I am in touch with a number of job seekers and share the standard, what is seemingly helpful information on job searching.  But one component of the job search is a little dicey, a little tricky, harder to navigate.  How do you as job seekers discern and determine culture?  

I think the culture of the organization is often a key component for applicants to understand and yet, there is no outline or data sheet or Linked In profile on culture.  When my husband started his job at local engineering firm, he certainly was capable of doing the job.  What took longer was understanding the culture – how work got done IRL as opposed to documents and workflow, procedures and manuals.  The true learning that took place was synthesizing all the people, historical knowledge, key holders and road blocks.  The work was the easy part.  

I have a good friend who works for a on the surface highly-respected company.  But the actual day-to-day experience for some is awful.  The culture is stifling and paternalistic; women are expected to wear skirts and hose; men are not allowed to wear jewelry other than wedding rings and watches.  For some this may not be too bad (other than illegal) but one may not want to quit a current to take a position in a company such as this.  

So how would you gather what could be critical information – unless you knew someone who worked there?  Where can you get this kind of information?  I am curious if any of your companies incorporate norms, traditions – culture – into your hiring process?  Of do you wait for onboarding and orientation?  If you are a job seeker, how do you scope out the culture of a potential employer?    

Such questions for a Monday.  

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