When it comes to looking for a new job, do you find yourself just itching to take whatever you can get? Have you convinced yourself that it’s impossible to know if you’ll truly like a company until you start working there?
If you’re guilty, you’re not alone. Most people approach their job search the same way, and it’s the reason tons of people end up in jobs they don’t like. But it’s not because it’s impossible to find a company you will enjoy, it’s because you likely don’t know how to find it.
If you want to change that, then company culture is one of the main things you must start paying attention to before you accept an offer, or even apply for a job. Put plainly, company culture is the personality of a company. It’s the work environment, values, mission and goals of the company. It’s how employees interact – or don’t interact.
The best company for you is a company that aligns with your values, goals and work style, and here are three steps you can take to increase your chances of finding the best company for you in 2020:
Assess your current company culture
Before you can find the best company for you, the first step is to get clear on the type of company culture that fits your needs. The easiest way to do that is to think about what you’re missing right now in your current company.
Maybe there isn’t much diversity and inclusion at your company and you’d like to work around more people of color. Maybe working cross-departmentally isn’t the norm at your company and you’d rather work at a company where you’re able to interact with different teams more frequently. Maybe the people at your company are too competitive and you’d rather work at a company where everyone is working together to achieve a common goal. Or, maybe your company is too collaborative and you’d prefer more autonomy and the ability to work independently.
This isn’t an exhaustive list, but these are the type of things you want to consider when thinking about the type of company culture that would best fit your needs and goals. But, don’t just focus on the things that are missing at your current company, evaluate the qualities you do enjoy and would like to have in your next company to ensure you have a full picture of the most important things you need to thrive in your next role.
Find companies that align with you
When searching for new positions, most people just read job descriptions and think, “I can make it work,” and then fire away at applying. Or, they hear about job openings from recruiters and immediately start thinking about how they can go after the role. But, instead, before you even apply, you should stop and think, “Is this the right fit for me?”
There are various ways to determine if a company is right for you before you even apply. Sure, you can’t be 100% certain that the company is right for you. But, you can definitely eliminate the companies that aren’t. Do your research by checking the company website and reading between the lines. Look at their about page, their team page and their careers page. Check LinkedIn to discover what you can about other people who work there. Check the news to see what people are saying about the company. Look at Glassdoor and the company’s social media pages. Pay attention to the things the company talks about and how the company portrays itself. Connect with people who work there and ask them about their experiences. Your goal should be to get a holistic perspective about the company, before your first day.
Plus, when researching, applying and interviewing you should always be asking yourself, “Does it seem like I would enjoy working here?”
Be ruthless in your job search
Recognize that you’re in control of where you go and don’t ignore the signs. Recently, a client told me that now that she realizes the type of company culture she desires, she never would’ve accepted her current position. All the signs were there when she walked into her first in-person interview, but she took the job anyway. Don’t make that mistake. Interview the company just as much as they’re interviewing you. Trust your gut, and don’t waste your time on companies you know deep down aren’t right for you.
On the flip side, be diligent and strategic with showing companies that are right for you that you are right for them. Prove to them that you not only can succeed in the role but also on the team and in the company. Show them that you understand their culture and why it resonates and aligns with you. This will help them see, before they even hire you, that you’ll fit right in and add value.
Of course, no company is perfect and every opportunity comes with elements you may not fully enjoy, but when you’re clear on the most important things you need to feel fulfilled at work and when you know how to look for them, you’ll have a better chance of transitioning to a company where you love what you do, who you work with and where you work.
Adunola Adeshola coaches high-achievers on how to take their careers to the next level and secure the positions they’ve been chasing. Grab her free guide.