How to find a good work culture

How to find a good work culture

“My workplace is toxic”, “My boss is an absolute narcissist”, “My colleagues are annoying/talking behind my back/just keeping to themselves”

I’m sure you can give more examples of things people say that indicates that the culture where they work isn’t great. Maybe you’ve got stories of your own even? In all honestly…I think most of us do.

Finding a new job in an organisation with a work culture you’ll love is easier said than done, as you’ll learn the most about a culture by experiencing it firsthand, but there are definitely some things you can do to increase your odds of finding the right fit! Here are our top 6 tips:

1. Research!

You can learn a lot about a company by scanning their website, their social media accounts and LinkedIn. How they speak of their employees is a big one to look out for, their values and how they implement them another one.

2. Consult with current or former employees

Do you know of glassdoor.com? It’s a website where people can review companies and anonymously give their thoughts and opinions on the culture, pay, management and more. To access all reviews, you must be a member, but it’s free. With that said, remember to take it with a grain of salt, as negative voices are generally much louder than positive ones… Seek and Indeed also have similar review pages on their websites.

The other way is to make good use of the world’s no 1 platform for professionals – LinkedIn! Get in touch with current or former employees and ask for their opinion, and maybe even an informational interview over a cup of coffee. It may feel a bit awkward to reach out to strangers at first but if it can help you understand whether a job opportunity is a step in the right direction or a waste of your time, then I’d say it’s worth it.

3. Consider the industry and the sort of people who tend to be drawn to it

What many people forget about when they leave a job because of cultural issues is that they may actually need to reconsider the whole industry in order to avoid falling back on the same merry-go-round. Do you feel like the people you work with are “your kind of people”? Are you interested in hearing what they did on the weekend, and do you enjoy chitchatting with them over lunch? If not, then maybe you just don’t have much in common, which can truly be enough to make you feel unmotivated to go to work on a Monday morning and to last long-term in the organisation.

So, ask yourself what kind of people you easily get along with! Do you enjoy working with people who are tech-savvy? Who are motivated to make the world a better place? Who are passionate about fitness? Or who are known to skip the small talk, just get to work and achieve results? Are you better suited to a male- or female-dominated industry? To a purpose-driven organisation or a profit-driven organisation? These things aren’t completely black-or-white but can often give you some great clues to where you really belong.

4. Consider the size of the company

This one is also often overlooked! Are you the type of person who enjoys being part of a large organisation where there are well-established processes and procedures to follow – or would you like it better in an organisation where you can challenge those processes, and where you can go directly to speak to your boss if you want to? As humans, we tend to swing one way or another. Either the lack of structure in a workplace would get on your nerves, or you want the freedom to easily share your thoughts and opinions. Where do you sit on that scale? Similar to point 3, a good culture fit isn’t all about the company – it’s also about you and what you need to feel supported.

5. Ask questions in the interview!

At the end of an interview, when they ask you whether you have any questions for them, do yourself a favour and take that opportunity! We’ve got a whole module as part of our packages that covers the very best questions to ask and what to do at the end of an interview to give yourself an edge, and to figure out if the fit is right for you. Our Career Accelerator Program has real examples and conversation templates on this- book a free 20 minutes to see how we can help.

6. Look out for the red flags!

Some examples:
– A very high turnover. Sometimes a Google search can be helpful but you can also check how long employees have been working for a company on LinkedIn, if you can notice a pattern of staff not staying for long, it could be a red flag.

– The vibe of the workplace. When you wait to be invited to the interview, take the opportunity to look around, and if you want to, ask to have a walk through the office space you’d be working in. What’s the general mood of your potential teammates? What’s the energy level in the room like? Do people seem very stressed or do they make time to say hi and make you feel welcome? If employees love their work and their workplace, you can usually tell.

– A bad interview experience. Did the hiring manager actually not seem that interested in you? Or do you feel they were almost trying to convince you to take the job? Was their body language not congruent with their words? Sometimes we just need to trust our gut. If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.

Check out Kate’s video in using your intuition at interviews.

If you’ve made it to the end of this blog, maybe you’re also considering a change for the better. Trust me, there are plenty of good companies out there and I would wish for everyone to experience what a good culture fit feels like. It can be completely life-changing.

Get in touch if you’re ready for your next career move – the team is here to help you make a smooth transition! Click below to book a free 20-minute chat to get you started!

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