Identifying Company Culture

If you are looking to change jobs or career paths, there are many companies to consider in your search. When invited to interview, it is crucial to examine aspects of the company’s culture. How a business operates, what they believe, and their core mission is essential to regard before accepting a position. How do you determine that? As you conduct research and have various conversations, keep these tenants in mind before leaping.

Core Values & Mission
Every legitimate business will have a mission statement, which is a formal summary of their values, beliefs, and what they intend to accomplish. When looking for a company that is the best fit, you must determine your stance on a multitude of subjects. It is essential for these beliefs to align, because it is a major factor in determining how much you will contribute to the role. If you do not agree with a company’s goals and objectives, it is unlikely that you will feel passionate about the work and have longevity in the position. Conversely, if you are in full support of a businesses’ core values, you will want to grow, learn, and achieve more. Before the interview, research the background of the company; you can gain insight from their website, social media handles, and even recent news articles. This will give you a well-rounded impression of whether their mission is in line with your views.

All work and no play will put you on the fast track to burn out. Although seemingly counter to what is considered an ideal work environment – fun and celebration are always part of a company with an influential culture. Businesses that encourage potlucks, happy hours, giveaways, birthday parties, and team-building extra-curriculars, to name a few, are usually great organizations to be a part of. During the interview, ask questions about events and incentives to determine whether a company encourages or shuns celebratory opportunities. Moments to let loose are fun in general, but they also present chances to get to know your co-workers and strengthen team camaraderie. Colleagues that relate to each other and interact during social activities are more likely to collaborate effectively during business hours.

One of the most important factors when considering company culture is a future opportunity for growth. Industries and companies that have limited potential for advancement can stall learning and development and leave you feeling disinvested in a short amount of time. Utilize LinkedIn as a tool to determine the average job trajectory of the management team. You will see the frequency of promotions, as well as a general time-range of when that happens. Also, look into mentorship programs, networking events, and other community resources that a company offers to promote growth. Before applying or interviewing, research the progress of an industry or organization as a whole; this will help you confirm the strength of the business and overall job outlook. Depending on the circumstance, you may want to stray away from companies where one employee holds the same title and seniority for an excessive amount of time. This indicates that is both challenging and unlikely to advance past the first role that you accept.

The way that members of a company communicate is a significant indicator of culture, expectations, and success. Though it is challenging to determine how a company communicates prior to accepting the position – there are ways to get a general indication. Think big: research how a company interacted with the public in the face of a crisis or inconvenience. Was the community addressed in a reasonable time frame? Were rumors and concerns handled directly? If you interview with a potential company, it is crucial to ask about the chain of command, standard communication procedures, and even how you are expected to relay messages. For example, their company culture could include texting and instant messaging as a means to connect – and you could prefer more traditional correspondence. This is vital information to know when deciding whether you will fit well with the organization.

Are you looking to advance your career? Goodwill provides no-cost career services for anyone seeking employment or a higher-paying job. We offer job seekers the tools and resources to feel confident, purpose-driven, and successful. Goodwill’s My Career Advisor is the best place to start if you’re planning for the future. Signing up is quick, easy, and free.

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