“Company culture” is a buzz phrase you have probably been unable to escape as you research consulting opportunities. Culture has become such a buzz not because it sounds catchy, but because it matters. The collective values, attitudes and behaviors of an organization have a major impact on employee success and satisfaction. Have you ever considered your own impact on company culture? The fact is, whether you are with an organization for ten years or ten weeks, you have an impact. Understanding how this all works can help you make smart choices as you seek out fresh consulting assignments.
Always Assess Cultural Fit
If you choose to work for a company with a culture that clashes with your own values and personality, you won’t be happy. It is critical to assess culture with every new opportunity and determine whether or not you are a good fit, and vice versa.
As you interview with the hiring manager, ask direct questions about culture. Some people struggle to clearly define their organizational culture, so ask about the company’s goals, values, norms and attitudes. Once you have the answers, reflect on your personal preferences and determine if that company seems like a place where you would thrive.
Understanding How You Do (and Don’t) Impact Culture
Everything you do throughout the day has an impact on company culture. Your behaviors and interactions with others have a ripple effect. Once you are in a new role, take ownership of that role. Be a positive ambassador for the company’s mission and values. If you are spreading a message through your work that reinforces the organizational culture, you’ll have a positive impact on others.
Yes, you influence culture with every action you take each day, and you can make positive change on your team, but one consultant cannot change an entire corporate culture in a matter of weeks. If you sense misalignment through the interview process, be realistic with yourself, even if the answer is difficult to accept.
Leveraging Culture as a Candidate
It’s true, you probably won’t be able to get a full grasp of organizational culture until you are invited to sit down with the hiring team, but you can do some advance research. Study the company’s website, social media profiles and reviews on sites like Glassdoor and Indeed. Read articles in local business journals and try to get a feel for the culture before you interview.
If you think you would thrive in their environment, talk about it with the hiring manager. Companies want to hire people who align culturally, even if it’s for a short-term project. They know that alignment is one of the key drivers of success, and if you can illustrate your fit in the interview process, you’ll stand out from the competition.
If you want to find consulting assignments at companies with great cultures, it pays to have an expert recruiter on your side. PEAK Technical Consulting can help connect you to opportunities that align with your goals and skills as well as your personality and work style. Contact us to start the conversation today.