Knowing the work environment that you thrive in can really help guide your career in the right direction.
I've been thinking about this a lot lately as I talk with potential candidates. I typically ask in interviews, what type of work environment a candidates prefers. When I think about my company's environment in considering what a candidate prefers this helps me to assess whether the employee would really be happy.
There are so many differences between how companies operate. Some companies are very corporate, others are very casual while others are somewhere in between the two extremes. Then we have the universities, nonprofits, public accounting firms, law firms, tech hubs, start ups and ALL operate differently and will give certain people very different vibes.
Knowing the type of environment you enjoy can really help you build your career.
Do you not enjoy your job? Do you want to pursue another industry because of it?
Maybe that's not the answer... Consider if you like a fast-paced type of environment, but you work in a slow functioning environment. Maybe you enjoy a company that is very structured and organized and you are working in a start-up environment where things are constantly changing and feels too unorganized for you.
This is something very important to understand and actually easy to figure out! Identify the things you like most and the least about the environment you work in. Please note that we are talking about the environment only. It is not that you don't like Susie because she smells heavily of cigarette smoke. :)
What are some areas to look out for?
- Flexibility - is the company open to telecommuting or not?
- Work Pace - Fast paced or slow paced? Is there a strong sense of urgency around projects? Do feel you have a hard time keeping up? Do you not have enough to do?
- Structure - Is it a heavily structured place with many policies and processes in place? Do you feel the environment does not have enough order?
- Atmosphere (Casual or corporate) - Is a suit and tie needed everyday? Is there a lot of managerial hierarchy? Are you afraid to show your own personality at work?
- Openness - Do people collaborate, visit other offices, chit chat often? Do folks just keep their heads down and remain in his or her offices?
Once you figure out what you like and do not like, you'll be able to make a better determination, in most cases, of whether a job is the right fit for you.