If you figure you spend around 40 hours or more a week in the work environment, company culture becomes a pretty important part of your job search. After all, it’s nice to love your job, but if you can’t stand those you work with or the work environment around you, you may end up miserable and subsequently unproductive. So what are some different types of company culture and how can you determine what’s right for you in your job search?
Just Google- a company by the way with a very unique work environment- the phrase ‘company culture’ and you’ll see immediately how important it is to employees and job seekers. In fact, Business Insider deemed company culture and work environment as the most important factor for companies in the hiring process. Thus, in your own job search, finding the right company culture may be as critical to getting hired as having the right vitals.
Some companies have a more rigid work environment, while others go the casual route. I’ve worked in places that require traditional business attire and some with very laid back senses of style. Often times, but not always, the dress code will provide a base for the type of work environment the company has. I’ve worked with staunch traditionalists who wore jeans and t-shirts to work, and progressively forward thinkers who wore suits and ties everywhere. Appearances are often good indicators of a work environment, but when going in for a job interview, or looking at the company website or job post, be sure not to get too caught up in wardrobe as it may not completely reflect personality.
Another indicator of company culture may include social media. If you notice employees taking their frustrations out on Twitter, it’s likely the company lacks a cohesive work environment. Do a number of employees complain about exhaustion, long days, a lack of respect, etc? It may be one bad egg, but if you notice a pattern it can indicate a poor company culture. Similarly, while all jobs require time and effort, ask about the time off policies. Will you be expected to be in constant communication even when sick or on vacation? Some people can’t put the phone down, but if you need some downtime you may need to figure out what your off-duty expectations are before proceeding.
Company culture is a major part of your work experience. I truly believe that liking who you work for and who you work with is as important, if not more, than liking what you do. When you spend 40 hours or more a week in one environment it becomes a home, and one you need to be comfortable with in order to be productive. So while you continue your job search, remember to place an emphasis on the work environments of the companies with whom you apply. It may make all the difference.
How do you test company culture fit in your job search? Let us know in the comments section below!
IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by Kent Wang