Figuring out where you want to work is not easy. It is more than just looking for companies with open positions and then firing off a few resumes. Ideally, you want to apply and work at places where you feel like you fit in and do not have to force a personality you are not comfortable with.
But assessing corporate culture is no easy feat, especially as an outsider. But do not worry, anyone can learn how to evaluate a company and its culture.
What is company culture?
Simply put, company culture refers to the attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs of a company and its employees. It manifests in the way managers treat workers, how co-workers interact, and the overall dynamic within the workplace.
Put differently, an organization's culture defines the proper way to behave within that organization.
How to assess organizational culture?
When you are within an organization, it is easy to get a pulse on the job culture. But how can you go about assessing corporate culture from the outside?
Assessing workplace culture as an applicant is not only possible, but it should also be a filtering mechanism used by everyone when considering a new position. (Not to mention, it will really help you prepare for the common, inevitable interview question: why do you want to work for this company?)
Here are a few ways to go about assessing company culture:
1. Consult your network
One of the best, and most effective ways to evaluate a company’s culture is to look within your network to see if you know anyone who works there or has worked there.
If you do not know anyone who has worked for the company you are trying to evaluate, find someone who has some kind of working relationship with the business and who may be able to give you a good perspective.
If you are working with a recruiter, this is something you should be asking him or her.
2. Ask about workplace culture during interviews
Another great way to go about assessing company culture is to ask the person interviewing you. And you do not have to be coy about it. You can be very straightforward: How would you describe the culture here?
Of course, you cannot fully trust an unbiased answer from an interviewer, but it is much better than nothing.
3. Explore social media
Exploring social media can give you a good flavor of a company’s culture.
Companies that have a progressive, fun, and outgoing social media style likely have the same internal behavior. Conversely, a company that has little social media presence and a more traditional advertising approach are likely to be a more formal work environment.
4. Search online
And finally, you can never go wrong by relying on Google when figuring out how to evaluate company culture.
The internet is full of forums and online communities where people will discuss former and current employers. Once again, this information is not always unbiased, but you can find some to be very helpful and can use them to broaden your network and speak with current employees.
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