Whether you get your job through a permanent contract or through a gig, company culture goes a long way in enhancing the credibility and legitimacy of an organization.
The contract stipulates your working hours, salary payments, and levels of engagement. On your day of orientation to the company, you will be onboarded and given your job description.
Then the unexpected happens.
It’s a Sunday evening, a nice chill out with your family and friends, then you decide to check your phone, and the first text that pops up is from your manager, it says, “You should’ve responded to my email when I sent it.” That changes the entire mood.
How do you respond? What excuse will you give? How will you explain to him that it’s a weekend?
Your manager sent the mail the previous night looking for an update on a project that had been running for three months, and you, as the Project lead, need to give updates pertaining to the progress.
It’s very easy to realize that it’s a top-down problem that percolates from boss to boss, all of whom expect their direct reports to drop everything and answer an email as soon as they hit send.
This is a work cultural issue, and at the time, you may have no power to change the company culture. Unless you wanted a pang of anxiety to accompany every message in my inbox, you would feel the pressure to exit the company.
Company culture is often overlooked. It is the shared values, goals, attitudes, and practices that characterize a workplace. It is reflected in how people behave, interact with each other, make decisions, and do their work. It impacts everything — including your happiness and career.
Whether you’re entering the job market for the first time or switching roles to find a more suitable work environment, take the time to learn about the culture of every company you apply to. How:
- Check the company website and social media. This will give you an understanding of their mission as well as indications of how employees interact.
- Research: Ask around your networks and find someone who has worked with the company before or knows someone who did. This will help you get some inside information about how things are done
- Ask the employer: During the interview, ask a question or two that can help you understand the company’s culture. Don’t be afraid to do so as it will give you a glimpse on how the team interacts and grows together.
You’ll be spending the majority of your waking hours at your job. It makes sense to give some thought to what kind of place you will thrive in and the kind of people you will most enjoy interacting with. This will go a long way in ensuring the success of your career.