Things have changed in so many ways over the last few years in terms of workplace culture and putting more responsibility in the hands of the prospective employee rather than the employer. Most of our parents started with jobs that were in the family or around their community. This led them to where they would work, sometimes forever. Many of us have spent a lot of money to get a degree in a field of business that we love but wound up with no idea about what company, firm or place of business would be right for us. This is all changing very rapidly as we learn that we have a choice—we can pick a company that matches our personality and future goals. Here are some steps you can take to ensure that you are working for a company that has a shared culture compatible with your personality. For this short experiment, we are going to talk about Entrepreneurship vs. working for a large corporation.
- You know yourself best, so you need to make an honest assessment of who “you” are and what you want
- Do you like to step outside of the box on a regular basis, or do you thrive when the lines of work are clearly defined?
- Do you see yourself learning from one company and then moving in a few years to another company to get a different perspective, or do you see yourself staying in one position for a very long time?
- Are you driven to reach a specific title or position in your career, or are you are driven by the actual work instead and titles don’t interest you or aren’t a priority?
- Do you feel you need a lot of mentorship with people in your field, or do you learn better studying by yourself and learning as you go along?
- Do you want the flexibility to attend conferences or travel when an interesting project comes up, or are you fine with only traveling outside of your daily routine a few times a year?
- Are you comfortable in wearing a lot of different hats, or do you prefer a set job description where you perfect that role?
- Do you like reaching out to your friends, family, and colleagues on a regular basis to ask for feedback and engagement with your work, or does that seem like a painful activity?
- Do you like to take risks which may mean failing in front of everyone, or does that make you squirm?
- Do you find prestige with a long-standing company or brand exciting, or are you comfortable with a smaller brand so long as you believe in its messaging and what they are trying to build?
- Are you able to work long hours, at times burning the candle at both ends while hanging out with dogs in a casual environment, or do you like to leave the dogs and babies at home and have a structured 9 to 5 routine?
It’s easy to tell which answers referred to corporate structure and which referred to a start-up company. Once you determine what kind of culture you want to surround yourself, you can pick a company or brand that meets your life goals. If you are still unsure, then interview people you know. Ask them about their experiences with both types of lifestyles. Picking your direction is key to your success. Knowing who you are early on will help to avoid traveling long distances in the wrong direction. Some people get stuck in a field they never wanted to be in because a friend helped them get their first job and they sit by and watch other people enjoy their daily life. You don’t want that to be you. If it is you, NOW is the time to change that mindset. Who were you meant to be? How will you get there?