I often wonder why I changed jobs. As I get updates on LinkedIn, I wonder why this is such a churning job market at a global level. and this seems to be at all levels right upto the CEO. Most of the companies seem to pay well and provide good working environments(some don’t make the list, that’s for a later post). Something didn’t fit well into the logic of taking care of employees thereby reducing churn.
My own experience of changing jobs reveals that there’s no pattern I could have followed with data I had years back. There have been quite different conditions with each move. As a Gen-Xer, I resolutely tried to stick on based on loyalty factors and my B-school learnings. It seemed that I had outgrown the system and needed to move on.
I must confess it just dawned on me with no prior warning that Culture fit was the key reason. I just didn’t fit with “them” and “they” didn’t synch with me. While all other business aspects remained the same, it just didn’t feel like “it”. To be frank, I get disappointed with all management and HR articles which blame the employee for not upgrading or having an attitude etc while not delving deeper into the Culture issue, resulting in finger pointing in all directions.
Culture as I see it is more of how best the fit is between two pieces of a puzzle so they can fit tight to provide a bigger picture. It need not be symbolic of similar aspirations e.g. A Sales person may still not fit into a Sales only culture. There are many aspects to this, not the least of which is the life stage of an employee or size of an organization. e.g. If you have no kids, you tend to get irritated when colleagues arrive late for meetings. When you do have kids, its too late to feel sorry to have been irritated years back. There are of course a Zillion factors and its wise to know your priority vs the company’s. e.g. if you can’t travel but you are in a Consulting position, its just too obvious whose priority will win in the end.
So feel free to assess the Culture of a company before accepting an offer. Ask them liberal questions, open ended to get a feel. Ask your friends and family if you would fit in that company. Explore multiple ways to get around the Culture question. If your Exec Recruiter is in a hurry (which seems more fast food nowadays), gently nudge them to get you a Culture input. After all its your career. You are here to help your Career , not any one else’s.
Finally if you still get into a company and find you don’t fit into the Culture, figure out a way to Transition soon. You will save a lot of Headache for everyone by being decisive. Believe me you will find an organization where you will flourish. and Maybe you will feel like the title of this post.