For people who want a meaningful career, workplace culture is important. We all want to work in a place that is supportive, empowering, and aligned with our lifestyles. It’s important that the next organization we work for embodies the workplace culture we want. But how do you decide if an organization’s culture is right for you?
Assessing culture is hard. You can collect a few anecdotes from people who work there and compare that with how the organization talks about itself. But that’s a lot of work for a pretty incomplete picture of that organization’s culture. We need a more direct approach.
When exploring the culture and values of organizations with Mission Driven participants, I’ve started to reframe the question from, “what do you want an organization’s culture to be like?” to “What do you want to bring to an organization’s culture?”
You create your own reality
This simple reframe puts you in control of your own experience. You have the freedom and agency to create a work environment that aligns with the life you want to lead. You can be excited about the challenges you get to solve. You can bring fun and energy to your meetings. You can create space for your team to bond. Start by defining the culture you want to create around you.
Will you fit in?
Now that you understand what culture you want to create, it’s time to assess how that will fit into a potential organization. This is much easier to assess than trying to uncover the culture of an organization. Instead of asking about work-life balance, you can say, “I like to get in early, get things done, and then get out while the sun’s still up so I can enjoy a bit of time outside. Do you think I’ll have the opportunity to do that here?”
We all want to be part of a great workplace culture. But, it’s very hard to find great culture if you’re not willing help create it. Get clear about what you want to bring to an organization and you’ll start finding organizations that would love to have you.