What do you look for when you’re considering a career? If you answer the job itself and the pay, you’re not wrong, but you might be forgetting an equally important factor: culture fit.
If you’ve been reading Dreamtalent blog articles or your psychometric report, you might realize that we emphasize a lot on culture fit. After all, going through the effort of sending out resumes and nerve-wracking interviews only to find out that you didn’t like the job or company is far from motivating.
So what is culture fit, and why should you look for it when looking for a job?
What is culture fit?
If personality is a set of characteristics that define how people behave, then company culture is like the “personality” of companies. Company culture is the values and beliefs shared among the people in an organization, which influences how they behave and interact with the job and with other people — basically, the way the company does things.
Culture fit is therefore whether you fit with how the company works, one way in terms of how your personality fits the way work is done.
For example, how people in a small startup is encouraged to throw out ideas is different from how a bank expects people to follow instructions to a T. Imagine trying to fit a banker into a startup of vice versa.
But culture fit doesn’t mean that everyone in the company has the same personality. What people have in common is their values and beliefs. The second part of culture fit is how your personal values are aligned with the values or vision of the company.
Take this example: Your love for stability and order may make a good personality fit for a bank, but what makes you happy is a chance to learn and grow. If your bank values work results more than employee development, then you won’t feel as good a fit.
Why is culture fit important for you?
Having a good culture fit brings a lot of benefits to you in your career and may extend to your life outside work. Equally, a poor culture fit would likely leave you unsatisfied and unfulfilled in a job. Given that work takes up almost 30% of our entire lives, culture fit should be a priority when looking for a career.
1. Makes you feel like you belong
Have you ever met a bunch of people who actually understands and accepts you, and makes you think “This is my people”? That’s more or less what belonging feels like.
The feeling of belonging is much more than simply “fitting in”. Most people can get along regardless of culture give enough time, but to belong is to truly feel as a part of the team, community, or company.
True belongingness comes with culture fit, because you don’t only need to get along with other people’s personalities, but you also need to adjust to the style of working in the company.
If you’re the type to collaborate and compromise, you might not feel very welcome in a competitive culture where you’re racing against each other. But if you’re competitive yourself, you might just feel like home.
2. Getting comfortable in the work environment
Some jobs are inherently resonant with certain personalities — sales with extroverted people, or creative with… creative people. That’s called Person-Job Fit. Yet fitting into a job involves more than compatibility in skill and personality, which is an often overlooked factor: work environment.
Personality influences how you behave, including at work. In turn, work environment governs how you would conduct your work. If your personality doesn't fit with the working conditions provided, then you’d likely be uncomfortable, even if doing work that you love around people that you like.
A classic example is the open office. It’s an energizing and revolutionary breakthrough from the suffocating confines of the cubicle, letting people work with everyone else in full view, so you can strike up a conversation easily. But this doesn’t work for introverted people who prefer the safety and privacy of a cubicle.
Some people who blends work with their life don’t mind staying back late or even catching up on tasks on weekends, but people who score high in Lifestyle wants to maintain a strict work-life balance, so a culture where people usually stay late is not a good fit for them.
3. You can follow your purpose
The first two points focused on personality — now, let’s talk about values. As an individual, you have your own values in life that you consider most important. Personal growth, getting recognition, stability, or whatever your results may be from Dreamtalent’s values assessment.
As we mentioned earlier, work is a significantly huge part of your life. So why not make use of that time and follow a career that goes the same direction as your values?
Values are the top deciding factor for people to choose their careers. This is because when you do something that’s aligned with your values, you will feel fulfilled and motivated because you’re doing something that matters.
If you’re passionate about social contribution, you’ll be thrilled to find out that your company holds regular charity events, or to work in organizations like the UN. If you’re dedicating your life to creating things, you’d love a culture that encourages creativity and experimenting.
4. You can be happy
Managers and analysts call it job satisfaction or engagement, but it simply means happiness. Naturally, when you work in a culture that fits your personality, needs, and values, and as you feel the benefits listed above, work can start to bring happiness to your life.
On the contrary, if you dread having to go to work every morning and meet people you don’t really like and do something you don’t believe in, you might be looking at symptoms of culture misfit.
Being happy at work would not only make you feel good, but it would help you to work better. And who doesn’t like to be better at what they do? In addition, being more productive entails rewards in its many forms, recognition or financial, which is just another reason to be happy about.
Finding your culture fit
It may not be easy to find where your culture fits. Other than researching and asking questions in the interview, you can try out the psychometric assessments in Dreamtalent to discover not only what kind of culture is best for you, but also which companies offer the right culture and the right career.