Finding the Right Fit: Assessing an Organization’s Culture in Your Job Search
As Summer & graduation looms near, you may be scrambling to get job applications completed, but how much thought are you putting into the places you apply to? Sure, they may be one of the highest-ranked businesses in their industry, but have you looked into their workplace culture? Bottom line: will you be happy working there?
I’ll admit workplace culture wasn’t something I considered when I was first applying to jobs. The eagerness to be employed landed me at a place that valued paper over people. I took a second shot at the job market and joined an organization (where I’m at now) that’s been on Modern Healthcare’s Best Places to Work list for four years in a row.
There IS a way to find your best fit right off the bat. Here are my tips for assessing an organization’s culture in your job search:
- “Our People” Pages Are Important: While you’ve likely looked at the “What We Do” page on a company’s website, look for any pages dedicated to their employees: this can tell you a lot about a company. The ones who post employee bios (or at least a page thanking their staff) show they’ll truly take the time to make sure their employees know they’re valued. Bonus: Bios are also a great way to see the type of people who work there!
- It’s Okay to Ask About Benefits: From health insurance to catered lunches, it’s important to know what their benefits package entails. Though it shouldn’t be the first question to ask, it can definitely be one of them! Companies who care about employees will be eager to tell you about their perks, because added perks demonstrates they’re willing to invest in their employee’s happiness.
- Check out their Office Space: Sometimes this can be hard if you’re applying remotely, but seeing the space you could be working in can help you determine if that atmosphere will be a good fit. Do the people working there look happy? What’s the layout like? What kind of decorations/personalization are on the walls? Think about the type of spaces you are most productive in and compare.
- Did we just become best friends?! Pay attention to how well you get along with your interviewer. Interviews are serious business, but your comfort level with potential co-workers is something to take note of. While these are people you are trying to impress, they shouldn’t make you feel inferior.
- Check their References: You know they’ll be checking yours, but what do people have to say about them? If you can, get a current or past employee’s take on the company (just make sure they’re a trustworthy source!).
Work is work but it’s still possible to like your 9-5—let me be a testament to that 🙂
Julie Champagne, ‘15
Associate Marketing Consultant