BuzzFeed, Vimeo & Live in the Grey Executives Dish Career Kinships, Success & Pizza Socks

Have you ever had colleagues who became friends? How about friends who became colleagues? We all have, right?

Welcome to living in the grey.

Last night at the Delta T4X Pop-Up Lounge in downtown Manhattan, the founders of Live in the Grey, a new online community offering resources, tools and inspiration for passion-driven individuals, hosted an event featuring executives from BuzzFeed and Vimeo, along with a Grammy-nominated artist.

We talked with co-founder Maneesh Goyal who explained his partnership with co-founder David Munczinski: “There was a kinship and we vibed with each other.”

Goyal continued, “Our friends kept asking, ‘How do you have a job that’s so good for you?’ We were surrounded by people who hate their jobs….Gone are the days when you have a life and a job and they don’t intersect.” Now, they seem to blur.

As they aim to propel a movement for people to find fulfillment in their careers, their panel featuring Melissa Rosenthal, managing creative strategist at Buzzfeed, Chris Diken, director of brand messaging at Vimeo and Emily King, Grammy-nominated musician, focused on their own careers, definitions of success and professional gratification.

Rosenthal mentioned she started out as an intern at BuzzFeed and feverishly posted six stories each day. “It captivated me from a user experience.” Indicating there’s so much learning involved and “if you never fail, you never learn,” she talked about her passion for taking a risk with content.

“If you’re not going to stand out, you might as well not be giving it.” Pushing outside your comfort zone, she said, is where the growth process begins.

She added, “There’s no predictability in what’s going to happen next. That’s exciting! I thrive on that.”

Diken thrives on individualism. He manages to keep his personal passions intact such as writing one poem every day and alluded to working in an environment as a holistic self. That is, a persona that doesn’t draw the line between his professional brand and personal one. One that can technically be described by wearing pizza socks. Yes, you read that right.

The Vimeo exec revealed he enjoys wearing his pizza socks and more importantly, he likes the fact that he can be himself at the office. Describing the old adage of a separate “work self” from the “home self,” well for him, they’re one in the same.

“I love working where you feel normal and can wear pizza socks and express your opinion.” Instead of minimizing a screen while pretending to work on spreadsheets while he’s taking a break watching skateboarding videos, Diken cherishes being able to work in a creative environment where individualism is not rebuked.

Maybe Goyal and Munczinski are onto something by living in the grey where your personal and professional passions fuse with your whole self.