I found the Randy Pausch Last Lecture video and book very uplifting and inspiring – full of life and leadership lessons. If you haven’t seen the video, you can see it here … and you can get the book here.
Do Not Ignore the Importance of Culture
In the Last Lecture book – pg171, the author talks about how sensitive it can be crossing from one culture to the next. He was referring to college students going into their first job … and the difference between the culture at school versus work.
The 1st bit of advice I give anybody who is considering their first job or changing jobs is to investigate the culture of the company you are considering … then decide if it’s a good fit for you.
You may like your new title, your new salary and perks, but if you are going to be miserable everyday because the culture of the company is something you can’t adapt to, then you should keep looking.
Do your homework on the company and the culture of the company. To evaluate the company culture, be prepared to ask questions about things that are important to you – if innovation is a hot button for you, how large is their product development budget ?, do they have any related programs? – if continued development is important to you, how much training do they do ? – if you don’t like bureaucracy, you better clarify the amount you will have to deal with – see if you can talk with a few employees – look for signs in the lunchroom, on the bulletin boards – read the company newsletters – do the employees in the office you walk through look like their having fun – – what is the turn over like in the company – are there signs of inconsistency to the answers of the questions you asked ?
Do your culture homework – or I promise you – you may be miserable !!
If you are a college student transitioning to your first real job … pick up the book – From Day One – A CEO’s Advise to Launch an Extraordinary Career. You will pick up additional advice on evaluating company culture and what you can do to contribute to the success and culture of the company.