So you finally figured out what you’d like to do with your career now, but are still afraid to jump ship. What if the new company doesn’t share your values? What if you lose flexibility, or your co-workers aren’t as motivated as you are?
Finding the right fit is just as important as figuring out what you want to do. On the hiring side, companies want to make sure they get the right person for the job, but too often that has created space for bias toward hiring people who are already like everyone else at the company.
In Vervoe’s article Stop Trying to Find the Elusive Culture Fit, author Omer Molad brings up a positive trend on the hiring side of the job hunt. Companies are finally starting to get away from finding the right “culture fit,” and instead focusing on matching values and skills. “For a company to be innovative and continuously create new ideas, products and services, they need a diverse group of people to contribute to the culture. By hiring the same old types of people, your company will simply create the same old things over and over again,” states Molad. Companies are starting to change this by looking for someone who fits the values of the company, versus the personality of the team.
One way to make sure that you land in the right place for you is to examine a potential company’s values, before and during an interview. What is their mission statement? Do they actively demonstrate it? Do they have a vision for where they’re going? What values do their current projects demonstrate- Innovation? Efficiency? Justice?
Of course, it won’t matter what your potential new company’s values are if you don’t know your own. What do you feel is so important that you would defend it no matter what? If you had to have this one statement on your headstone, how would you finish the sentence? “(Your name) stood for ______.” What’s important to you?
How would you ideally like to live out your values in a work environment? If your values center more around things that don’t take place at work, like family, does the company you are applying to value family? What is their family leave policy? Do they have a pumping room? Can you come and go as needed to pick up a child, as long as you get your work done?
These are all questions that you should research before accepting a new role. Use your best judgment about some questions and leave them to informational interviews with current employees, rather than in an interview setting. To gauge value alignment within a formal interview, you can try, “As a mission-driven person, I really value _____. How does this company demonstrate its commitment to _____?”
If you just aren’t sure what your core values are, there are many ways to find out pretty quickly. I really like the free Values Card Sort. You simply print the cards, cut them, and then organize in three categories: Not Important to Me, Important to Me and Very Important to Me. Once the Very Important To Me cards are chosen, get rid of the rest of the cards and focus on organizing what remains from absolutely essential to you to simply very important.
As Molad writes, “If your employees aren’t aligned with your company’s core values with the skills needed to do their jobs, whether they “fit” into the company culture won’t matter anyway.” This goes both ways- clients repeatedly tell me how relieved and fulfilled they are once they get into an organization that operates under the same set of core values. Can you imagine what it might be like to get to live out your core values all the time, even at work? It really does change everything.
Life Purpose and Career Coach
Career Clarity Now