A good cultural fit is important.

- By Dr. Di

Think about a job you’ve had recently:  Did you feel like you fit the culture you were working in?  What is “the culture” anyway?  First, a personal story.

When I was interviewing with an unfamiliar company in the video-publishing business, do you know what were the first three things I noticed while touring the facility? 1) Most of the private office doors were open, so you could look in as you walked by.  2) Very few offices had only one person inside.  Nearly everyone was being visited by one or more people.  3)  People actually laughed out loud!  Yes, lots of laughing was going on, and people seemed to be happy.  As I was occasionally being introduced, employees were friendly, looked me in the eye, and were alert while relaxed.

I wanted to work there!  And it turned out to be a life- and career-changing job for me.

So, what’s the point? The culture of an organization—decision-making strategies along with the “feel” of the place–needs to match who you are and how you do your best.  And the kind of environment that you will work in usually is something that comes down from the top—from the big bosses.  I’ll say more about culture in coming weeks; but, for now, as you look for that first career job, be mindful of the culture of the company.