“How to understand the business culture of a company when applying for a job”
We’ve all been there – applying for your first job. Many people find it overwhelming and difficult, because it requires a lot of research and preparation about the targeted company. One of the preparation steps that is always mentioned in on-line resources or trainings is understanding the business culture. And I fully agree – understanding organisational beliefs and the way how people internally communicate is important for each segment of your application: pre-networking, preparing the documentation, joining the interview and negotiating working conditions.
Since most of the resources talk about reading about the company online and contacting employees, here are the practical tips on how to do it.
Build your network
Before even applying for the job, you might want to meet people from that company. Many companies nowadays organize networking in-company (online) events, and that can be a good first-hand experience.
You can also follow LinkedIn profiles of people working in that company and read their posts and articles. In this way, you can discover ‘hot topics’ in the company and what is the common way of internal communication.
Step into what the future employer desires in a candidate
When people talk about what a future employer desires in a candidate, they usually think of which behavioural competences or soft skills they are looking for in a candidate. But actually, employers look for one singular thing: a person with high potential to solve their problem. It can be that the person already solved that problem in the past, or simply has enough skills or tools to solve it within a reasonable amount of time.
It might happen that the culture of the company you are interested in, is very much different from your own working style, or from what you are used to in the past. However, in some cases, that can be appealing and challenging, to both you and your potential employer. If you decide to apply for a position in such a company, you do not have to change your behaviour or appearance dramatically. Instead – explain to the potential employer how your style is complementary with the existing business culture.
Get rid of imaginary obstacles
Even if you did a lot of research and preparation, it might be that a company is open for propositions or ideas that are completely out of their existing way of doing business. They might see such ideas as opportunities to expand the market or push the innovation further. Therefore, don’t be afraid of proposing ‘your way’ of solving their business problem. They might even like it!
Now that the summer months are coming, you can use your time to prepare your next job application.
Firstly, choose two to three companies that you would like to work for, even if they do not have open vacancies at the moment. Secondly, dig into their business culture and try some of the inspirational tips in this article. At the end, prepare your application and send it directly to your future boss.