"Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first."
   — Mark Twain

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Corporate Culture: Hard to Gauge But Even Harder to Live With a Bad Fit

The topic of cultural fit seems to be one that has a rich vein to it. The panel at the Soriee just cut down below the surface; there seems so much more to this amorphous sounding, jelly-like acting aspect of the job search. The fact is if your new company is not a good fit culturally, it won’t work out. One MPNer recently left a company and as he did he said in an off-hand way that the company felt like the English empire. Now, given the fact that he is of Irish heritage, you can guess what his underlying feelings were. Not too favorable, to say the least. In another case, a candidate went into a company for a lengthy round of interviews, which she thought went extremely well; the other side felt differently. They saw her as too focused on selling herself and not focused enough on collaboration; since their culture has a very definite belief in team work and quality of work, her salesy approach did not measure up. In a third case, an MPNer was working in a very toxic environment—lots of back biting and ass covering—so when he heard from a friend about another company that sounded better, he jumped. He’s done fine; there indeed was water in the pool. However, the CEO is an egotist of the first order and it’s either his way or the highway. Needless to say, this MPNer is already out driving around looking for a more congenial, and culturally appropriate place that’s worthy of his impressive talents. As you go about researching companies think first of who you are and what kind of culture you thrive in, and then seek out a culture that fits your needs. Look for the red flags, the little signs that make your stomach tighten, and the underlying tone of the company. Remember, it’s your choice just as much as it is theirs. It’s really about your time…and whether you spend it in a culturally suitable environment.

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