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Before You Accept an Offer, Check-out the Corporate Culture

Yogi Bera is alleged to have said, “You can observe a lot just by watching.” This statement is never more accurate than when checking out a corporate culture of a potential new employer. Walk into any company and look around. In 30 minutes you will probably identify the firm’s attitude toward employees, good or bad; it’s impossible to disguise.

Today, job seekers really want to know: Will I have a life of my own if I go to work for this company?

If you have asked yourself this question and want to acquire valuable information on the corporate culture, then read on.

It’s imperative to get a fix on cultural details like attitude toward disagreement, preciseness of job descriptions, and levels of autonomy before you sign up. But that's rarely easy to do. For one thing, there may be huge difference between what any recruiter or human resource type tells you and what really takes place. Example: How do you truly know from the outside looking in that you'll be free to openly disagree with your boss? You don't. Even if in your initial interview, they make a big deal of mentioning how open they are to criticism, they may just be trying to convince themselves that they are.

Since a company’s norms are likely to be unspoken and highly informal, only a fool would accept a job at an organization without first doing some serious investigation. But before you probe a particular corporate culture, you've got to probe within yourself to discover your own particular workplace needs.

-Joe Hodowanes, Career Strategy Advisor

J.M. Wanes & Associates

www.jmwanes.com

Joe Hodowanes, M.P.A., SPHR, is a nationally recognized career coach, syndicated columnist, and president of Tampa-based J.M. Wanes & Associates, www.jmwanes.com. J.M. Wanes & Associates is a career coaching, outplacement, and executive search firm specializing in executive-level opportunities.