There has been a lot of talk in recent years about company culture and values, but too often it comes from the perspective of businesses trying to find the right employees to match their company values rather than the other way around.
More and more workers are intentionally looking for positions at companies that have culturally-matching values. Indeed, working for a company that is a cultural match can mean the difference between having a happy and long career in which you can develop further and being stuck in a job that sucks the life out of you.
The thing to remember is you are the master of your own destiny. You do not have to get stuck working for a company that does not match your cultural values. Sure, it means spending more time looking at company culture as part of your job search.
But if you are looking for a long-term position with the opportunity to develop your skills further, you need to find a job you love and fits your values.
When the workplace culture is in line with the things that matter to you most, you are much more likely to have a fulfilling career.
Know What You Want
When you use an employer review site that enables you to find a company centered around things like inclusion, purpose, flexibility, and growth, it is much easier to find a company to work for that is a good cultural match.
But before you begin scouring different employers and positions, you first need to identify precisely what your values are and what you want your company culture to consist of. You cannot find a culturally-matching employer if you do not know what you are looking for.
Working for a company that strongly values diversity and inclusion could be an important factor, as could finding a company that has a strong environmental sustainability ethic.
You may also want to work for a company that values a creative and collaborative environment, provides you with the opportunity to create a good work/life balance, and offers flexible options like partial remote working or longer vacation times.
Of course, you will also want to find a company in which you have options to develop, so look for businesses that offer things like training and shadowing opportunities and are supportive of growth and learning.
How to Find a Culturally-Matching Company
In addition to using the best job search sites that enable you to find companies that fit your criteria, there are other ways of finding a company that matches your values and needs.
Start by researching companies you have potential interest in. These days, it is easy to go online and find out what a company’s mission statement and company culture is.
Look at specific companies’ websites and other online content to find out as much as you can about any company you are thinking of working for. You should pay attention to the wording the companies use, too.
For instance, if their claims of being environmentally friendly are vague and not backed up with facts or if the language used seems non-inclusive, they are probably not the right companies for you; especially when inclusiveness and sustainability are important factors of your search for the right company.
Once you have performed initial research into companies you are considering working for, use the following methods to enhance your search for a culturally-matching business.
To find out whether a company’s culture is all words and no action, you need to dig a little deeper. A good way of doing that is to connect with employees or ex-employees of a company you are considering working for.
Ask your contacts if they know of anyone who works for the company you are looking at, and make connections with employees and ex-employees on social media.
Once you have found some of the company’s employees, ask them if they would be happy to answer a few questions. You can then find out what it is really like to work for any company you are considering.
To get real value from the employees, spend some time coming up with suitable questions in advance.
Expand Your Search
If you only look at well-known companies as potential employers, you are massively narrowing down your options.
Yes, it is often easier to find out about the values, ethics, and company culture of a large company than it is a small one, and connect with the company’s employees, but there is a big world out there.
Many small and mid-sized companies will provide the cultural match you are looking for. Indeed, by expanding your search, you are sure to find more businesses that tick all of your boxes.
Interview the Company
When a good cultural match and the opportunity for career development are at the top of your job wish list, you need to go into an interview armed with lots of questions.
Yes, like any interview, you need to make sure that you wow, but you also need to remember to put the shoe on the other foot and interview the prospective employer.
In addition to checking the business’s values and company culture, you should ask about education opportunities, the company’s management and leadership styles, the opportunity to progress, and anything else that you consider to be relevant for finding a good cultural match.
The good news is, more and more companies are becoming aware of the importance of values and adopting new methods to provide both employees and customers with what they want. That means it is easier to find a company that matches your cultural needs.
Driven by consumer and workforce demand, things like ethical sourcing of materials, inclusiveness of all races, genders, and so on, and providing employees with flexible work options, are becoming the norm in many businesses.
When you spend time coming up with your own values and researching the values and missions of different companies, you will not only be able to more easily find a company to work for that is on the same page. You will also be able to work for a company that enables you to develop your career.