So you have branded yourself, and hopefully, you now know YOU and your own brand better than anyone else (if not, maybe read previous blogs and visit the CLDC). Now you feel ready to market that brand and land the best position for you. How do you integrate finding a workplace culture that best suits YOU into the job search plan?
First, what do I mean by workplace culture? Well, think about the conditions that you and your brand will need in order to thrive! You want to continue to develop and grow in your new role, and you will grow best in the proper workplace culture. How will you know what culture is best for you? Take a hard look at your brand. Remember those values, skills, interests, and strengths? Now they will help you to also determine what you are looking for in a workplace culture that best suits you.
What do you need to thrive? Do you want hands-off supervision, hands-on, maybe somewhere in between? Do you want a work environment where the office team hits the golf-course together, or where work and play are totally separate? Do you want an opportunity to telework? Do you want an office where kids and dogs are always welcome, or maybe you do not want to see any dogs at the office? Do you hope for an office environment that is full of fresh college graduates or mid-career professionals?
What are some deal-breakers for you? Do you need a culture that supports work-life balance? Do you need strong attention to accessibility services? What if they do not recycle?
Some of the best ways to research workplace culture in advance are to check out their VALUES. What does this organization say that they live and work by? You may find their core values on their website. Perhaps they will list values like diversity, humility, respect, passion, accountability, inclusion, safety, learning, having fun! Take a look at your own values and how they might mesh or clash with prospective employers.
And then ask questions about these values in the interview process. Hopefully, the organization is truly embracing their values, but sometimes what we say and what we do are two different things. Consider asking your own questions, such as: can you tell me how your organization practices inclusion? Or what are some of the ways that this office promotes learning? If there is something you care about that you do not see in their core values, go ahead and ask about that too. It might be good to know how they support learning and professional development. Listen to how they answer and decide if you are satisfied with the answer. Did it seem genuine? Remember you are interviewing them as well, and you deserve a work culture that allows you to thrive!
Here are a few of the conditions I look for in a workplace: co-workers, do I trust them and are they friendly; supervisor, will they let me think outside the box and run on my own (most of the time); can I wear my Chaco sandals to the office; can I close my door and do yoga at lunch; do they recycle; is my little boy welcome to stop by and check out momma’s work; do they value inclusion?
If you are seeking resources or want to dig deeper into workplace culture and what suits YOU, come and see us at the CLDC!
By Jamie Dahl, CLDC Assistant Director for Hospitality, Merchandising and Recreation