Before you commit to anyone or anything I want you to know that there is an ideal or right place for you.
The idea of a culture fit lies on the premise of a ‘perfect match.’
A fit happens when an individual finds the appropriate organization (environment) where his or her talents are adequately nurtured, valued, developed and rewarded. This concept is similar to how certain fruits thrive in some climates. Human talents and abilities also have natural ‘sweet spots’ where it’s fruits can easily blossom. It is your responsibility to find that unique environment that is integral to your success.
My personal story
I stumbled upon this phenomenon right after college, more than 20 years ago. I was honored and felt great to be ‘courted’ by firms and I can still remember vividly how special the on-campus recruiting teams made some of us feel.
While I was absolutely unaware of the cerebral nuances of culture, I found myself depending more on my hunch as I spoke to different organizations. It was an intuitive process of ranking my options. I would proceed with onsite visits to validate my rankings and assumptions.
However, I made a mistake…
As I negotiated my deal, I gravitated towards Company A that offered a slightly higher pay than Company B, which had more of the intangibles that were suited towards my long term success. As I accepted the offer, I knew something wasn’t right.
I tried to comfort myself with the mantra that money cures all ills, as I accepted the offer. Honestly, right away I knew I had made a mistake. After a few ‘troubling’ days agonizing over my decision, I reached out to the recruiter for Company B that I had spurned and admitted my lapse in judgment. I admitted that I had made a mistake and would like to reverse my decision. Long story short, I was presented with a second chance and I gladly accepted that job offer.
I learned an important lesson about cultural fit and would like to share some thoughts on the key attributes to consider as well as the questions to ask during your next business engagement, job interview, partnership or contract work arrangement, employment, or project.
5 Questions To Ask Before You Accept A Job Offer
Ask who defines, protects, guides and manages the values or mores of the venture, team, organization or company?
Do note the subtle differences between sets, protects (enforces), guides (preserves) and manages (handles)
Ask how does the organization treat her most precious assets – people. How people are treated is vital. Ask the employees questions, go online and do some searches as well. Especially how those that do not have a voice or visible. Are they held in high esteem as well?
Ask for the symbols that itemize the values of the organizations and seek to understand their meaning. The symbols reveal what is important to the organization
What are the stories that are valued highly and representative of the core values of the company. These stories tell the tales of courage, excellence and the virtues held dear by the organization.
Ask about the process of communication within the organization. How does information travel? Who reports on issues first and are employees empowered to communicate? Where do employees get their information? What channels are used by the leadership team to disseminate information?
In conclusion, it is important for the applicant to remember that culture can not be separated from leadership and before an offer is accepted it is imperative that due diligence has been performed. I wish you unending success in your next assignment, engagement, and interactions.
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