What are some of the key priorities you consider when looking for a new job? There are many factors which need to come together to make sure your new job transforms into a long and fulfilling career. While a primary factor includes finding something that you are passionate about, there are a number of other soft factors which are very important but are sometimes overlooked. They include aspects like company culture, work environment, work-life balance, and team fit. This article discusses the importance of these soft factors in shaping your career and how to get information early on in the interview process to help you make an informed decision.

Finding the Right Environment

An interview is meant to be a two-way exchange of information. While the hiring manager is asking you questions to learn about your experience and skill set to help determine your fit for the role, it’s an opportunity for you to learn about the company, the team, and the job to help you decide whether this is the right fit for you. Various businesses inherently have different culture and work-life balance requirements. For instance, the work culture in a manufacturing industry is very different from a service industry. The work-life balance in the tech industry is very different from the work-life balance in the financial industry. Furthermore, no two companies are the same. A startup tends to have a different work environment than a large corporation. Even within the same company, there are microenvironments which dictate and influence the work culture for the particular team or the business group.

Company Culture

Just as it’s vital for your success during an interview that your experience and skill set match the job requirements, it’s critical to the success of your career that the work environment and the culture of the new organization matches what you find to be most productive. It is important to discuss this with the potential hiring manager during the interview to make an informed decision.

The best way to discuss the topic of work culture is to start with asking probing questions to better understand the business model. For instance, should you expect a constant workload or is the workload more variable depending on the client requirements? What are vacation and leave policies? Ask the hiring manager what a typical day for someone in your position is like in this role.

Another good topic for discussion includes asking how the team approaches cross-team collaboration within the organization. Many of these questions are a starting point for a larger discussion and can be channeled toward the topics you are passionate about.

The work culture and environment are likely to play pivotal roles in the success of your career. While it can be tricky to find out all the details upfront, it is crucial that you try to get as much information as is available to you during the interview process itself. For more career advice, reach out to the industry experts at ACS Professional Staffing. Our team can provide an industry insider’s perspective on Portland and Vancouver area employers and the best opportunities for you.