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5 Ways to Find a Culture Where You Can Thrive

Bonny Calfy | May 19, 2016

Corporate culture can be defined as various traits that form a working personality in a business. More and more companies are making it a priority to showcase their brand, so that a quick sweep of social networks or career pages provides job seekers a list of values, a general mission statement and an idea of how the employees like their work. But, do these candid images of the office and employees actually paint an accurate picture of how you will integrate with the existing team?

You may not believe culture is an important piece to successful employment, but more often than not, a job that doesn’t jive with your personality can cause unhappiness and your engagement to suffer.

So, how do you find a company that culturally fits your personality?

Start with research

It is pivotal to research the industry, company and leadership team to help tailor your résumé and prepare you for the interview. During this time of discovery, note how the company’s mission and values align with your own. If you tend to be a slow, methodical worker, take notice of the companies that advertise a fast-paced environment. But, don’t let this deter you from applying or interviewing. You might have a characteristic they desperately need and entering an interview with that type of self-awareness and confidence might just land you the job.

Connect with current and previous employees

The best way to truly understand the culture of a company is to be a part of it. Teams have unspoken rules in addition to a myriad of personalities. If possible, try to get in contact with people who already work for the company. If no one in your networking circle fits the bill, then branch out and check the social media profiles of people who publicly associate with the company. For instance, our blog likes to spotlight current Paycom employees so applicants get an idea of actual faces and personalities they might see when working with us.

Pay attention to communication

When you submit an application, you are joining a conversation. Your submission was a greeting and how a company responds should say a great deal about what the leadership values. If the response seems curt, be sure you can handle a team that is to the point and structured. Be on the lookout for small correspondence clues the company is giving you and be sure to follow candidate email etiquette. Additionally, though it would be ideal to always receive a response regardless if you’re being offered an opportunity for an interview, some companies simply won’t. Don’t be discouraged; just move on to others!

Gauge the atmosphere

Speaking of the interview, how does the office feel? Are there plenty of levels with areas for a team to brainstorm, or is it a sea of unique cubicles built for maximum concentration? Similar to how a home suits a resident, an office suits a company. If the space doesn’t seem like it will help you accomplish your goals, then chances are this isn’t the right fit for you.

Just ask!

Sometimes, however, looks are deceiving. So, if you wonder how a place will suit you and you landed an interview, ask the interviewer questions like:

  • What characteristics do your most successful employees share?
  • What is your favorite part of the company’s culture?
  • What would you change about the culture if you could?
  • How does the team approach a tight deadline?
  • How does the team approach a dispute or tough situation?

Finding the right job takes a great deal of self-discovery, including whether your skillset will best suit the business. And if you take the time to find out, you can discover a company culture that helps you thrive professionally.

About the author
Author picture, Bonny Calfy
Bonny Calfy
As Paycom’s recruitment marketer team lead, Bonny Calfy writes about such topics as human capital management, company culture, talent acquisition and career advice. Her brand-awareness efforts at Paycom have included launching Paycom Careers’ blog and social media channels, and producing several recruiting videos, all to help attract top talent nationwide. Outside of work, Bonny enjoys reading, fishing and spending time with her son and husband.