When I was first starting in my career, I knew nothing about company culture and how important it is to job satisfaction. I think even the ideas that companies, and in some cases industries have a prevailing culture was foreign to me. Now, what I did know starting off in my early stages, while temping in various industries, was that I found some companies to be stiff and boring. I am often thankful for the time I spent temping because I got a first row view of how companies and industries operate without feeling too invested or overly concerned about moving up or progressing in the company. As an actor, I felt these places were just a pit stop and a way to pay the bills without having to wait tables, which I've also done.
So for all of you who are working on building a career and not just trying to pay the bills until your big break comes, paying attention to company culture is a great way to increase your career satisfaction and success at work. When we were kids thinking about what we wanted to do when we grew up, no one asked us how we thought we would fit into or like the company culture, but it is definitely time for us to ask ourselves now.
This may be the point where you are asking yourself, what I mean by company culture, as I too feel like it is a word that gets thrown around a lot, without a lot of explanation. A company’s culture is the set of values, norms and social rules that determine everyday life, from the reporting structure, to the seating chart and dress code, all of these things help to shape the kinds of employees and interactions you will be dealing with on a day to day level.
In my research, I have found that there are four basic company cultures, ones driven by hierarchy and rigid policies, competitive sales driving cultures, team oriented cultures, and flexible cultures that thrive on change. Taking the time to do self-discovery work and career related research will help you determine which culture is right for you. Working within a structure that meshes with your values and work style goes a long way towards creating career satisfaction. It ensures that you are in an environment that fosters your development and speaks to the way you think and feel about your career.