment at work

As I sought out my next role, I knew that not only the mission, but also the culture of the company would be incredibly important to me⁠—the major determinant of job satisfaction is not just what you do, but who you work with. 

For that reason, Afresh’s values of humility, proactivity, candor, and kindness immediately stood out. It’s rare to find a company that puts so much intentionality into how it wants to operate, and it was clear that Afresh had thought a lot about how to create an empathetic and collaborative environment. I knew this would be a place where I would not only be supported in producing my best work, but would also be able to build truly authentic relationships with my peers. 

Finding purpose at a mission-driven company

The more I discovered, the more I was convinced that this company was where I wanted to take the next step of my career. Afresh’s mission to eliminate food waste (the #1 solution to curb climate change) aligned fully with my personal purpose. I sought out talks by our CEO Matt Schwartz and resonated with his vision of the power of food to help both the people and the planet

As I continued to read about Afresh’s incredibly scalable, technology-driven fresh-first solution, it became obvious that it was meeting a huge gap within the current industry. Lastly, and most importantly, the people I met in my interviews confirmed that Afresh was full of brilliant, passionate, and driven people who were similarly motivated by the opportunity to contribute to real change. 

What it’s like to work at Afresh

I’ve been at Afresh for nearly 6 months now, and my experience so far has confirmed that this is a company where no one is here “just for a paycheck”. It’s hard to capture what it’s like to be at a place where everyone genuinely cares about our mission. 

Perhaps the best way to do so would be to simply say that I didn’t think the phrase, “Work doesn’t feel like work if you do what you love,” could be possible until experiencing it for myself now. 

By building a fresh-first approach to eliminate food waste, Afresh is doing something within the grocery industry that has never been done before, while staying relentlessly humble in its approach. I feel lucky every day to wake up and contribute to a cause I genuinely care about, revolutionize an industry I’m fascinated by, and work alongside teammates who feel like friends.

Looking to join our bunch of Afreshies solving for climate change? Take a look at our Careers page for dozens of open opportunities.