We get these job offers and we’re tremendously excited because meaningful employment is real. After that excitement begins to wear down, though, we live with the reality that there are aspects, aside from simply being offered a job that should inform the decision on where you work.
It’s all about the culture.
Workplace culture, seemingly now more than ever before, can be a deal maker or breaker when determining exactly where you want to spend 40+ hours of your precious time during the week.
Below is a brief guide to help you decide what may/may not work for you at work:
Introvert vs. Extrovert
If you’re a natural introvert and you prefer to keep it that way, you may not want to work in a cubicle-less workspace with an open floor plan, notably rambunctious interactions and midday team foosball. Be sure to inquire about the general nature of your potential co-workers in the interview process to see if their natural way of being would negatively affect yours.
Traditional vs. New Age
Nowadays, many professionals are choosing to work from home if they have that option. Working from home is becoming so prevalent, in fact, that some businesses are opting out of traditional office spaces to save cost. If you’re accustomed to, or prefer, seeing your co-workers on a daily basis, having constant face time with your bosses, showing up to work at 9 a.m. sharp, and having more structure to your day, this may not work for you.
Partiers vs. Wallflowers
If you’re a natural party animal who watches the clock, daily, in anticipation of a 5 p.m. happy hour but none of your co-workers drink, this may be something to consider. Yes, you may always save your cocktails for a time with friends, but if the “dry” culture at work still seems a little stiff, this may not be the crowd for you.
Suits vs Sweats
This may be easier to gauge given your industry. If not, be sure to inquire about your potential employer’s dress code. If you don’t own a single pair of slacks and have no intention of purchasing any, you may want to reconsider a position that requires suits and ties.
Left Wing vs. Right Wing
Agreeing or disagreeing with an employer’s political stance may be more important than you think. Political alignments can be telling. If you’re a completely liberal, left-wing individual joining a conservative, right-winged company, understand that there may be space and opportunity for dissonance. Who needs any more of that at work?
There are several other factors that may determine if a workplace is a fit for you. Here is the bottom line: ask yourself if your vision, values, beliefs, personality, attitude, and behavior align with those of your potential employer? This may be a little difficult to gauge in the interviewing or onboarding process but it’s certainly worth the inquiry.
An ill-fitted work culture could mean long, miserable days and regretful nights. Time’s too precious, do what you can to make sure it’s spent right.
Safon Floyd is the Digital Editor at Black Enterprise. Follow her @accordingtofon.