Finding a job that is a good fit for you both professionally and culturally is essential for job satisfaction, performance, stress management, and career development. However, it can be challenging to determine which companies align with your values, preferences, and work style before accepting a job offer. This is where understanding company culture comes in, which was the topic of our latest Discovery coaching session.
Let's define what company culture is and how it differs from a company's strategy. Company culture refers to the collective practices of a company, including verbal and written communication, practices, do's and don'ts, and behavior towards diversity. It is not a written policy or procedure, but rather something that develops organically over time. On the other hand, a company's strategy is its goals and guiding principles. While a company's strategy is essential, company culture is made up of the people within it and how they work together.
There are different ways to describe company culture, but in the context of the discussion, they use the eight cultures that Harvard Business Review has given as a way to get people to think about culture. These eight cultures are: (1) caring, (2) purposeful, (3) learning, (4) enjoyment, (5) results, (6) authority, (7) safety, and (8) order. Each culture has a different focus, and the words used to describe them and how employees are united are different.
To identify which culture resonates with you, start by thinking about your values, preferences, and working styles. You can then choose which cultures best match your personality and work preferences. You may resonate with more than one culture, and it is essential to consider the leadership style in a specific environment.
One participant shared a story about working in a PMO role in a health insurance company that made her feel comfortable because the team was supportive and welcoming. She found it helpful that everyone was rooting for her and was always willing to point her in the right direction.
Another participant shared a personal example of why she chose to work at Company A over Company B, even though both were Fortune 10 companies. She explains that the collaborative culture at Company A made it easier to put ideas on the table and build relationships, which was important for her as a connector. In contrast, the competitive culture at Company B made it harder for her to make connections with people she didn't already have a relationship.
The discussion highlights that understanding company culture is important when looking for a job because it can affect job satisfaction, performance, stress, and burnout. Knowing one's own values and preferences can help in finding a good cultural fit, which is just as important as finding a good job fit.
The group discusses the importance of understanding company culture during job interviews. They share their experiences with different corporate cultures and how it affected their job satisfaction. One participant mentioned the importance of companies having active learning or continuing education programs to support their employees' skills development. It's important to ask questions during interviews that demonstrate that you are seeking a company that will support your growth and development, not just a job.
The group also discussed the importance of having a two-way conversation during an interview. Candidates should come prepared with questions that not only demonstrate their interest in the company but also help them determine if the company is a good fit for them culturally.
In conclusion, the group agreed that researching a company's culture and values is crucial before accepting a job offer. By having a two-way conversation during an interview and asking questions, you can determine if the company is a good fit for you culturally. Additionally, knowing yourself and your expectations can help you identify which companies align with your values and culture.
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Hear from one of our Discovery Participants: "Peppercorn Discovery helped me not only identify my values but showed me how to communicate them in my resume, in my networking messages, and in my LinkedIn profile. I now have materials that represent me authentically for every situation and applying for jobs is so much easier. This program has set the tone for the rest of my career. I highly recommend going through the process.” Jaselin | Marketing Consultant