The Importance of Company Culture & Finding the Right Fit

Colleagues laughing together.

Not everybody gets along, but getting along at work can be pretty important. Working at a company with the right company culture and values can partially determine whether you enjoy your time at work or whether you dread heading to the office every morning.

The importance of company culture extends far beyond just enjoying your work. It’s also about how your personal and career goals align with the company and making the most of your time at the office.

What Does Company Culture Mean?

Individuals have unique personalities -- and companies are collections of individuals. As such, every company will have its own collective personality, which is more commonly known as its “company culture.” These differences help define the values and expectations of the company. As a result, they shape the experience of working with a specific organization.

There are many elements of company culture, each of which may have an impact on the morale of employees. Some companies may highly value teamwork, while others may prefer to foster independence. Some may cultivate a highly competitive environment between employees, others may prefer a sense of cooperation. Because the environment you work in will invariably affect your productivity, the importance of company culture even impacts how well you perform in your career.

How to Research a Company’s Culture

Before interviewing, researching a company can be essential, and that includes researching their company culture. If you don’t take the time to ask questions about company culture to see if it is a good fit for you, you can easily end up in a job that makes you miserable. This is particularly true for people seeking jobs with a good work-life balance.

Additionally, understanding the company culture also makes it easier to convince employers that you’re the right candidate for the job. Otherwise, you won’t be well prepared to answer company culture interview questions, and they may even seem off-topic. Fortunately, learning how to research a company  and learn about their company culture is often easy.

  • Read the company’s website. Companies are often self-aware about their culture and about what kind of candidates would be the best fit for their organization. You can also use sites like Glassdoor to find present or past employees talking about their experiences with employers.
  • Plan for firsthand experience. Immediately before or after interviewing, take a moment to hang around and try to experience the company’s culture. Are employees’ cordial to each other? Do you see yourself fitting in?
  • Try asking. If information about company culture isn’t explicitly available, it’s often possible to glean information by speaking with past or present employees through social media or similar outlets.
  • Consider their competitors. For the sake of comparison, checking out other companies in the same industry can help you develop a better sense of what makes one company unique from others. This kind of search is often as simple as browsing the “Other Companies People Viewed” tab on LinkedIn.

Finding the right company culture can be tough, but it’s easier if you have the right resources to help. If you’re still trying to find the right job for your experience, check out the MyPath Career Wizard Tool. And if you’ve already got a good idea of what direction you want your career to take, be sure to check out the rest of the MyPath Blog for more tips on how to pursue your dream.