When Choosing a Job, Culture Matters

As I approach my senior year in college, I have been frequently thinking about my future career. How will I know what job or position is right for me? Do people just take what they can get out of college? After reading the article called When Choosing a Job, Culture Matters, by Bill Barnett, I discovered a few tips I am going to share with you.

When you first enter a company’s building, you can get a mix of emotions. With the pressure of walking into your interview, you never know whether it is all to easy to pursue a job opportunity or to accept a job offer with only having a hazy view of the organizations background. It is extremely important to investigate the culture of the institution you’re interested in applying to before you accept the position.

Tip 1: Understand the organization’s purpose. Don’t just listen to what they are doing, but pay attention to how their purpose leads to the decisions they make. Learn about how the organization operates; consider the importance of performance, how the company gets things done, the level of teamwork, communication between workers and all the ethical issues. When you understand all of these aspects of the company and how it operates, you will then need to consider how it plays into your goals. What matches and how well does it match your goals? Finding these pieces of the organizational culture is an important part of your aspirations.

Tip 2: Read everything you can find about the institution with a critical eye. All organizations have formal vision statements, but these documents are written with a purpose in mind. Discuss culture with the people who work in the association. Also talk to people outside of the organization who know it, such as suppliers, customers, partners and ex-employees. Getting different perspectives about the institution will further your knowledge on the culture in the workplace.

Tip 3: Investigate the institution at an early stage. In a job interview, you want to ask about the company’s culture. People sometimes think that bringing the culture topic up will make people uncomfortable and put the offer of the job at risk. However, the hiring managers will expect it and this topic is certainly necessary to know for future growth. Ask questions! It will show that you are learning rapidly about the organization. “Culture questions can cast you in a positive light.”

By Scott Maxwell


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