We’re often told that in order to really know if the place where we work is the right fit for us, we need to give it time. And logically it makes sense. But looking back it’s amazing how with every job I’ve had, the way I felt about the place within the first week, was the same when I left.
In other words, by the end of the first week my feelings of whether it was right for me or not, were spot on. However, looking back I wasn’t aware of this at the time. Yes, I was aware of what I was feeling, but I didn’t think I could really know that early on.
Well, it turns out that I did.
So, here are 6 signs that enabled me to see that the place where I was working, at various times in my life, just wasn’t the right culture fit for me.
No. 1 – When your future manager talks badly about one of their past or current employees straight away.
It can happen at the interview or even on your first day. And it’s usually a case of where they say something about how incompetent they are or were. I remember one of my managers during the interview for my very first marketing job said, “You know dumbness really spreads out there. You know how dumb people are.”
I remember even then thinking this can’t be good. And I was right. What does that say about that person, if after two minutes of meeting me they’re already talking about other people they worked with?
What a joke. What a lack of character.
Yeah, you can really trust him. NOT!
No trust. No respect. No team.
When thinking back to his comment about “dumbness spreading” it makes me laugh.
He was the one that hired these so called “dumb people” he was complaining about. So what did that say about him?
No. 2 – You discover what “hump day” is.
It was my second stint in government and on the first Wednesday I heard people around me say “It’s hump day. It’s hump day.” Meaning half of the week was over.
So, why was this a sign?
Every second in that place was agonising to say the least. And it’s almost like everyone needed a mental reminder that the weekend was getting closer, just to get through the week.
Basically, when the work culture is good, it doesn’t matter what day of the week it is. When it’s bad, you’ll notice people will somehow acknowledge in different ways that the weekend is almost here. This’s what gets them through the week.
No. 3 – People walk past you like they don’t even see you and it’s considered perfectly normal.
Does it really happen?
The last corporate place I worked at I was there for more than two years and it was common to see this type of behaviour there the whole time I was there.
No way should this be considered acceptable. If you do see this your alarm bells should ring big time. GET OUT BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!
No. 4 – Gossip is at an all-time high.
This is when people talk about other people like it’s the only thing they’re there to do.
I thought I seen it all and then one day I was with a colleague in the lift when another colleague walked in. Colleague A said to colleague B “How are you?” Colleague B replied back saying that she wasn’t that well and added some detail. As soon as colleague B left the lift, colleague A turned around to me and said, “Gee, why don’t you tell me your life’s story?” As if to say how dare she answer her question.
I couldn’t believe it!!
She had started the conversation herself and bitched about why the other colleague replied.
Could it get any worse?
No. 5 – You feel completely uncomfortable asking someone a question and when you manage to ask them, you apologise like you’re asking the world of them.
Yep, I’ve seen it, “I’m really sorry to bother you. Really sorry.”
Here’s the thing when you work in the same company together you’re teammates. You’re supposed to speak to each other. You shouldn’t feel like you’re asking the world of them by asking one question or even more.
When you see this type of behaviour know there are problems with the culture.
No. 6 – You feel really disconnected like you’re not part of the team and in order to be part of the team you need to change who you are as a person.
An example that I’ve experienced is when people in my team started to swear at each other. E.g. call each other names like “Bitch” and give each other the middle finger. And, if you didn’t like it or didn’t join in, then there was something wrong with you.
Like Simon Sinek once said, “If you’re a different person at home to how you’re at work then somewhere you’re lying.” You’ll never be happy in a place where you can’t be yourself or, even worse, where you have to lower your character to fit it.
And FYI – when it comes to swearing in the workplace, I’ve seen people use this as a sign to show how close and comfortable people are with each other.
What a load of rubbish!
From what I’ve seen, the workplaces that had a lot of swearing where the ones the were in trouble the most. I mean their work culture/environment was revolting. Shocking. Poisonous. You could cut through the tension with a knife.
You get what I’m saying?
The way they spoke to each other was merely a reflection of how they felt. Pissed off, unhappy and miserable.
Blog #19 Tip – Trust your gut instinct. Don’t spend years in a company that is the wrong culture fit for you. It will just get in the way of you excelling and becoming the best that you can be.
Also, if you’re in place where you have to lower your character to fit in, where you’re not becoming a better person, but you’re going the other way, e.g. in the way that you behave and how you treat others – get out of there! It’s not worth it. Your aim should always be to find a culture/environment where you become a better person, not the opposite.
What did you think of blog post #19? Have you come across any of these signs? Or, do you have different ones you’d add to the list? Tell me about it. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
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See you next week.