How to Find Your Ideal Company Culture

“Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from achieving one’s values.” – Ayn Rand

In my last post, we created “A Week in My Life”—a tangible description of your ideal week. Now, it’s time to delve deeper into your work experience during your ideal week: specifically, your experience in your ideal company culture.

We often dismiss work culture as a secondary factor in choosing a new job or career. But the social dynamics of a company can make even a mundane job great—or make even the most interesting job unbearable. In order to truly enjoy your job, you need to enjoy the culture.

If you’re like many people I’ve spoken with over the years, you find yourself falling into the same type of culture over and over again, in job after job, without really knowing why. No matter where you go, you end up working for the same micromanaging, manipulative, or absentee boss; or, conversely, you end up managing the same resentful, uncooperative, or scattered people. You want to make a move, but you’re afraid that the only difference between the new job and the old will be the color of your office walls.

The truth is, we attract certain types of people into our lives and careers based on our conscious and unconscious thoughts and processes. But if you take the time to become clear about what you really want, rather than simply falling into whatever comes your way, you’re more likely to avoid the trap of “same, same.”
Take 30 minutes or so this week to envision and flesh out your ideal company culture. Here are some points to consider:

  • In what industry does your ideal company operate? What types of product or service does it provide?
  • Where is your ideal company located?
  • What does the building/campus look like?
  • What is the layout of the office/production space? Do you have your own office? Work in an open space?
  • How big is your ideal company? Do you like having many diverse co-workers, or do you prefer to work with a smaller, select group of individuals?
  • What is your ideal boss like? In what ways does he or she support you? Consider a specific situation (perhaps one from your own recent experience): how would your ideal boss behave? Is your boss a mentor? Does he or she offer consistent guidance and support, or allow you to operate more autonomously?
  • If you’re considering a management or executive position, what are your employees like? What qualities do your team members possess which make them easy to work with? How do they support you in your role, and how do they allow you to support them in theirs?
  • What is the pace of your ideal business or office? Do you thrive under pressure, or do you like to take your time? How would your ideal company culture support your natural working pace?
  • What social, environmental, and financial goals are important to your ideal company culture? What causes does your company support?

As with the first “Week in My Life” exercise, it’s just as important to know what you don’t want. You might choose to make a list based on the above criteria of what is unacceptable to you in your ideal company culture. For example, you might write, “I don’t want a boss who dates his secretary,” or, “I don’t want a boss who says she’ll give me a raise/a better position/flexible hours, then never follows through,” or, “I don’t want to manage unmotivated employees,” or even, “I don’t want to feel lost in a sea of desks.”
Once you’ve identified your ideal company culture, it’s a whole lot easier to see how you can fit comfortably into it. Next week, we’ll look at your role in your ideal company—in other words, we’ll narrow down your ideal job description!  It may sound like a lot of work, however, the amount of time you spend doing these exercises upfront will save you years of wasted energy and frustration which directly impacts your overall well being.  You only have one life.  Make it a great one!

Dawn Quesnel, CPCC, PCC, known as Coach DQ, is a professional coach, radio show host and workshop leader. Through the use of her B.R.I.D.G.E. programs she helps marketing, advertising, and creative entrepreneurs navigate career or business transition while maintaining a healthy career-life balance. Her core belief that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to, consistently leads clients to uncover hidden resources and strengths. B.R.I.D.G.E. the gap and accelerate your career so you can love your life now! For more information click here or email me.

As a certified professional coach, radio show host and workshop leader, Dawn helps sales, marketing, advertising and creative entrepreneurs to accelerate their career so they’ll love their life!

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