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Avoid the work culture misfit trap with these 7 key questions

a woman riding a bike around holes with cones marking them

We’re in the midst of a seismic shift. The last three years have upended where work happens, why, and how.

Women have been leaving their roles in record numbers, even after the height of the pandemic.

In our work with EvolveMe’s Reinvention Collective cohorts of women in mid-career transition, we’ve gained a unique perspective - we know why they are leaving and what would motivate them to stay.

One of the #1 things that women want from the companies they work with is…

A culture fit that aligns with their values

But workplace “culture” can be hard to pin down. We know what you’re thinking. What does “culture” even mean?

Work culture is how companies incorporate their mission and values into their behaviors: such as how employees communicate, interact, and make decisions.

If you’re in a role now and your environment is uncomfortable, you may think it’s “just you,” when there’s often more at play. You need to assess what your own expectations are of how you interact with your colleagues and them with you.

And what if you’re in job search mode? How do you spot a culture that’s right for you? If you’re lucky, there will be clues in job descriptions – but not always.

You don’t want to fall into the all too common trap of being so concerned about getting the role that you ignore the signs that it’s not going to be a culture fit for you.

Where to turn?

We got some must-have advice from executive coach and Reinvention Collective alum Teri Mendelsohn who shared her expertise at an EvolveMe community-wide reunion. She zeroed in on 7 questions to evaluate workplace culture that are too good not to pass on:

  1. How does the organization reward performance?

  2. What accomplishments does it reward?

  3. What happens when someone fails, disappoints, or makes a mistake?

  4. How Is vulnerability (uncertainty, risk, emotional exposure) perceived?

  5. Do people feel safe talking about their feelings and asking for what they need?

  6. Is there a culture of trying new things and giving and receiving feedback?

  7. What are the company’s values? How they lived (practiced, communicated, etc.)

These are questions you can ask current employees when you’re vetting a new role and the hiring manager once you are offered the role.

If you’re employed and feel like the company or department you’re working for may not be a culture fit, consider reflecting on these questions. It could be that there’s a misalignment between its values and your own.

We want more for you!

It’s never too late to start thinking about your future. One of the best ways to ensure a good culture fit? Start by understanding YOU! Get started with our FREE resource, The How-To of You: the EvolveMe Personal User Manual.

Use this guide to get clear on who you are at work: your preferences, sensibilities, communication styles, and values. And work for an organization that gets you.

We want more for you!


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