“Fit” is a small word but a big question. How well you “fit” in an organization may be the single biggest determinant of your career success. You could have all the skills and experience required for a role, but if your approach and personality don’t align with workplace culture and company values you may find the path ahead to be a bumpy one. Fit needs to be assessed equally by employer and employee. So, when faced with a new career opportunity, how do you go about determining fit?
Ask good questions
Get to know your prospective employer during the interview by asking questions like: What type of person fits best here? How would you describe the culture? What makes a successful employee? What type of career progression is possible and how does the organization support this?
Employers are going to ask for your references, it’s only fair that you ask for a couple as well. Respectfully ask is there are a couple of existing employees you could speak to (or ideally, meet with) to get a better sense of the organization’s culture and what it’s like working there.
Take the long view
Make sure you look at how the opportunity fits with your career goals rather than simply as a job. This doesn’t mean you have to stay forever, but if the opportunity doesn’t support your long-term aspirations then it might be best to pass.
If, after taking stock of the opportunity—the pros and the cons—you still don’t feel comfortable, then maybe it’s not the right opportunity for you. Finding the right fit can take time but it’s worth the wait. In the end, you will save time by avoiding a venture down the wrong path.
Published by Atlantic Business Magazine: January 2019