Updated: Jun 24
Have you ever wondered why some people love their jobs and why some people dread going to work? Some of this variability is attributed to the job itself, but a lot of people's experience at work depends on their company’s culture. In fact, over 74% of working adults said that their firm’s culture was one of the main reasons for staying in their job.
Company culture is the personality of a company. It is the way that a company’s employees and management interact and handle situations outside of business transactions. Every company has a culture, whether it is defined or not, so how do you go about finding the best fit for you so that you can love your job?
UBWA alumna Kristin Sembach currently works for Nike. A saying that is known in the company is, “be your authentic self.” She stated, “It’s not just a corporate platitude; it is something that you’ll hear at multiple levels of the organization and it is something I’ve only experienced at Nike. I’ve worked in other company cultures where I didn’t feel like I could be who I am every day and truthfully, it impacted my ability to do my best work.”
In order to find a company that resonates with you, Sembach explained that it is important to know who you are, what your values are, and why you have those values. Defining what is important to you will enable you to narrow down if the companies that you are looking at have similar values. If a company cares about similar things to you, this is a step in the right direction to figure out if their culture will be a good fit.
Sembach explained that Nike’s culture is authentic, innovative, and competitive. She stated, “We aren’t competing with each other in a way that can feel aggressive or diminishing. We compete as a team.” Having a culture that fosters constant growth and empowers employees to try something new enables her to put forth new ideas and to have an impact on the company, despite it being so large.
Additionally, UBWA alumna and recent graduate Kaylee Nutter currently works for Worthington Industries and stated, “I couldn’t have asked for a better transition to my adult working life and I credit that to the group I work with.” She explained that when looking for a company that aligns with your values it is important to look at the perceived culture and what it is actually like because sometimes perceived company culture can be different. In order to distinguish what working at the company is actually like she recommends shadowing people at the company, doing further research, or asking people around you if they know anything about the company. “My conclusive advice would be to not be afraid to ask those questions to get to know the people personally and to understand that culture can make a huge difference in your overall career success and personal happiness.”
Nutter explained that feeling supported and welcomed motivated her. “I’m motivated to want to do well because I want them to feel like they did well and they want me to succeed so that we can all succeed together.” Employees at the company are treated like people, not just workers, and the Golden Rule is built into every decision, conversation, and interaction. The welcoming culture of Worthington Industries not only enables people to feel valued so that they can put their best work forth, but it also makes others want to work with and support the company.
Company culture is fundamental to finding a job that you love so that you are motivated to progress in your career. The best way to find a company that aligns with your values is to know yourself first, so that you know what to look for in a company and the questions to ask to see if the company values the same things that you do. Achieving success and happiness starts with you. Having this sense of self will enable you to find a company that will put you on the path to whatever you define as success.
I would like to thank you for reading this post as well as Kaylee Nutter and Kristin Sembach for their insight in writing this post! If you have any questions or would like to learn more about the impact of company culture, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.