Is being a cultural fit really important for your career?
Should you step over all your principles, desires, character, and inner states of mind to get this job and become the best employee they’ve ever had?
Code of Good Practice
Most companies have it for sure. If you had to change a place of work at least once, you could probably notice how a new company’s traditions, rules and morals differed from the ones of your former job. Such a phenomenon can be called a difference in business (corporate) culture of these two enterprises.
Corporate culture can regulate many aspects of employees’ daily activities. In fact, these are the norms, values and rules of conduct for them to follow. Two levels of corporate culture can be distinguished:
Outside: it sets standards of conduct for employees, special rules of etiquette, ceremonies and procedures, a dress code, etc.
Inner: it characterizes the values that both a company and its employees should broadcast.
When they hire you, they expect you being a cultural fit for them at all levels of their corporate culture. But if some rules of conduct (discipline, relationships with a boss and his style of management, a dress code) are easy and logical to follow, some other traditions of this company may be quite… unacceptable for you. Is it necessary to get over yourself to fit them all? How risky can it be for your career?
So, you do not like:
Are you a team player? HR Departments often try to make some quiz, questionnaires, tests, and so ones in order to learn weak points of relationships between employees. And when all questions are answered, and when they understand what aspects should be improved (well, they think like that at least), they start organizing different team building events. For example, it can be Saturday or Sunday spent somewhere outside the city despite the fact you have a day off and plan to spend it with your family.
Bosses do not like when employees ignore team building actions. If they considered team building unimportant, they would never organize it. So, if your career in this company is very important for you, you better go and try to take an active part in all those “competitions”.
The New Year, St. Valentine’s Day, The Father’s Day… All these holidays may appear your office parties, when all colleagues gather after work, write messages, congratulate each other, eat, drink, present small gifts to each other, etc. Are you antisocial? Oops, we have a problem here.
A risk here will depend on your boss and top management’s attitudes towards such parties. If they consider them a part of team building, it is better to visit them. But if it’s your colleagues’ moxie, and they just want to relax and spend time together… Then the only risk you have here is to get a status of “odd fish” and spoiled relationships with other employees who do not understand how it is possible not to like such cool office parties.
Does your company have a tradition to celebrate each employee’s birthday? And this birthday boy (or girl) brings cakes, candies, fruits and so ones to thank colleagues for their congratulations and presents? Well, it may be a good idea if you want to spend your b-day at work. But do you have a right to take a day off and spend your b-day as you wish without colleagues’ involvement at all?
Yes, you have. The risk here is misunderstanding with other employees who believe a birthday is the best day of a year for every person. Your boss will hardly think that the way you celebrate your birthday can influence your professional skills; but it still would be better to find out what s/he thinks of that.
All such-called “office plankton” things
Coffee or tea breaks when the whole department starts a working day in a kitchen, discussing all rumors… Constant chats in Skype, ICQ, etc…. One more coffee break after lunch… No help from writing experts are needed to describe office plankton. All these things distract you from work, and you understand that it’s totally wrong to behave like this during a working day. But some of your colleagues do not agree with you.
You shouldn’t support other employees here, if you do not like what they do. There is no risk for your career, because your boss would hardly support them as well. The only bad thing that can happen to you is negative rumors your colleagues may spread about you and tell you boss something bad that can influence your career at the company. People do not like those ones who want to be better if they do not want to become better themselves.
Being a cultural fit is important for every potential employee who wants to get a job at some particular company. The main thing is to understand what aspects of corporate culture MUST be followed, and which ones may be ignored if they differ from your inner state of mind and are more about personal relationships with your colleagues. You won’t be able to concentrate on your career, if you are forced to do what you do not like. Do you agree with that?
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