Company culture: Finding the right fit for you

Job interviews should go both ways. The candidate is trying on the workplace for size and comfort, so doing one’s homework and asking lots of questions will help make that crucial decision.

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A friend recently told me about some serious reservations that she’s been having at her new workplace.

After she likened the competitive nature of her colleagues to “The Hunger Games,” I can’t blame her for reconsidering her decision to accept the position.

My friend’s recent revelation got me thinking about the job search process and how we young professionals often become so focused on how we’re the right fit for the employer that we forget to consider whether the company culture is right for us.

Though most of us have heard the term “company culture,” I’d argue that it’s still one of those ambiguous catchall phrases that can be difficult to describe. In a 2013 New York Times article, Josh Patrick of Stage 2 Planning Partners defined office culture as “what you value, what is important for you and your company.”

When considering what we value most in a job, among the first things likely to come to mind are salary and benefits. Though salary’s undoubtedly important, in researching for this post and talking with a few friends, I found that money isn’t everything and that our generation has come to equally value the workplace itself. We sometimes even accept a lower salary for a more suitable culture.

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