Company Culture: How You Know You’ve Found Your Tribe

By Sonja Melin

Finding a job right out of college is TOUGH since most employers require some type of experience before you even step in the door.

However once you receive that offer, it’s also important to make sure that the company culture of that organization will actually be a fit for you in the long term. Many times, the first offer that comes your way is so exciting that company culture doesn’t come to the forefront of your mind. Trust us when we say that going to a place that not only meets your professional goals, but also makes you feel like part of a team is just as essential in attaining a fulfilling career.

So, what is company culture? According to William Craig, who extensively writes about the subject for Forbes, company culture is, “...something that is pre-existing in your company’s genetic code; it’s not something that employees bring with them. In fact, a company with just one employee—a company with no employees, if we’re being honest—still has a culture.” This means that before you even get called for an interview, a company has its own personality and sets of values that it hopes to embody through its employees. Below, we’ve listed a few different types of company cultures that you may come across in your pursuit for the perfect fit.

Team-first Corporate Culture

This type of company culture is one in which team members are encouraged to bond and participate in cross-department collaboration. In an environment such as this, teamwork is considered a top priority and a vital resource to the organization as a whole. This workplace promotes independent decision-making and information sharing between team members, which builds a trusting and honest setting to thrive in. Many times in the process of bonding, companies organize team outings such as after-work drinks or thought leadership workshops. One such example of a place with strong company culture is Warby Parker which employs a whole dedicated team whose sole job function is coming up with events and programs to promote community within the organization.

Elite Corporate Culture

Elite Company culture is defined by innovation and forward-thinking. These workplaces are the type where those who are recruited are always looking to the future and advancement is not only a well-liked quality but a requirement. In this culture, an emphasis is put on fast growth of both the employees and the company itself. These are the trailblazers of the world who are looking for the next thing that will put their company into the upper echelon of the business world. Examples of this type of culture would be the Googles and Facebooks of the world that consider themselves first and foremost leaders in their fields. Places where employees are encouraged to think out-of-the-box and to push boundaries are generally characterized as an elite corporate culture.

Hierarchy/Traditional Corporate Culture

In the traditional sense, this type of company culture describes what most think of when they picture a corporate culture. This means that the bottom line is the highest priority and that the workplace makes risk-averse and data driven decisions. These workplaces have a dress code for all employees, an established sense of the old ways of running a business and less likely to be implementing new technologies in its day to day workflow. Corporations that employ this kind of company culture also generally have a clearly defined hierarchy in place and less of an open-door policy. Common examples of businesses that are still run this way are the DMV and other government ran organizations where corporate procedures are in place to ensure consistency and results.

Market Oriented Company Culture

This company culture is characterized by a focus on competition rather than collaboration. Being the first to “get the job done” is an admired trait. This culture was designed to encourage the most efficient and effective outcomes by bringing together aggressive individuals who will strive to climb to the top of their workplace. Many times, this kind of culture is seen in sales-driven industries that require employees to have their own specific sets of key performance indicators. Jobs at car dealerships and the stock market are good examples of this.

By going over the definitions of each, it may become immediately clear to you, which kind of organization you’d like to keep an eye out for during your job search. In case you’re not sure though, I’ve included some ways that I knew that Startr Co., with its team-first culture, was the right fit for me.

Surround Yourself with Positivity

When I started with this agency, I couldn’t help but thinking to myself that my colleagues were strangely just like me. I don’t mean that we all looked the same or even had all the same ideas, but we were all extremely positive individuals that really enjoyed their day-to-day work. Everyone also praises each other for a job well done.

Work with Clients You Actually Admire

Being part of an organization that truly vets each client and picks strategic partners with unique stories and products is one of my favorite things about being part of Startr Co. We are privileged with the opportunity to see brands grow and have their exceptional stories be told by us through public relations for startups. We’re able to develop with the companies that we service which has become a fulfilling part of working with these emerging brands.

Feel Secure in Your Position

At the beginning, when public relations professionals are starting in their career paths, it can feel like small mistakes feel like the end of the world. However, the right work environment won’t make their beginners feel like the world is crashing down on them. Knowing that it’s ok to make mistakes and having an open line of communication with your managers to discuss them is essential in feeling secure in your position. By learning from those mistakes, it gives everyone a chance for growth.

Now knowing the kinds of company cultures that you can stumble upon in your job search, if you identified the most with a team-first mentality, then Startr Co. may be the place for you. This public relations Los Angeles agency is overwhelmingly positive and team-oriented. We believe that collaboration is a key to success in the Public Relations scape and without building these relationships with each other, our company would not be able to thrive.

Happy searching,

Sonja Melin

Account Executive

Sonja is a public relations pro with experience in Los Angeles and across the pond in London. After having dipped her toe into a number of industries, including financial services, B2B, and non-profit, she has happily found her home at Startr Co. working with emerging food & beverage and lifestyle brands.