Ever worked in an organization whose culture you did not enjoy and wished you had the power to change things? Thinking back now, what would you have done differently during the application and assessment process? The job-hunting process should not only involve you being assessed by potential employers, it should also be an opportunity for you to assess the organization and measure whether it would be a good fit for you.

Do you have the culture of an organization as a priority when you’re job hunting? If not, here is why you should;

1. Your career needs – Understanding the culture of an organization is critical to knowing whether or not their values, vision, beliefs, etc are aligned to your own career needs and ambitions. This enables you to potentially predict what your career development journey will look like and which of your needs will be met or not, and make peace with what this means for you. What’s your management style? Do you prefer to work autonomously or collaboratively? Would you like certain days where you can work from home? These are some of the questions you should get answers to if they’re important to you, and you should be able to know what is non-compromisable for you.

2. Your wellbeing – Given we spend at least 70% of our time at work, and that our wellbeing is a dominant factor of; how productive we may or may not be, how satisfied we are with our jobs, how happy we are and so forth, you want to make sure that you’re joining an organization whose environment promotes rather than reduces your state of wellbeing. So make sure you research what it’s like to work in the organization(s) you’re applying for and ask about it during the selection process if you proceed after your application. If possible, ask for an opportunity to talk to employees who work there to get a gist of what it’s like so that you make an informed decision. Here is an article you can use with questions about an organization’s culture.

3. Your ability be authentic – Closely linked to your mental health, having a good understanding of an organization’s culture determines how comfortable you would be, say; communicating your needs to your supervisors and peers, giving feedback, taking initiatives, forming relationships and overall, if you can be your authentic self. Additionally, this also plays a key role in how long you envision yourself staying in an organization if hired. The first few months, during your probation, should be a period of further assessment to see how you feel about working in the organization and whether or not your needs (refer to point 1), are being met.  Talking of which, here’s an article we wrote about 5 mistakes you should avoid after landing a new job. Have a read to avoid falling into these traps.

Do you pay keen attention to an organization’s culture when you’re job hunting? Find the above useful?
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