When seeking out your first full-time job or finding the right graduate school for you, there are about a million factors you could weigh. I’d like to take the time to highlight one such factor that should be near the top of your list, as it has a lot to do with how satisfied you are with your position: Culture Fit.
The culture of the organization or institution you’re applying to may seem like a trivial value to attach to such a big decision, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Job satisfaction has so much do to with how productive you feel, and naturally, success and productivity go hand in hand. Research performed by APA scholars also shows positive correlations between your mental and physical well-being and a workplace that is a good fit, along with supervisor support. Impressive titles and dollar signs are certainly significant, but there can be no price attached to feeling comfortable and happy at your work place.
When interviewing for a graduate program or full-time job, be proactive in asking about the culture of your site. How well do the co-workers get along? Are you working in isolation or heavily collaborating? What are some subtle differences that distinguish your would-be colleagues from this company compared to another company? These are all questions that should be considered throughout the application process. Not everything you will need to know about an opportunity can be found on an “About” page on a company website. Sometimes you have to do some digging.
Understanding when you lack a good fit with an organization first takes an understanding of your own values, personality, and interests. Career Coaches at the Walter Center for Career Achievement are happy to help you define these characteristics and make more informed decisions on matching YOU with a great Culture Fit.