When considering a job offer, you want to think about if the company culture connects with your work style and values.
“It’s a set of values that govern the way business is handled. In organizations that embrace its culture, it can be a significant driver of performance and employee satisfaction. The culture can be written and documented or it can be unstated and developed over time,” Paul Dughi for Ivy Exec explains.
If a company’s culture is completely divergent from your own, you likely wouldn’t be happy working there. However, there are certainly instances where you connect with a company’s mission but realize you’re not a culture fit when you start a new job.
“Culture fit” is connected with company culture, but it focuses primarily on the personalities of the people within an organization. For instance, a company may want to preserve its non-hierarchical, informal personality.
While candidates can likely get a sense of the organization’s personality in interviews, they may find that they’re unprepared for some of the day-to-day expectations. Here, we’ll discuss what to do in three scenarios at a new company where you’re not a complete cultural fit.
Some colleagues like to spend time with each other outside of work. Maybe they have happy hours once a week or regular gatherings during the workday to celebrate birthdays.
A collegial environment like this can be a shock to some introverts’ systems. But if you’re feeling this way, the first step is to ask yourself, what is the problem here? Is it that you feel that your colleagues know each other better? Do you feel like you’re the odd man out in their inside jokes?
Once you identify what’s bothering you, the next step is connecting with your coworkers, even one-on-one if that is less intimidating to you. You may feel more comfortable interacting in social situations if you have an ally or a closer bond.
What’s more, you don’t have to attend every gathering. While you probably couldn’t skip every get-together in a social office, you don’t have to spend every weeknight with them if you don’t want to.
You may start working at a company with a highly-ambiguous culture. For instance, you could be hired for a role that doesn’t have a clear purpose or at an organization that is undergoing a structural change.
Indeed offers suggestions for managing an ambiguous workplace culture, including:
In your previous workplaces, you may have grown accustomed to having a supervisor who ultimately made all the decisions. In your new workplace, the structure is more collaborative.
This kind of structure can feel uncertain when you’re used to something else. Again, decide what your discomfort is about. Do you need clearer outcomes in your projects? Bring up this need to your colleagues. Talk to your team members about the ways you feel you are best able to contribute and what you bring to the table.
You can also discuss your fears with your supervisor. That way, they can offer you suggestions about working more collaboratively, rather than throwing you into the deep end and letting you figure it out alone. Communication about your expectations and working style are imperative.
When you start at a new company, there are going to be adjustments. You likely grew accustomed to how your former workplace operated and needed time to make modifications. Adapting to your new company while staying true to yourself takes time.
However, if you feel that you are not going to be successful in your role because of culture fit, you may want to re-evaluate if the company is a place you want to commit to long term. After all, according to Direct of Talent Lindsay Evans, “Studies show that employees who share their company’s values and fit with the culture have higher job satisfaction, superior job performance and greater retention.”
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