January 7, 2015

Professional Development

The Culture Fit

By: Aynsley Harrison

Aynsley Harrison

Your resume looks awesome. You nailed the interviews. But you didn’t get the job. Why?

Maybe you just weren’t the right fit for the culture of the office. Every organization has its own unique dynamic that requires certain personalities for each job. Some places are more high energy and therefore need more type-A, proactive people while other organizations are more laid back. It is therefore important to find out what kind of culture the organization you’re applying to has.

First off, do your research! Do you have a friend or acquaintance who works for the organization? If so, ask them what the culture of the office is or if you’re uncomfortable with that, think back to any time you’ve heard them talk about their job. Do they love it or hate it?

Learn to dissect the meaning of different key phrases. Some places that offer multiple opportunities to move up quickly may mean that the organization has a tendency to let people go or it can mean that the organization has younger employees and fosters talent which tends to said employees getting scooped up by other organizations. Reading into body language when you’re at an organization can tell you a lot too. Is everyone running around with a smile or sprinting by looking worried? Is the person at the front desk relaxed or is he/she constantly interrupted by phone calls and requests from coworkers?

Finally, figure out what you want in an office culture!! If you don’t deal with stress well then a high-energy office may not be the right fit for YOU. Sometimes you learn more from a place that is a poor fit but if you can, find out what you need and find out which office culture is your best fit.


Aynsley Harrison is Career Services Coordinator at the Leadership Institute.