Like the rest of the world right now, you might be mulling over whether your job is actually the right fit for you.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a wave of resignations to sweep the globe, with many taking pause and reevaluating the direction of their careers and personal lives. It’s been dubbed, the “Great Resignation” and us Aussies aren’t going to be spared.
So, if you’re having thoughts like:
Is this role fulfilling me?
Am I going to be able to progress in my career with my current company?
Am I being treated as well as I should be?
Rest assured, you’re not the only one.
And it’s no wonder — the majority of industries have been forced to re-evaluate the way they operate over the past two years, giving many of their employees a taste of flexibility and autonomy in their roles and putting company culture in the hot seat.
If you’re starting to consider switching roles, here’s how you can evaluate whether the culture at your current job is the right fit for you and what you should be looking out for when you start searching for a new opportunity.
Why culture is important
The culture of a workplace sets the tone for your working life, which is about one third of where/how most humans will spend their lifetime. That’s quite a bit of your life!
Your workplace culture isn’t purely based on how leadership and management conduct themselves, but also in the policies, practices and attitudes of the company as a whole.
In short, culture is the fundamental ideology underpinning an organisation.
The tangible effects of culture can be seen in how a company implements their values in the daily lives of its employees. Is job satisfaction a priority? Is team-building on the agenda? Do you dodge your boss at the water cooler or stay for a chat?
It all feeds into your motivation, satisfaction and productivity. A “good” company culture builds you up; a toxic one eats away at you.
How to evaluate the company culture at your current job
As the saying goes, one person's trash is another’s treasure, and the same thing applies to your ideal, or not so ideal culture-fit. But, generally speaking, these are the signs your workplace isn’t prioritising their culture.
People don’t stick around for the long haul
A quick way to determine whether the culture at your current job is “good” is by working out the company's “churn and burn” rate.
Do new people start all the time, but by the end of a year, hardly any of them are left? Happy, engaged employees who are offered opportunities for growth are likely to stay put.
There’ll always be a few lone cowboys who never leave, but outside those outliers, how long has everyone been at the company? Longevity is a great indicator of job satisfaction.
You don’t feel like you have a sense of direction in your job
How are achievements measured? Is there room for growth? Are you being offered opportunities to upskill? Do you feel appreciated and valued? These are all aspects that can amount to feeling a sense of direction and purpose in your role.
Not only does this include your own sense of direction, but the direction of the company, too. Is their mission and vision clear? Has it been communicated? Do you feel like your company is something you want to be part of?
Your aren’t satisfied with the way work gets done
The most obvious aspect of culture is the people. You likely have to see your team everyday, so making sure you all work well together is paramount to your individual and collective success.
What are the processes like? Are they overly complicated? Do you have guidance and support? Do you feel like your duties are clearly outlined and work is properly delegated? Are you lumped with more work then others — or maybe you’re not receiving enough and feel unchallenged?
How to find the right company culture for you
What are they offering you?
If companies are doing it right, they won’t just be posting a job ad — they’ll be trying to sell their company to you. What makes X such a great place to work? What are they offering you?
Do these incentives align with your wants and needs? Do they speak to your lifestyle?
What are their values?
This one is two-fold. Firstly, do their values align with yours? Can you see yourself getting behind this company and joining their mission?
Secondly, the very fact that a company lists their values means they’re aware of their culture and are trying to signal like-minded people to join them.
Of course, whether their values are being actively implemented in their workplace is another question altogether, but having awareness is a great indicator of what could follow.
Do they mention career development?
This can signal whether this company is invested in the success and development of their employees. Is there room for you to grow in this position? If a company is thinking long-term, they’ll want to nurture their employees to stick around.
How is their office culture described?
What makes their workplace unique? If you’re going to be spending a large chunk of your time in this environment, it’s best to work out from the get-go if it’s one you’ll thrive in or not.
Is it collaborative? Will you need to be a self-starter? Even things like if the office is chatty or quiet can tell you a lot about whether it’s the right culture for you.
Are they speaking in your language?
No, I don’t mean this literally (although, it would probably help).
Choice in language use can be a great indicator of how well a company knows their employee and their candidates. Is their ad littered with buzz words and clichés? Can you decipher what they’re looking for, or are you simply left scratching your head?
It’s also indicative of the work environment and level of formality. For instance, a more casual company might have a little more fun with their description. A company boasting a more corporate environment might err on the side of caution and keep things strictly professional.
Whichever route an ad takes, what’s most important is whether it resonates with you and the company culture you’re searching for.
Are you searching for a new position? Check out our job listings page to find your perfect culture-fit.