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High stakes: culture and fit

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We've all people-at-workplace.jpgheard stories about  employees who are miserable at work, having unknowingly wandered into a "corporate culture" that isn't a good fit. Unfortunately, dissatisfied employees aren't usually as successful, experience increased stress, and often leave the company after a short stay.  To avoid this situation, it is critical to know yourself well and understand upfront what kind of work environment would foster your best performance and generate job satisfaction.  How to Find an Organization Worth Working for outlines key questions to ask yourself to help determine what work environment would enable you to thrive.

Since the stakes are high, it's worth doing some serious research before accepting a position! Networking is a very effective approach for doing research on an organization's culture. Scheduling informational interviews with employees or past employees of organizations in which you are interested will give you an insider's point of view on what it's like to work there.

Another good sources of information is to browse the results of employee satisfaction surveys. For instance, the Boston Business Journal (BBJ) announced in May the winners in its 2013 Best Places to Work in Massachusetts Program. According to the BBJ, these are companies that "are creating a high level of workforce satisfaction and loyalty."

Although there are clues throughout the hiring process that give you a sense of whether you would be happy working at an organization, often candidates don't ask the right questions to really get a sense of the company's "culture."  Some additional  tips on how to ensure that there's workplace fit can be found in How to Tell if a Company Culture Will be a Bad Fit.  The goal is to find a company that goes "beyond the norm to create an enjoyable and meaningful work environment for their employees."

Learn more about the process of ensuring a good cultural fit at your next workplace by setting up an appointment with a CEC career coach.