Finding the perfect job these days involves more than just hiring a professional resume writer or sending your Curriculum Vitae (CV) off and hoping for the best. Not only do you need to be qualified for a job, but for it to be classed as the perfect job, you need to feel in your gut that it’s the right position for you.
The trouble is, every company is different. The same job being offered by two companies will be vastly different, perhaps not in the outline provided for the role, but in the way that you feel doing the job and how well you fit in with the company and your new colleagues.
The same problem is apparent in reverse. Employers may find two very similar CVs on their desk with the same qualifications and experience but working with the two candidates will be very different. This is where searching for a work culture fit comes into the equation. Today’s job searches don’t just involve finding the right position but finding the right work culture fit at the same time.
What Does a Work Culture Fit Mean?
Even if you haven’t heard of a work culture fit before, you’ve probably experienced what it means. A work culture fit is like that gut feeling that says, ‘this is the right place for me’ or ‘I know this candidate will work well here’. A work culture fit means finding an employee whose values and beliefs are in line with that of the company and finding a job that can accommodate your needs and allow you to feel comfortable in your role.
There are no exact specifications for finding a work culture fit, it really is based on trusting your gut, going with your first impressions, and making a judgement about how well you think a company is going to work with your values. It all centers around finding personality and attitude matches – if you’re outgoing then a work culture of introverts probably wouldn’t be the best fit for you.
As most people spend around a third of their day, five days a week, at work, creating the right company culture where everyone is happy in their jobs, is of the upmost importance for companies and employees. Without a work culture fit, it’s very hard to achieve job satisfaction.
The Importance of Job Satisfaction
In this day and age, job satisfaction is an incredibly important part of employment, both for a company and its employees. When you’re satisfied at work, the job is more enjoyable, you can explore your potential, and work your way up the ladder to earn more money. A satisfying job delivers everything that you need, allowing you to easy manage your work-life balance and excel at what you do.
For a company, employees that are satisfied by their jobs is a benefit to finances and to the growth of a business. Job satisfaction normally leads to harder working employees and a dedication to company growth. When employees are invested in a company and share the same values of the workplace, they’re more likely to stick around, which can lead to improved employee retention.
Creating job satisfaction revolves around a work culture fit, it’s difficult to be satisfied in what you do if you don’t get along with your colleagues or you have no interest in the main goals and aims of an organization. It’s due to the importance of companies finding dedicated employees and candidates finding their own values reflected at them in the workplace, that a work culture fit is so essential.
Being happy in your job is a benefit to yourself, your family and friends, and to the company that you’re working for, but how do you know what the work culture of a company is, and how do you find the right fit for you?
Understanding a Company’s Culture
It can be very difficult to gauge a work culture when you’ve not been a part of the culture for any significant length of time. There’s no way to judge exactly whether a company is going to be right for you, but there are some indicators that will give you an insight into whether there is the potential of a work culture fit.
To understand the current culture of a company, you can:
> Explore the office space and break room, see how personalized the space is and see whether it’s somewhere that you would like to spend a large part of your day.
> Take a look at the job incentives that are being offered, like an onsite gym or daycare – are these something that interest you? It’s also important to note whether you think the incentives are in place solely to keep employees around, as not all incentives are there for a good reason.
> Pay attention to the current employees – do they look happy or stressed? What is their general attitude to being at work?
> Get a look at the employee facilities and see what condition they’re in. Good employee facilities can indicate an employee-focused company culture.
> Do your research on the company, see where their work is focused and what side-projects they undertake. Do they do any charity work? Are the main goals something that you could find yourself dedicated to achieving?
Your gut feeling about a job will be one of your best indicators but doing a little background work will help you to back up your own thoughts, or maybe even change them.
How to Find the Right Culture Fit for You
Happy employees, great facilities, and good incentives may give the impression of a company that you’re willing to work with, but it’s not always enough to base a firm decision off; not when you’re looking for a long-term job where you can explore your potential. A work culture isn’t going to change around you, you need to find the right culture fit from the get-go.
To understand what you’re truly looking for in a work culture fit, you need to ask yourself:
‘What am I looking to get out of my relationship with colleagues?’
‘What makes me truly happy at work?’
‘What will motivate me to do my best?’
‘Can I see myself working here every day?’
If you interview for a new job and find that the answer to all these questions is positive, then you may have just found your perfect work culture fit – a place where you’re happy to work every day, eager to see how the company develops over time, and excited to be a part of it.
Just as you might go into a job interview prepared to gauge the work culture, an employer may be trying to work out whether you’ll be a culture fit at the same time, so make sure that you stay true to yourself. There’s no such thing as a bad work culture or a good culture, but there is such a thing as the right cultural fit for you. It may be hassle trying to find your perfect work culture fit, but a little effort now will certainly pay off in the long-run.