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Is the Company Culture Right for You?

Is the Company Culture Right for YouToo often we join an organization without really understanding the culture of that company and whether it is right for us. We are excited about the opportunity, the role we will be taking on and the people who interviewed us, but we haven’t really thought about if it is the right place for us to work.

When interviewing for a position within a company, ask to speak with others with whom you would be working – co-workers in the department you will join, colleagues with whom you might interact regularly, etc.

When you meet with these folks – ask them to tell you what they enjoy most about working in the organization from their own perspective. You are looking for similarities in stories that folks tell you. This helps you to begin to identify components of the company culture.

When sitting in a lobby area waiting for the interviewer, or moving between interviews, watch the people in the organization. Do they interact with others as they walk around the hallways? Do they take time to say “hello.” Or does everyone seem rushed and unconcerned with those around them?

Additionally, read about the organization – press releases, annual reports, mission and vision statements. Does the information you read discuss the people of the organization, or is the focus on the organization itself and how well it is doing? If the information discusses and highlights the people – this shows a culture of an organization focused on people. If the focus is on financials, the organization is more concerned about the bottom line then, possibly, the people who have helped them achieve success.

The more you can learn about an organization’s culture before joining enables you to make the best decision about whether or not to accept an offer. However, sometimes we need to actually be working in the organization to truly learn about its culture. Use LinkedIn to find connections who may currently work, or who have worked in the recent past, at the organization you are exploring joining. Reach out to them to get their thoughts.

The culture of the organization must be a fit for you in order to have a happy experience and good career with a company. It is difficult to get up each morning and head off to work for a company where the culture just isn’t a fit.

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