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Culture, Culture, Culture

It took me two jobs to find the right fit. Two applications, multiple interviews, two first days, and two last days to finally find the perfect cocktail of corporate zen. In each job that preceded my current role, I had the same thoughts regarding how this one would be better than the last or how I could rationalize the things that seemed amiss. Both times I left my previous jobs I began to question (and doubt) myself, my skill set, and how I was going to navigate the next position with these unanswered questions looming.

The answer was right in front of me, it just did not visualize itself until at my current role: culture.

Corporate culture is more alive now than ever before given the shift in generational workforces. The slow attrition of Baby Boomers replaced by Generation X,Y, Millennials, and whatever the heck those younger folks are called has posed a unique challenge to companies in identifying and embracing what these other groups want in an employer...and they’re all different! Such a seismic shift in the workforce, combined with the technological revolution of the late 2000’s has created a spectrum so large it’s almost unmanageable.

Candidates now have employers that require consistent office presence - AKA 9-5 at the desk with an hour for lunch - to those that encourage working from home and rarely require more than a speedo as far as dress code is concerned. What is the modern applicant to do with such a dichotomy of options? Even if you are a great fit for a position functionally, how can you decide if you’re a fit culturally...without taking the job?

While I don’t have all the answers, I can share some tips that helped me find the right fit:

  • Ask the interviewers: don’t give them the easy out and let them dictate all the questions. Any interview is nothing more than a conversation, and you deserve your fair share. Research the company, know their online presence, and ask the tough questions like, “What does your turnover look like?” Those are often all the answer you need

  • Ask for more interviewers: Often times you are interviewing with someone who is so overly enthusiastic it’s nauseating or someone who works for a recruitment company that have never set foot in the office.

  • Think critically: How do you feel when you talk to the employees at each company? Are you going to be able to be yourself, or do you need to fit some pre-existing mold? Are you the smartest person in the room? The dumbest?

Believe me, doing a great job in a poor setting is not simply something you can overlook. It will catch up and it will lead to more interviewing.

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