Is the right company culture more important than the job itself, asks ENTITY.

You’ve finally done it: you’ve landed the job that will help you become the successful business woman of your dreams. Yet, by week two, you new job seems more like a nightmare. Co-workers aren’t encouraged to get to know one another, and you’ve hardly said two words to your boss. 

If this scenario sounds familiar, then you know how hard it can be when you find the right position but the wrong company culture. Whether you prefer a traditional office space with cubicles and your own little square to yourself or want something a little more interactive, finding the right company culture is important.

Not sure where to start? Here are ENTITY’s top five tips for finding the company culture that’s right for you!

1 Know what company culture is in the first place.

If you were on Jeopardy and needed to define company culture, what would you say? Although you may have a broad idea, nailing down a concrete definition can be difficult. Luckily, Forbes already did the work for you, describing company culture as the combination of “company vision, values, norms, systems, symbols, language, assumptions, beliefs, and habits.” 

READ MORE: Embracing Your Individuality in the Workplace: Yes or No?

By knowing the parts that make up company culture, you can know what you should observe during your visits or research online. It’s not just a question of whether Casual Friday is a thing or not. Instead, you need to see how employees typically behave; whether the company’s purpose is clear and evident throughout its work; and whether your interviewers seem genuinely happy to meet with you.

2 Do some social media stalking.

Social media can be used for more than killing time on your lunch break; it can actually help you find the right job in the first place. Unless you personally know someone working (or who had worked) at the company, you can use social media like Twitter and LinkedIn to get a sneak peak at the typical employee experience. The Muse even suggests contacting former employees and asking them questions like:

  • Would you recommend working at the company? Why or why not?
  • What types of people are most likely to succeed at the company?
  • The best and worst parts of the company culture?

You can also read reviews posted on job detail websites such as Glassdoor. All of this research will help you understand how the company operates – even before your first interview.

3 Decide what traits are most important to you.

When you picture what your everyday routine would be like with your dream job, what images come to mind? A close-knit team of employees who have Friday dinner together every week? A fast-paced environment that always has the newest technology? Before you even start applying for jobs, consider what kind of environment would suit you best.

READ MORE: 6 Ways Introverts Can Thrive in the Workplace

Two of the most important questions to ask yourself are what motivates and inspires you. Are you more productive when you’re working in a group or being monitored by a mentor? Do you find inspiration in weekly brainstorming sessions or lunch breaks long enough to go walking around the city? Knowing the factors that help work the most effectively is the first step to setting yourself up for success.

4 Don’t Forget to Ask Questions During Your Interview.

When it comes to job interviews, you probably are used to answering more questions than you ask. However, interviews are also the perfect time to ask important questions about company culture. What exactly should you ask? Besides the obvious – How would you describe your office culture? – you can ask what it means to be a “team player,” if performance or responsibility rewards are offered, how close-knit employees are, and what it takes to be promoted.

If possible, ask more than one person as well. The person you interview will, most likely, be trying to “sell” the job to you, so their answers might be especially positive. The more viewpoints you get, the more accurate image you can create of your (possible future) workplace.

5 Listen to your gut.

Maybe the job will finally give you the title you’ve been dreaming of and comes with an impressive salary bonus and an office with a view of New York City. But, if something seems off during your interview or research, you might want to reconsider your definite “yes.” It’s also important to remember that how your employer conducts the interview probably reflects how they regularly behave in the office. If you hated that your interview started late and your interviewer seemed disorganized, don’t be surprised if you run into those same speed bumps when you actually start working at that company.

READ MORE: How to Achieve a Positive Workplace

The bottom line? There’s much more to a job than the title, salary or field you’re working. You also have to make sure that you’re second home is just that – a home. #Womenthatdo don’t just chase the jobs they want. They also research, reflect on and work within the environments that will help them succeed.

Edited by Casey Cromwell

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