Career Fit: Organizational Culture

eggsDo you think about fit when you target companies you want to work for?

When recruiters or HR professionals talk about it, they are talking about fit with the position, the team, and the culture.

Organizational culture can include things like work\life balance or lack thereof, how people communicate internally and externally, how involved in the community the organization is, and management style, to name a few.

Why is cultural fit important? You can answer this question if you have ever worked for an organization where you did not fit in. Even if you love the work you do, it’s still hard to enjoy that work if you feel like a stranger in a strange land and don’t feel accepted for who you are.

I recommend you first think about the kind of company you want to work for. Consider the following:

  • Company size
  • Company mission, vision and values
  • How work gets done
  • Telework – yes or no
  • Length of commute
  • Flexible hours
  • Industry
  • Employee Diversity

Once you begin to identify the elements that are important to you, you will want to research companies with two questions in mind:

  1. Who is most likely to hire someone with my background?
  2. Of those companies, which ones most reflect my values and what’s important to me?

Although your research can shed light on company culture, networking is perhaps your best resource for finding out about both the stated culture and the real culture. You want to gain information on the real culture of the organization, not just the PR version.

In a poem by Robert Service, The Men That Don’t Fit In , he claims, It’s the steady, quiet, plodding ones who win in the lifelong race.

I like to think it’s the bold, daring adventurous ones who win in the world of work, as long as they find their best cultural fit.

Aly AnlikerAly Anliker, Ed.M

Aly is a creative organizational and career consultant with over fifteen years of experience in Training Management, Executive Coaching and Instructional Design. She has a background in Human Resources and Marketing and has worked in a variety of industries including telecommunications, high technology, manufacturing and non-profit.



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