Finding the Right Corporate Culture for You


Sometimes, that all “too-perfect” new job can turn sour after just a few short months because of the corporate culture and/or internal politics. So, how can you avoid this happening to you? Although assessing a corporate culture can be difficult, there are some things you can do before you accept the job.


The first step toward determining whether you will be a good match for a company is to know yourself well and to know your values. You have to be clear about what you want from this next role and/or company. Are you seeking intellectual stimulation, a family-friendly environment, a social outlet, or work-life balance?


The next step is to use the job interview and your networking interviews to determine if the particular employer’s culture and work environment is aligned with your core values. Here are five questions that you can ask to help you determine if your prospective company has the right corporate culture for you:


  • What three words or phrases would you use to describe the company/department culture?


  • Does the company have a stated set of cultural values?


  • What is the company’s attitude toward educational and professional development?


  • What type of employee achievements are recognized by the employer?


  • What type of sponsorships or philanthropic activities does the company participate in?


After asking all of these questions, listen carefully to see if the adjectives they use are a good fit with your values, and whether they address camaraderie, career-development opportunities, work-life initiatives, lifelong learning, or advancement?


Also, be observant when you are at their office during your interviews. Do people look happy and appear that they are having fun? Does the senior management team sit in cubes like everyone else or do they have fancy lush offices? Does the office layout promote collaboration between departments? Are people eating lunch at their desk alone, or in groups in a cafeteria?


All of this information will help you determine if your prospective company has the right culture for you. Reviewing these factors and being honest with yourself are key to your career success.