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Don’t forget about company culture when job hunting

Today, Lauren’s parents’ dog, Max, came to visit us in the office for the second time since we’ve moved into our new space. Although none of us actually owns a dog, we have definitely become a “dog friendly” company and it wouldn’t be a problem if one of us suddenly became parents to a furry little bundle of joy.

That got us thinking about what we call “fit.” Students tend to get so tied up in the job description or the reputation of the company that they completely forget about what we think is the most important thing to consider before you take a job: the company culture.

Yes, salary, benefits, and opportunities for advancement are very important. However, the number one reason students and recent grads leave jobs is because it’s not a good fit for them. It just doesn’t feel right.

“Fit” can be a tough thing to determine from the outside, but there are a few ways you can see if an organization is right for you:

  • During the interview process pay attention to what’s going on in the office or on the job site when you visit for the interview(s). Is it the kind of environment you can see yourself being comfortable in?
  • Ask around to see if you know anyone who works there (or who used to work there) and, if you do, ask them to elaborate on the environment.
  • Job shadowing is a great way to spend some time at an organization without committing to a job. You’ll have to do some pretty serious networking to line this up, but it will ultimately be worth it.
  • Do an internship at the organization for a semester or for the summer. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to stay, but you will get some great experience under your belt while you’re at it.

Remember, figuring out what you don’t like is sometimes just as important as figuring out what you do like, so any negative experiences you have will ultimately help you find that great fit.

Many of the organizations featured on TalentEgg are doing a great job communicating their fit to students and recent grads.

For example, Pason has on-site fitness facilities, including pilates, yoga classes, foosball, ping pong and an outdoor ball hockey area (check out this video to see those activities in action). Pason also prides itself on treating interns and co-op students the same way they treat its permanent employees.

Another company that is great at communicating its culture is Softchioce, which is dog-friendly just like TalentEgg! Check out this video for some footage of some of the dogs and their owners at work.

When it comes to “fit,” what’s important to you?

Written by

Cassandra Jowett is TalentEgg's Content Manager. She joined the team as a student intern in the summer of 2008, and since then her heart has never really left the Egg Carton. Cassandra is a recent graduate of the Ryerson University School of Journalism, where she earned a Bachelor of Journalism with a focus in writing and editing for newspapers. She has also written and edited for The Globe and Mail, The National Post, t.o.night newspaper and other publications.

2 comments

  1. May 28, 2010 at 10:26 am

    Company culture is so important. You don’t want to end up going to work everyday and not be able to be comfortable or yourself. Ideally though you want to continue to better yourself and gain skills, you want a work place that values who you are and what you are about.

  2. Carley
    June 4, 2010 at 9:21 am

    I completely agree that fit is important. I could never see myself in a hyper-competitive, stuffy business environment. This is what I associate with an internship at, for example, a top law firm or corporation on Bay Street and while I’m ambitious, I wouldn’t see this environment as ideal for me.

    It’s easier to pinpoint what I don’t want than what I do, but from past experience I have identified a few preferences in terms of fit. I value a relaxed, though still professional, atmosphere. I like an organization that encourages questions to facilitate understanding or invites new ways of doing things. Though most organizations will be based on a hierarchy, I appreciate places that give everyone at the table a voice.

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