Culture Club: 4 Steps to Vet a Company & Find the Job You Love

by Michelle Keefe | April 16, 2021

Have you ever worked for a company that did not feel like the right fit? Or was a toxic environment?

Taking a job at a place where the culture does not jibe with your values or lifestyle can affect your mood, motivation, confidence, and your growth potential. It can even trickle into areas outside of work.

Finding a job that’s a good fit is so much more than the bullet points in a job description; just like you are so much more than the bullets on your resume. When you accept a role, knowing the culture of the company should be a critical part in your decision-making. It will ensure that your needs and values align with your career. When you are living in alignment, you will enjoy your work more, be more productive, and stay at one job for a longer period of time.

Why Should I Vet?  

No job or company is perfect; but doing your due diligence will ensure you find a company you love working for, with a mission you can get behind.

  • Avoid taking the wrong job.
    When looking for a job, you might be tempted to jump at the first opportunity. Remember to take a step back and reevaluate before you rush into anything.

  • Ask if this job aligns with your values.
    Ask yourself, “What are my values and priorities?” When you can remove yourself from the situation and look at it with a clear head, you’ll be able to tell right away if it’s a good fit for you.

  • Learn more about the company culture.
    Yes, you are selling them on hiring you when you walk into that interview, but they should be selling the position to you as well. Every successful company has one thing in common. They all have a great company culture with a mission their employees can be proud of and get behind. If you’re not excited to work there, that may be a clear indication that it’s not the best fit.

  • Make sure you’re saying yes to the right job offer.
    You’ll most likely be interviewing for multiple jobs, so you have to be prepared to choose between more than one job offer. This is where the vetting process will be lifesaving.

  • Know your worth.
    It’s okay to have high standards! You’re hard-working, and any organization would be lucky to hire you.

    How Do I Vet?

    1. Look at Company Data

  • Do your due diligence using the accessible resources on hand. Fairygodboss and Glassdoor provide forums and honest reviews of companies.

  • Check online news articles. Living in the 21st century makes research a breeze. Check any news articles, press releases, the BBB, and best places to work for more information about the company.

  • Follow on social media. Are they active on social media? What do they post about? Do they communicate with their customers in a meaningful way?

  • Check your personal network. Are you connected with anyone from that company on LinkedIn? See if you have any 1st or 2nd degree connections and get some insight from them.

  • Sign up for their newsletter. This will give you insider information about what’s going on inside the company, any events they have coming up, etc.

  • Compile your pre-interview research. Make sure you include company history, mission, and competition. All of this information will help you size them up and help you compare them side by side.

    2. Conduct Your Own Background Checks

  • Team Members
  • Talk to team members to assess the culture vibe. Are people collaborative? Observe interactions. Can you sit in on a team meeting?
  • Meet one on one for coffee. Ask inquisitive questions. How do they feel about the company leadership and opportunities for growth? You don’t need the office gossip, but you want first-hand knowledge of what it might be like to work there.
  • Check social media. Look at their LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram profiles. Get familiar with who they are outside the office. Would you be happy working alongside them?

  • Managers
  • Look at the attrition rate. You want to make sure your potential boss is going to be a good one. Look at the attrition rate for their team.
  • Check their job history. View their LinkedIn profile to make sure they are not job hopping.
  • Check personal social media accounts to get a better feel for their personality and any skeletons that could be hiding in plain sight.

  • 3. Assess the Physical Environment & Virtual Space

    These days, the physical office may not be as important, but if there's a chance you could be moving back into a building, then checking out the vibe is important.

  • Note how it makes you feel. You can feel the positive energy of a great culture. Pay attention to how you feel when you’re walking through the office.
  • Pay attention to the aesthetics. If aesthetics are important to you then you should see the place where you will be spending your days. Your atmosphere can impact your productivity and even your creativity.
  • See how their team interacts. Sleuth out the culture by looking at individuals' workspaces. Are family photos on display? What's on the whiteboards? Do people seem friendly? Is it a collaborative environment? You’re going to be spending a lot of time with these people so you want to be sure you will fit in with them.

    Due to the pandemic, you may find yourself working remotely or working with team members that are remote.

  • Watch how they manage virtual employees. Discover how this organization includes those employees and/or handles flexible working style. Sit in on a zoom meeting.
  • Ask how they build rapport. Talk to the employees and managers about how they maintain rapport while distant.

    4. Intuition Check

    At the end of the day, this is arguably the most important step. There's nothing that provides more information than your instinct.

  • Listen to your gut. If you are getting a good feeling from this company, odds are it's a good fit for you.
  • Take your research with a grain of salt. It’s important to arm yourself with information, but keep in mind that one disgruntled former employee's word is not gospel for the viability of a company. Make sure you talk to many people, and not just the ones that left.

    While an impressive job title, a reputable organization, and a great job description sound like the perfect recipe for a fulfilling role, there’s so much more to consider before accepting a position. Follow the vetting tips above to make sure the company is the right fit for you.

    The right culture, a good team, and a great manager are the best ingredients for a happy, motivated and loyal employee. Find the job that fits with your values, goals and personality, and you will get the best match.

    Unhappy at work? Read our previous article, Time to Break Up or Make Up, to assess if you’re ready for that next move.

    Looking for a new job opportunity? Contact MomUp today and find a job you love.